How do you know when you are an adult?

How do you know when you are an adult?

Sometimes there are rituals and ceremonies. You’ve graduated college. You’ve gotten married. You get to see a change has happened. It is celebrated.

Or there are other milestones. You’ve gotten your first “real” job. You’ve moved out on your own. You no longer need a cosigner for credit applications.

In some African cultures, women are marked when they reach certain points in their lives. You can tell who is married and who has had a child for instance by looking at the scars on their bodies.

We don’t have such visible markings here. Our changes are internal. You have to let people know you aren’t a child anymore. The only external mark is a wedding ring, and not even that guarantees that you are an adult.

It is good to be childlike, but not childish. You want to be able to be independent. That is a sign of a mature person.

I knew I was an adult when my parents died. We had a next door neighbor who was at least 70 years old. I was instructed to call her Mrs. Miles when I was growing up. When my parents died, I started calling her by her first name, Margaret. I didn’t even think twice about it. She didn’t correct me either. To call someone by their first name is to say you are equals. Previous to my parent’s death, we weren’t equals. But now we were. I’d gone through a trial by fire and come through (mostly) intact.

The sad thing is that my brother never got the message that I was an adult. He kept treating me as lesser. I was his little sister and he was determined to “keep me in my place.” It didn’t matter to him that I was 25, and had taken care of our Mom the whole time she was sick, and had handled the entire estate on my own.

To him, I was lesser and would always be. In reality, he was treating me as lesser to make himself feel better. He was pushing me down to raise himself up. He couldn’t accept the reality that his “kid” sister had done all the hard work and he’d run away from any responsibility. I’d proven I was an adult, and he’d proven he was a coward.

I refused to let him treat me as a child, and I still refuse it. I refuse to allow him or anyone to treat me in a disrespectful manner. If it means that the relationship has to be severed because of that, so be it. Life is too short to spend with people who are not kind. Life is too short to let people treat you like dirt.

Part of being an adult is putting a value on yourself and not letting anyone bid any lower than what you are worth. To let someone treat you badly is to tell them that is OK.

Now, to treat anyone as lesser is also a sign of immaturity. Part of being an adult is to know your own worth and to establish it. But it also doesn’t mean that you get to treat anybody else as beneath you.

If you are going outside, put a hat on. You’ll be happier.

Hats are the secret to happiness.

Now, I don’t mean any hat. Ball caps don’t work. You need something with a brim all around, like a fedora.

I’m a big fan of fedoras.

If it is raining outside, your head is dry. If it is cold outside, your head is warm. A wet, cold head is a bad way to spend your day. Best to avoid it. Wear a hat.

If it is sunny, the light isn’t shining in your eyes. You can angle it so you aren’t squinting. It makes for safer driving. Not squinting and not getting a lot of sunlight on your face means you aren’t getting wrinkles. How awesome is that?

Plus, wearing a cool hat is a great conversation starter. You get to meet all sorts of interesting people when you wear a hat.

Good Morning

I’m reassessing how I do my mornings. I have an alarm clock set for 6:30, but I don’t seem to be able to get out of bed until 7ish. It is very frustrating. I’d like to think that I am in control. It reminds me of my struggles with any addiction. There are things I want to do that I know are good for me, yet I seem helpless to do them.

So I’m thinking about it. Why can’t I get up? What is the problem?

I don’t need to get up that early. I just want to. I want to have more time to write or paint or do yoga. I deeply resent having to spend 40 hours of my week at work. That is a lot of my waking time. It is a lot of my life. Thirty hours would be reasonable but that isn’t an option. Not only is that not something my workplace will even consider because of how the pension plan is set up, I’m not sure we could afford that kind of pay cut.

I find that it is hard to get up early for several reasons.

I usually stay up late to read. I don’t have much time to read otherwise. Back to the 40 hour work week. My main chunks of time, other than work, are spent asleep. I shoehorn in exercise, visits with friends, and everything else I want to do or need to do. I don’t have a lot of time to read. Or I don’t make a lot of time. I read at lunch, but right before bed seems to be the best. I’m not in a rush. Sometimes at night I really get into a book though and it is hard to stop. Then I don’t get enough sleep and I’m tired in the morning.

Another issue is my husband. He has to leave for work before I do but it is always a scene of frazzlement in our house when he is getting ready. The center of our house is the kitchen. It is where our computers are, and where he has all his work gear. It is the biggest room in our tiny house.

If I try to start my day while he is trying to leave the house it is the exact opposite of calm for me. It is not a good start for my day to be in that whirlwind. Ideally, he’d leave earlier, but running late is his normal. I can fight it or accept it and just get out of the way and not let this train run me over.

So I’m trying this. I’ve brought my Kindle into the bedroom. I can write for a bit, out of the madness that is the morning here. I can choose to start my day calmly.

It isn’t about the situation. It is about my reaction to the situation. That’s the key to everything. I can fight it or work with it or around it. My choice.