Stumbling Towards Adulting

This past May I turned 41.

I would like to say that entering my 40's introduced an epiphany of adulthood and responsibility, but...not so much. I am still messy (thought much improved), I still swear far too much, I still have lax grooming standards (in terms of wearing grown up clothes or owning more than one pair of black pants, not actual cleanliness. I shower, comb and deodorant on a daily basis). I forget that I won't weigh 100 lbs no matter how much I eat. In all, I've not succeeded at this adulting thing.

Still, there are a number of things that I have figured out with age, from music to parenting choices to adult beverages:

The Rolling Stones- While I still don't really want to go to a concert and watch Mick, Keith, et al flop around on stage, I have grown to appreciate the mastery in their music. The documentary "20 Feet From Stardom" played a huge part in this, but songs like "Gimme Shelter," "Paint It Black," "Sympathy For The Devil" all have a sound that I have grown in to. I'm sure that the fact that Debbie Gibson (bless her heart) is no longer on the main stage of my musical tastes has much to do with this. Side note: Merry Clayton on "Gimme Shelter." Her voice makes me feel like I couldn't possibly be good at anything, at all, ever.

Keeping Things Neat- So, I am still a slob. It's my nature, but now I work really hard to try and combat it. And when it rears its head, either because I let it get away from me or because my son is actively combating my attempts at neatness, I don't just meet it where it is and settle down in it. Messes affect my psyche now, and when the house is in chaos, I am as well. Now I try to do the work needed to combat it, and it often feels like Adulting Level 10. Plus, and I can't lie, the fact that PJ has therapy at home three days week means that people are here at least three days a week. I need to keep my shit together.

Margaritas- I am not a big drinker, not in the slightest. For one thing, I was (and still am) a goody-goody, and second, I just don't enjoy the taste of most adult beverages (ie, wine). I had to work my way up to it, but margaritas, man. They're my jam.

Dealing With My Hair- The older I got, the curlier my hair got. For a long time, I had no idea how to combat that, and my head was enveloped in a cloud of WTF pretty much all of the time. Now, thanks to spray gel, wide-toothed combs, Pinterest and plopping, I have the curly thing pretty much down.

Judging Other Parents- With the exception of letting your small child ride in a car without proper safety restraints (for which I will judge you all the live long day) I have learned that there is so much more to the things you see play out between a child and his parent/caretaker. I'm sure that a lot of that is becoming a parent myself and then, in addition, becoming the parent of a child with special needs. Oh, but I will judge you a bit for being judgey. {shrug}

Love Languages: When you are little, love plays out in hugs and kisses and presents and joy. When you get older, you start to realize that the language of love is not a tangible thing. My mom speaks her love language in wanting all of the people that she loves to love each other. My dad spoke his in sharing his knowledge, and telling us things to make us smarter and better people. My friend Randi speaks hers in the way she stays connected to her tribe and my friend Amanda in being one of the most clutch friends I have ever known. Being an adult means that you understand that love is not in the extras, but in what the people you surround yourself with have to offer right off the bat.

News Radio: While music is still the mainstay in my car, and though I still love nothing more than blasting music with the windows down, I have grown to love news radio. KYW 1060 (local Philadelphia radio) is turned in for more than just traffic reports, and I ask Alexa to tell me the news as often as I ask her to play the Mean Girls Broadway soundtrack. It's become important to absorb the happenings of the world in my down-time- as a mom, as a person in a service field, as a voter and as a human. Understanding the world make my vote more powerful and valuable, and it lets me know what things I have to try and make better or different (ahemahemBETSYDEVOS.

Regular Doctors Visits: I used to be that asshole that showed up at urgent care super sick because not only did I put off handling an illness, I didn't have a doctor to go to (see me for the story about how I got fucking Rheumatic Fever in college like someone from the middle ages)! Frankly, that shit is unacceptable. Go to your checkups. Get your mammograms, butt checks, bloodwork, etc, because the bad news is that the older we get, the more difficult it can potentially be to bounce back from an illness. Also, the stakes go up as we age. The older we get , the weirder the stuff that happens to our bodies. The moral of the story? Go. To. The. Doctor.

Grocery Shopping: Eh, just kidding. I hate it. But we need to eat so I go. Adulting is also doing crap you hate.

Compromise: I am kind of stubborn. My mom and dad like to pull out a picture of me as a little girl, sweetly resplendent in a 70's pinafore dress and sandy blonde hair, with my arms crossed tightly across my chest and a pissy-ass look on my face because I was steadfastly not giving in to something or another. If camera phones has been a thing then, it's likely my parents would have thousands of pictures in a similar strain. I have a hard time giving in, but as I age, I start to understand what things can be let go and what things are the hill(s) to die on. It doesn't get any easier- I'm a control freak and always will be- but it does get more clear.

Honorable Mentions: Annie Lenox, guacamole, proper arch support, the jokes on Golden Girls, investing in good bras, most parenting decisions, flossing, how important your parents are

When did you realize you were a grown-up? Was it in your 20's? The first time you voted? Was there a seismic, life-changing event that forced it? Discuss.


Anna Dorfner said...

This is warm, wonderful, honest, funny, and sooooo you.

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