Adulting when you least want to

Adulting isn’t my favourite activity. Far from it. But, sometimes I can’t help it. I look around and see things that I guess are nobody else’s to do.

It’s like all eyes on me, except the room is empty. That’s adulting in a nutshell: when you’ve got nobody left to delegate to or blame.

I once read an indelible truth. When a child is having a meltdown in the middle of a busy mall, nobody judges you because your child is having a tantrum. They decide about you based on the merits of your reaction. If you remain calm, people feel you are in control. If you are freaking out, worried about what people will think about your poorly behaved tot, they’ll only see your lack of self-moderation.

The same is true when nobody is watching, and that’s the hard part. That’s the adulting part. When you have a ten-year-old who acts like he’s four and you’re not sure if it’s because he just doesn’t get it or if he just can’t, you can’t help but lose it (over and over, again).

But, what good does getting angry or frustrated do? It does it matter what anybody else is thinking, or what resources are available. The only thing that matters is that you can pull it together and start adulting, whether you like it or not.

I can’t say I’m very good at it but, I try. I try hard. I try to stay calm. But, I shout and scream and crack more often that I think is fitting. I’m almost positive that sometimes I do more harm than good.

Then again, maybe not. Because no matter what, that room still has only me in it. When I look around, it’s still all eyes on me. So, I keep going. Only sometimes, I cry. I sob giant crocodile tears for all the times I don’t manage to adult well enough and there isn’t single a crystal ball, magic eight ball or fortune cookie that will do me the favour of telling me if I’m on the right track.

I can’t even Google it…

So, in the end, my body starts to tell me a different story. It starts to hurt, and that hurt is a reminder that all things end. Even me. I’ll end. One day, I’ll stop. And if I don’t calm down, I’ll finish faster than I’d like.

So, that’s the other thing about adulting. It’s about finally figuring out that you aren’t supposed to find a way to be calm for anybody else’s sake. It isn’t because you should be worried about what people think of you. It’s because if you want to see the fruit of your labours if you’re going to find the answers that only time will be generous enough to reveal; you’d better learn to live as many days as you can before either your mind or your heart gives out.

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