Being a Grown Up

by Katy on August 3, 2011 · 9 comments

I came to the realization a few years back that a large part of “being a grown up” was doing the things that need to get done, even though you don’t feel like it. (Washing dishes, going to work, waking early with little kids, staying calm when you want to scream, etc.) And of course, doing it all without having to be prodded by someone else.

A grim view of adulthood.

However, I have recently changed my mindset on what it means to be a grown up to include this:

Being a grown up means doing the stuff that has to get done, so that your time and energy are available to do the thing you want to do. 

A better viewpoint, which allows that adults have the right to do the things that give them satisfaction and pleasure.

This differing definition of adulthood was swirling around in my head yesterday, as I had dedicated the day to being productive so that I could goof around and play the rest of the week. I made dental appointment, (and then sadly, went to the dentist as they had a 2:00 P.M. cancellation) mailed things off at the post office, made yogurt, cleaned the house, dropped stuff off, picked stuff up, gardened, arranged to cancel our home phone, (which will save us $38.42 per month!) and generally crossed off task after task from my to-do list from sunup to sundown.

By day’s end, my feet were throbbing, but my to-do list was completed.

This does not mean that today is a repeat performance. Instead it means that today I will get together with a friend to chat blogging and eat lunch, hang out with my boys and start planning the fun details of our imminent vacation. And tomorrow? Maybe more of the same.

Because after all, doing the things I love is what my adulthood is all about.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Van August 3, 2011 at 8:59 am

Your new definition mirrors my own. I’ve been trying to knock to-dos out of the way ASAP so I can schedule more time for fun and relaxation. This week I got too busy and floundered a bit, but the beauty is you can get right back on it and kick your to-do list in the face.

Aaand let me get back to doing that now. Great post and reminder 🙂


anotherhousewife August 3, 2011 at 9:07 am

“…doing the stuff that has to get done, so that your time and energy are available to do the thing you want to do.” I love this outlook. I might have to post this near the dirty dishes and in the laundry room for a reminder 🙂


Lucy August 3, 2011 at 9:14 am

I couldn’t agree more: “doing the things I love is what my adulthood is all about.” This is on my mind these days! Thanks as always for your great blog.


Claudia August 3, 2011 at 10:11 am

If there were a “like” button for this post, I’d definitely push it. Great concept.

Lately, I find it helpful to schedule in time for myself just the way I schedule in other important appointments, meetings, etc. It’s too easy not to take time for yourself if you’re just doing it ad-hoc.


Cate August 3, 2011 at 2:56 pm

I love this way of thinking.

Sometimes I do find it hard to be an adult, between worrying about bills, actually caring about having a reasonably tidy and clean house, and just generally being responsible day in and day out. But then I remember how envious I was of my parents when I was a kid just because they got to do totally awesome things like stay up as late as they wanted and buy what they wanted at the grocery store! I try to remember that I have a lot of freedom and really, I have a lot of fun pursuing my interests. I just need to do the dishes first.


Amy H. August 3, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Just had to comment to repeat that fantastic — and true! — sentence: “Because after all, doing the things I love is what my adulthood is all about.” Amen! And may we all remember that and apply it for ourselves.


Amy H. August 3, 2011 at 5:16 pm

Less serious side note — one of the first times I remember feeling ***truly*** like an adult was on my first (and so far only) trip to Italy when I was 31 and decided, one morning in Monterosso al Mare, that I could and would decide to have a very large jam cookie — and nothing else — for breakfast.


Christopher August 3, 2011 at 8:53 pm

“Pursue freedom and you will become a prisoner of your desire. Pursue diligence and you be be set free”


AnnW August 3, 2011 at 9:05 pm

Oh cr*p, someone else figured it out too! Don’t tell anyone. I try to do as little as possible so I can get in a lot of reading and blog reading. I stay busy all day. (My kids are grown)


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