In a previous column, I spoke about how do we as parents help encourage the development of a functioning adult – ability to pay bills, make good judgment, in other words, “carry themselves as an adult.” My grandparents often said this, especially when I was working in their dry cleaner as a teenager, “Laurie, you need to carry yourself as an adult.” Today, we hear the term “adulting” being thrown about, and while I have used it here and there, it is not one of my preferred current hip terms (for the record, ‘living your best life’ is my least favorite term – because if I’m living my best life taking a selfie superimposed with mouse ears, then I need to re-evaluate).
‘Adulting’ is a term that I take issue with because apparently, being an adult truly sucks. Nothing about ‘adulting’ is aligned with fun and frivolity. I never see a tweet that says, “At the Foo Fighter’s concert! So much fun! #adulting.” More likely it’s, “Home, paying bills. #wheresmywine? #adulting.” See what I mean?
If we are truly going to ‘live our best life’ then why does the idea of living our life in the most authentic way have to come with so much angst and anxiety about the doldrums that are necessarily part of life? Perhaps it’s because when we are #adulting we are largely alone. If we could #adult with others, whether it be weeding the lawn, or paying the bills, or making car insurance decisions, perhaps being an #adult could lead to #livingourbestlife.
I find the attraction of boutique fitness studios to be a very interesting phenomenon. While we used to be a country of bowling leagues and social clubs where members wore funny hats and did service (and drank beer), these have been replaced with kickboxing classes and spin studios. Some say it’s because we, as a nation of adults, want to be healthier. To an extent, I agree, but maybe we want to be with others we like when we are doing something that is hard and makes us uncomfortable.
Look, if I am looking to go to a bar or a concert, I can send out a group text or go on social media and find people to go with, and now, through boutique fitness studios, I have a very similar experience. It is a typical activity to post on a group chat, “Hey, I see Marvin is teaching the 9:00 am on Sunday, whose going?” and then, a flurry of responses light up my phone. “OMG he’s so damn hard, I can’t wait!” “Last time I took his class I couldn’t believe I made it through!” “OH YES! HE’S THE BEST!!” Having a group that supports you in something that is not for everyone has great value, because we all advance together.
I love having a washer dryer in my house. It is a necessity, especially with a family, but when I was a young adult, just graduated from college, I didn’t have a washer dryer in my apartment, so I had to go to a Laundromat. If you’ve never been to a Laundromat, let me tell you it is a paradise for #adulting. You need to do laundry, period. And therefore, for many, they don’t like it. I loved my Laundromat, because I would go the same day and time each week and see the same people. While it wasn’t a spin class, we bonded during spin cycles. We celebrated promotions and new jobs, commiserated over bad dates, and split the day’s newspaper discussing local stories and national crises.
As we #adult, why not seek out opportunities to #adult with one another over things that we need others for? Maybe it’s paying bills, or weeding the lawn, or laundry. If I got a group text that said, “Hey, I am going to head down to the Motor Vehicle Department to flip out my plates next week, anyone else need to go?” I may not jump at this as an amazing social event, but being that I have to update my Driver’s License, I would text back, “Count me in–#adultingtogether.”
Maybe the idea of #adulting would be better if we didn’t feel so obligated to just get shit done, and rather, had others to share these activities with, so we didn’t feel so alone and (possibly) miserable. I know there are people out there who love to pay bills, do laundry, weed gardens, even fight at the Motor Vehicle Department … Frankly, if we can match up people who like to do these things with others who need an #adultingtogether buddy, #adulting would be something we looked forward to.
As I consider life, I believe deeply that we don’t need to work to find people to celebrate with, but we do need to find the right people to #adult with.
Laura De Veau is an accomplished inspirational speaker, humorist and the life coach you didn’t realize you needed. With nearly 30 years of experience as an educator, she has seen it all, and doesn’t mind telling you what you need to hear. She lives in Boston with her family, and still cheers on the New York Yankees. You can engage with her on Twitter at @deveautrain, or ask her for advice in the comments section. Believe us, she loves to dish …