Friday, June 1, 2012

Friday's List....what I like about being a grown up (and what I don't like)

I started this post weeks ago. Seriously.
So, since it's now Friday and 'life is good again' (for now) I thought I'd finally post it. I kept the dislikes to a minimum. Erring on the side of the positive!

What I like:
Living alone. Well, I am married now but you know what I mean. Not living with my family of origin.
Not in a bad way or anything. Just in a "this is my life I'm a grown-up and I run this ship" type of way. 
Maybe I mean more along the lines of having my own space. I leave things here, I leave things there. I eat whatever.

Speaking of eating whatever. Remember when you had to find out what you were having for dinner when you got home from school? I like controlling whatever I eat. No matter how weird it might be, ie, chicken four nights in a row, creative leftovers, that kind of thing.
Eating saltines at my desk at work. Because I can. It's not like high school where the teachers lost their minds if you so much as sipped water at your desk (I wonder if it's still like that?). We used to 'sneak-eat' when they showed movies.
No bedtime. I mean, I am an epic sleeper, but I can go to sleep whenever. Getting up is enforced Monday to Friday but weekends are all mine. I hear my friends with kids talk about how tired they are and I realize how lucky I am. The secret to anti-aging is not creams and potions and gels. It's sleep. I'm convinced of it.

Choices. I think this is my favourite part of being a grown-up and the first three points do kind of come right back to this.  The saddest thing is when people hit their twenties and just plod along with the life everyone else is living, ie, 'veil-brain' as I call it, then hit the kid-train, and think that once they have the husband, the house, the kids, that all will be well. Oh life has so many plans for all of us, doesn't it?
My sis and I were discussing this on the weekend. Discussing how there are so many people who don't know about that part of life yet (Shiver. It's a sucky part of life. In some ways I'm glad I got stuck with knowing that as young as I was).
But back to choices. The best part about them is that you have so many options living in a free country.
Move. Don't move. Work. Work somewhere else. Take up running. Don't take up running. Volunteer. Do something for someone else. Cheer someone on. Make new friends. Look outside your 1.5 existence. Go on vacation. Stop whining.
Do something.
Make it something you WANT to do.

Speaking of family of origin. Being mature enough to not blame some of the missteps on your parents. Step away from that invisible white picket fence. Better?

Dreams. All yours. Well, I guess for most people they are tied up with a thing called family, but if you're lucky enough to still be living your own life, you can look beyond the mortgage, the kids' college fund, and know that you need dreams, you deserve dreams, and you can't put things off to a glorified future where you may or may not be able to enjoy it. You have to enjoy life right now. Period.

Having tastes, likes, dislikes, and not having to do things 'just because'. For instance: I hate most group activities, and am inherently lazy on the weekends. Given the choice, I will most often opt for spending time on my own, running, sunning, reading, or celebrating cocktail hour. I hate driving places on the weekend, I hate kids' birthday parties, I hate grocery shopping on Saturdays, I hate crowds, I hate eating brunch or lunch. However, there are lots of activities I do love. Running being at the top of the list, and hanging with my sister in her backyard or with her kids at my place. Sushi. Thai food. Dinner. Drinks. Reading a novel all in one sitting. Watching hours of TV with a magazine and a bag of chips. Painting my nails over and over. Buying music.
Knowing all these things. That's one of the best things too. Also, knowing that not everyone is lucky enough to know these things. And some of them never will. Scary (but true) thought.

What I don't like:
Sometimes, being a grown-up involves an awful lot of dishonesty. Think about it. It does. As much as I don't like it, sometimes I have to be a participant. White lies, blog posts you can't publish, things you can't admit, not even to friends.  For instance--one of my friends has finally hit the nail on the head--her daughter's birthday party was last week. She had a day-time party (ugh). She didn't invite me. I have one thing to say: THANK YOU. Day-time parties, especially for kids, are so not my thing.
Same with cottage weekends with kids running around (I will rsvp an immediate 'no' as soon as I get these kind of invites).

How serious everything gets after, let's say, age thirty. For me, things were also serious before age thirty, what with relationship-wreckage everywhere, a broken heart that I allowed to take years from me, a crime I was victim to that I allowed to do the same; when I face things, I allowed my twenties to steam-roll me in a way I tried to avoid in my thirties. Oddly, though, it wasn't until my thirties that real anxiety took hold of me. Then, throw in parental health problems (always a way to speed up the aging process. You haven't lived until you've gone through this. Unless you have a sick child. Then you're there. Both of those things: the worst.)
So yea, the serious-ness of situations, the scariness of life, the past which can haunt you, and those experiences you'd like to 'clean slate' out of your memory record but can't.
Other seriously adult experiences involve deaths of loved ones, divorces, car accidents, near-misses, real loneliness...they all add up to a heaviness that can sometimes really feel like a weight that can be crushing.
Case in point my own recent health 'crisis'. Not a crisis at all really, but problematic to me.
I've had alot of support from friends and family over this. New friends, old friends, Mike of course, my sis, my mom. I stopped to think about how abundantly people have cared--sending emails, texts, calling, asking after me. So I add that to the LIKE LIKE LIKE pile--having all those people in your life that you love surround you, the real relationships thickening over years, the less important ones fading.

It's Friday.
It's all good.

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