How do I adult?

I went to the grocery store. Now I have to cook, UGH. While I was at the grocery store, I wasn’t cleaning the bathroom or calling my mother or reviewing an article.

All I want to do is read books all the time when I’m not at work. Just because I have SO MANY great books and reading books is awesome and fun.

Now I need to go buy cat food and pick up a package but first I have to sit in this chair for 8 hours.

How do you adult?

24 Responses to “How do I adult?”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    Just yesterday I was talking to a customer I know well and I told him I was taking today off to catch up on yard work because it has been so rainy on the weekends. He said “You know you’re an adult when you take vacation time to do chores.”

    The main reason I go away for vacation is that I am physically incapable of relaxing when I am home. There are just endless projects and chores. I just see all that needs or be done. Although I really enjoy gardening, sometimes it’s good to just truly relax and not be tired all the time. (It usually only happens when I am ill. I am trying harder to rest before I get sick and it’s helping.).

    That mindset of continuous improvement has been in place all my life at home. There always something that needs to be cleaned or painted and I am still in fixer upper phase in my current home with no end in sight for years.

    The main way I cope is by scheduling In fun. If I don’t carve out fun time, it doesn’t happen. I also use some of my vacation time to do house projects so it’s not eating up every weekend of the rest of the year.

    Ugh. Still have to finish getting kids signed up for summer camps speaking of which.

    I could afford to farm out a lot more but would rather save that money for the kid’s education. Maybe when the 529 accounts get fat I will do less. I also tend not to want to farm out activities that can also count as exercise. With my sedentary job, it feels good to move.

    • chacha1 Says:

      LOL at the tags on this one.

      First Gen and I are basically the same person. I am really bad at relaxing at home. The PROJECTS are always right up there in my face. So I also have to schedule fun.

      It took me six months to adjust to my new commute and accept the fact that I just won’t get anything done after work anymore (though with longer spring/summer days, I can spend an hour pullling weeds if I so choose, as in fact I did last night. At least that gets me outside and is not sedentary). Until I made that mental switch I was stressing out about not being productive after work! Loco.

  2. yetanotherpfblog Says:

    Sometimes I vaguely wish I got colds more often so I had an excuse to do nothing and rest all day. No advice, many sympathies though.

  3. Leah Says:

    I’m hiring a personal organizer to help me adult my house. Dealing with my clutter is overwhelming. It colors everything for us and contributes to the feeling of not being able to relax at home. She came for 10 hours over spring break, and it was an improvement. She’s coming for 8 more soon to help clear out our office.

    I think what I’m trying to say is that it’s okay to get help with being an adult sometimes, especially if things feel overwhelming.

    • monsterzero Says:

      About three years ago, we started having cleaners come in every other week and Sweetie is so much happier now! Also it helps remind me to get all the dishes done instead of just some of them because we want to pay them to clean surfaces and not to do dishes.

  4. Cloud Says:

    I go in cycles. For one cycle, I struggle to get things done. I do the bare minimum to keep things running, and things like “fill out the medical forms for camp” sit on my to do list and taunt me for weeks. Then something changes (I don’t know what. God I wish I knew what) and suddenly I power through my list of chores and then some and feel like the most grown up adult ever. If I ever figure out what kicks me over into “just get this sh** done” mode I will be so happy! The thing that kills me is that once I get going on the long-put off items on my list, they take so little time. I don’t know why I sometimes just do not want to deal with them!

  5. rose Says:

    1. Leah: I would be very interested in hearing more about how the organizer helped you, what approach or knowledge did she have (in generic terms not the personal details) that make it easier for you to make progress. What happened when it was the two of you that wouldn’t have happened by yourself (or what did not happen ).
    2. Adult-ing about what needs to be done: I find lists helpful, both what has to happen re tasks and what needs to happen for my humanity. Putting time it will take to ‘do’ tasks also helps. As singleton parent it is/was all on me. So there was no choice, choice can make things harder. You set the standards and keep moving.
    In two adult (or older children present in home) it can be helpful to have a permanently posted list of things that can be done in 3-5 minutes where u can enter initials each time something is done. (make bed, take out garbage from kitchen, clear all trash containers in bathrooms, put away clean dry dishes, switch clothes from washer to dryer, sort clean clothes, fold/put away clean clothes, wipe down counters, pick up all dishes and put in kitchen, clear dirty dishes in kitchen to dishwasher or wash and put in drainer, put away all shoes/jackets, misplaced belongings in common rooms, etc.) Even young children can learn to use a 3 minute timer to clean up/get set for the morning. The regular tiny chores done routinely make a HUGE difference allowing blocks of time for other things.
    I include 30 minutes of free reading on longer time task list, it may be a tv show for you. Trips to park, garden work, vacuum, exercise, calling friends, getting summer camps organized, grocery shopping, that stuff for work that didn’t happen at work, etc. Short term and longer term projects, one time things and routine obligations.
    “Adulting” involves responsible behaviors and being clear about Needs versus Wants….. then doing the Needs first.

    • Leah Says:

      The particular organizer I’ve worked with has been really great and helpful. Before we even started, we went around the house and identified problem areas. Even that was good, because I fixed a few small things before she came over the next time.

      Then, when she came to work with me, she first set up bins (trash, donate, and place elsewhere). She’s not pushy, and she doesn’t really insist I give up anything specific. She does keep me focused and on task, which I find super helpful. She asks me a lot of questions, like “Explain how this item is useful,” but not in a confrontational manner. As I was explaining, I sometimes realized I didn’t really need an item, and then it was easy to pitch. I normally find that sort of evaluation hard when it’s just me thinking about stuff. We did things like go through a specific closet, and we emptied out the entire closet, sorted items into piles, and then dealt with it all. So, the task completion aspect has been helpful. It’s harder to get derailed when you’re paying someone $40 an hour to help you clean, and she also pushed me to deal with things/make a decision (not a specific decision, but she’d say “okay, now you need to decide about X.”).

      It’s the kind of thing one might do with a good friend, but all my good friends have small kids (as do I) and a dearth of time. So it has been great for me to have a person to help, even if it ultimately costs me a good chunk of change.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        I would so love that job. If you’ve ever seen the Big Bang theory episode where they get Sheldon to go to a party by promising he can organize the host’s closet that is so me.

      • Leah Says:

        I don’t mind (and often even like) organizing for someone else. I’m pretty tickled at the idea of helping someone else organize a closet. For my own self, it’s torture. I get stuck in my head and can’t ever part with anything, and then I get overwhelmed at how much stuff I have and what to do with all of it. Mostly, I’m paying to increase efficiency and just get it done already.

  6. Lisa Says:

    One of the things I love about adulting is when something happens that makes you look back and notice how many more things you can handle now than you used to be able to handle. When I first moved out on my own, paying the bills and feeding myself took some getting used to. Then we bought a house and had a whole other set of adult-y things to handle. Then a dog, then a baby… it just keeps coming. It is satisfying now to look back and realize that my skill set and bandwidth have expanded substantially. I remind myself of this when I am feeling overwhelmed about something. Like the fact that I forgot to put the soup in the crockpot to cook this morning, so we don’t really have a dinner plan for tonight. Pancakes for dinner, anyone?

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      We literally had pancakes for dinner last night. (Except me– I had a WW English muffin with peanut butter because I’m trying to be better about refined carbs.)

    • Jenny F. Scientist Says:

      We call that ‘breakfast for dinner’ and it features in the regular meal rotation in my house! We almost never have pancakes for breakfast because children, though.

    • rose Says:

      What a brilliantly positive approach to the whole thing. I AM amazingly more competent now!!!!!!! What a happy note for the end of a day when I spilled all the raw dinner ingredients all over the floor and got to clean it and myself up all by myself. I AM MORE COMPETENT. I cleaned it without a tear… only swore once. Made myself another dinner.
      Blessings on your head!

      • Lisa Says:

        Now THIS is adulting! Way to go – you can totally handle a spilled dinner with no tears. Glad I could cheer someone up! :)

    • Anu Says:

      This is so true! I was a really incompetent early 20s year old – used to overdraft my checking account, didn’t know how to use a washing machine or open a can (I know, I know, I was an over privileged and shelter education child) but I now have a baby, a mortgage and both work full time and I do the juggle with the best of them.

  7. delagar Says:

    I remember when I was in graduate school, I had this rule for myself — I could do only one thing per weekend. Like, if I had to mail a package to my brother in the army, that was it, that was all I could do that weekend. Or if I had to see a doctor to get my synthroid scrip renewed, that was all I could do that weekend.

    Now it’s one thing a DAY. :D

  8. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    I cram everything I need to get done for myself, the dogs, our home, and work into ten hours a day. I save all my reading for the evening after bath and bedtime, when I used to work a third shift, and now I understand why people used to tell me they couldn’t do it – they shut down after 8 pm.

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