Raise your hand if, as a child, you ever said, "I can't wait until I'm grown up!" or "Grown ups have all the fun!"
Okay, now that we most of the internet with their hands raised, let's ask this question.
How many of you want to go back and slap 10 year old you because that kid had no idea what was in store! Good, I see I still have many of you with me.
Adulting is hard. Adulting is rough. Adulting really should be it's own verb. It's not what most of us dreamed of as kids. But is it all bad? No! Is it tricky? Heck yes! Which is why sometimes you'll still find me in a blanket for with my teddy bear and some ice cream.
But, despite all the bad rap it gets, being an adult can be pretty awesome. Granted, I only have 12 legal years of being an adult to back me up, but I've come a long ways in those 12 years. I wanted to grow up, got a taste of growing up and decided I didn't like it, tried to pretend I wasn't growing up, and then realized that growing up really doesn't have to be bad!
I've been thinking on this for the past month after receiving an email from Personal Capital about this very topic. So many people want to stay in Neverland, but it's time to embrace adulthood and get our grown up on! It's not as bad as it seems!
So, here are my 10 tips to being an adult that I try to follow. I'm not saying I'm perfect at doing all of these all the time. Far from it. But I find that as I try to follow these tips, my life is better, as is the life of my family. Some are fun. Some are just logical.
1. Don't Feed the Drama Llama
Drama Llamas. Trolls. Chip on the Shoulders. Haters. Whatever name you want to give them. We all know them. There's often one down the street. And we all have them on our social media accounts here and there. And all we want to do when they post up something offensive, ridiculous, or contrary to your beliefs is to comment and right the "wrong". Don't. Don't feed the Drama Llama. It is always hungry, no matter what. Raise you hand if your convictions were ever changed by an argument on Facebook? Not many hands I see out there. How many engaged in one and left with hurt feelings, anger, or even damaged relationships? Lots more hands just shot up. Don't feed it. Show restraint and maturity and just don't.
Oooh, the B word. "Dave Ramsey is ruining my life!" a friend joked on social media the other day. Budgeting is hard. Budgeting isn't fun. But budgeting seriously saves your life. We are horrible budgeters. Horrible with a capital H. Why? Because it's hard and we get lazy. Not a good excuse. I know that. So we are working on it. Reading Dave Ramsey. Setting up rules. Trying to do better! Living in a tiny house taught us a lot. It was worth it to save that money. "Live like no one else now, so later you can live like no one else!" -Dave Ramsey And now we live away from the fast food and quick trips to Walmart...which is really going to help us learn to stay on budget better!
3. Take a road trip.
Grab your family, your kids, your best friend, your mom, your dog, or your Grandma, and go. It doesn't have to be far. It doesn't even have to be overnight. But get out and go. You've heard me talk before about how doing and seeing new things bonds people together. It's true. Put some good tunes on the radio, grab something yummy (and legal behind the wheel!) to drink, and get on the road. A big key to this one though...put down the phones. You can't make memories if you're staring at your phone the whole time. Talk. Laugh. Enjoy!
This one is huge. It doesn't happen much these days. When you've hurt someone, physically or emotionally. Apologize. Sincerely. Without excuses. Excuses cheapen the "sorry". Be the first to apologize.
5. Learn that you don't find Happiness, you Make It!
Too many get out of college with their big bad degrees and hit the world, thinking they are walking into dream jobs and dream lives. For a few, it happens. For many, it doesn't. And for some this is completely soul shattering. They based all their happiness on landing their dream job with their dream spouse in their dream house. And they can't be happy until they reach their next milestone. If you're waiting for something to make you happy, it won't happen. Choose to be happy now.
6. Buy a piece of furniture, without going into debt.
I can't tell you how grown up I felt when we bought our first brand new piece of furniture. Well, something not from Walmart. Choosing the color, the style, and the fabric of the couch felt like such a grown up decision. But even more, buying it and paying cash. Knowing our limit and sticking to it, even though that put the most BEAUTIFUL couch off the list of possibles, was key. We felt proud of ourselves that we'd saved enough to get us a new couch, and one that looked good, and didn't put it on a credit card or start store credit for it.
7. Plan for the future.
Make a rainy day fund. Put 72-hour kits together. Set up a retirement account. Learn to can tomatoes. Don't have those resources yet? Keep you car gassed up so you can get to a friend or family member's house if disaster does strike. I'm not saying go mooch off your family and never prepare! I'm saying to do what you can at the moment, always taking steps (even if they are baby baby steps). Gas in the tank can be step one. A rainy day fund can be step two. Take it bite by bite! But plan ahead, because life has a way of stirring things up when we get too settled. Broken pipes and a flooded house. Extended unemployment. Foreclosure. Natural disasters. Retirement. Big family vacations. Nest Eggs. Just plan, and then do the work to make the plan doable!
8. Bake a cake. From scratch!
(I did not make this cake! Trust me, mine would look disastrous. You've seen our cake attempts! This was made by Cakes with TLC).
Most of us aren't chefs. Many of us bake a cake that you pour out of a box (and I know I'll burst a few people's bubble here...baking a cake from a Betty Crocker cake mix is not baking a cake from scratch...start with the cookbook and pull out the bag of flour!). Some of us even are able to burn ice. Even if it's not pretty (and most won't be - this is Pinstrosity after all), you'll feel accomplished. And bonus points if you give it to someone. They'll love the extra time and thought that went into it!
9. Build people up
Think of two groups of people, each stuck in a pit. In pit #1 the people are all climbing and clamoring over one another, pulling each other down in an attempt to climb to the top first and to get out ahead of everyone. The are all worried about themselves. In pit #2 they are all working together to help everyone climb and rise. They give boosts and before long they are all out of the pit. Which pit do you want to be in? Me? #2 all the way! Don't tear people down. It doesn't make anyone stronger. It doesn't do any good. Be the Good in the World. "A rising tide lifts all boats." -JFK
10. Keep building blanket forts.
Keep your heart young. Growing up doesn't mean putting away your adventures, suppressing your joy, getting stuffy, and living a boring life. Growing up is just the opposite! It's an adventure all on it's own. One that has twists and turns, bumps and bruises, joys and heartaches, and sometimes the GPS doesn't quite work right. It takes work to be an adult (because I believe that being an adult is way more than just turning 18), but all good things take work. And this, this wonderful life we've been given, is worth the work!