My son is obsessed with numbers lately, and he’s started to ask people’s ages. He knows he is three, his sister is one, and when he asks me my age I simply say, “I’m an adult.”
“I’m an adult, too,” he squeaks.
It’s roughly ten AM and this morning I have already adulted the heck out of the day. I woke at six-thirty, dressed and fed two children and got their keisters to daycare before I rushed to lead a board meeting for a non-profit I’m passionate about. Then, after delegating committee tasks and promoting positive change in my community, I zoomed to work to hold office hours and prepare to collect my first research papers of the semester (in a year that the Oxford Dictionary has claimed the word “post-truth” to describe.) Bring on the heart-racing endorphins of “getting stuff done”.
I multitasked on my commute and called my parents to check in about Thanksgiving plans, and my mother smiled over the phone and said, “Adulthood sneaks up on you, doesn’t it?”
I told her it sure does. I’m under thirty and five years ago I couldn’t imagine the pure pleasure I could get out of “doing stuff.” People my age often talk about not wanting to adult today.
And I get it. Adulting is a coin with two sides: stress and empowerment. Not adulting means inaction most of the time. People don’t expect anything of you and you can escape to the womb of your couch with a jar of nutella and some nilla wafers.
Since the election I’ve been trying to embrace adulting more because I’ve realized that I can’t have other people make all of the decisions. If I want something done, I’ve got to help do it. Adulting post-election has looked like many things to many people: protests, calling Congressmen, or making donations. As a white, straight, married, middle class American, I’m not asked to do much and my rights aren’t usually infringed upon. It’s easy not to Adult. It’s easy not to get educated or get involved and to go with the flow.
My friends, thank you for Adulting. Thank you for doing your jobs, then going home to cook for your families while still getting involved in your churches, communities, and local politics– but don’t stop. Once you’re an adult, there’s not another stage. There’s not post-adulthood- you’re pot committed now and I’m here with you.
Let’s all Adult today. One of the best parts of being an adult, too, is being able to have a glass of wine at the end of a long day that you just adulted the heck out of.