Adulting

Being an adult is really nothing like I thought it would be when I was little.

I remember feeling like there would be nothing better than to be a grown-up. Nobody told them what to do. They could eat whatever and whenever they wanted without having to ask. They got to drink soda. They didn’t have a bed time. They didn’t have to worry about what shows they watched because no one was going to tell them to turn it off because it was “smut”.

Adults don’t have to live with their siblings and “get along”. They don’t have to refrain from “snotty tones” or rolling their eyes. They get to boss people around without being told “quit being bossy.”

I thought becoming a grown up would somehow be like getting let into an exclusive cool club of non-stop awesome.

Not quite.

In fact, there are times when being an adult really sucks the big one.

There are a multitude of little reasons of course–like people really do tell us what to do (they are called our bosses and the government), eating whatever we want makes us unhealthy, eating whenever we want means we are up all night with a gut-ache, drinking soda will probably kill us, bed time is actually earlier than when we were kids, and, well, Ok. We do get to watch whatever TV program we want–as long as the small children are in bed, which means no, we don’t.

But there are bigger things too.

The pain of having experience sometimes stinks. Knowing our kids (and students) are going to go through stupid crap because that is what middle school and high school and even sometimes elementary school is sometimes.

The pain of losing people to moving, breakups, divorce, and even death.

The way pain and loss are juxtaposed with every day, mundane things. Adulting is weird.

Today I went to a funeral. After that funeral, Cortney took me out for lunch. Then I had to buy the boys winter boots.

It’s just strange how one minute you are feeling a great loss and feeling like your insides are going to come out of your eyes, and the next you are talking about the Christmas shopping budget over sandwiches with your spouse. Then you are comparing boot sizes and prices.

How is that possible all in one day?

As a kid, if something made me hurt, I felt my hurt. I crawled in bed and hurt until I didn’t anymore. And chances are that whatever made me hurt was nothing compared to the death of a colleague or watching middle schoolers lose someone that was like family to them. And yet I could hurt as long as I needed because I had no one else I was responsible for.

Being an adult means I hurt, then I move on because there are four other people in this house depending on me to help keep life going.

I hug co-workers and smile through tears about the love Abbey spread in her short life. Then I decide between zip or tie boots.

I don’t really know where I am going with this–which I suspect is another side effect of being an adult. I just know today was weird.

the birthday blahs

On Wednesday it’s my birthday.  I’ll be 35.

As someone who is in love with attention (come on, this is not news), my birthday has been one of my most favorite days of the entire year for pretty much my entire life.

In college, I would skip class (sorry, mom) and use the excuse “it’s my birthday!” to do whatever I wanted.

Even in my 20’s, my birthday was a fun day.  Maybe I didn’t get to skip responsibilities and just hang out or sleep or do whatever, but it was always my goal for the day to be awesome.

This year is different.

I’m not looking forward to it all.  It’s not that it’s because I’ll be 35.  Age quit mattering to me once I hit 21 and there was nothing to look forward to that was connected with that number. I don’t feel old and I don’t feel young.  I feel in the middle, which is what 35 is.

This is a tricky thing to write about because by admitting what I’m going to admit, it sounds like I am A) whining for more attention and B) giving Cort a passive-aggressive hint. Neither of which I am trying to do.

But if I continue to say, “oh, it doesn’t matter,” I am lying.  It does matter. At least to me.

So here it goes, and I guess take it for what it is, but my birthday is already disappointing me.

I LOVE BIG DEALS AND SURPRISES!

{see, I even put that in all caps so you can get my jazz hands that I am doing with that}

On my 32nd birthday, Cort and my BFF who lives in Chicago organized a birthday weekend.  We spent the weekend having birthday extravaganza.  Saturday included mani/pedis with my best friends, lunch, starbucks, and then getting cute to go out for dinner at the most awesomely COLORFUL restaurant (Carnival) ever.  The entire weekend = jazz hands.

My bestie decided that since I was pregnant on my 29th bday (ending in miscarriage) and my 30th (ending in miscarriage) and 31st (Eddie!) that I was due for BIG FUN.  Cort wholeheartedly agreed.

I don’t expect that every year.  I really don’t. We don’t have that kind of money or resources for that.

But it seems like since becoming a “real” adult, birthdays just aren’t as magical anymore unless you put lots of planning and money toward them…which we don’t have.  And I just don’t want to plan my own birthday anymore.  That was fine when I was single…or even before we had kids and a million obligations and were living on a food/sleep schedule set by small people.

I mean, my birthday is on a Wednesday.

I have to work.  The boys need to be picked up from daycare. Dinner needs to be had. Bedtime will have to be done.  And then our bedtime so I can get up and go to work again the next day.

Cort asked me if I wanted to go out for dinner as a family that night.  Not really.  That is a huge pain in the butt with two little kids, and not relaxing in the least. We did that for Charlie’s birthday and it was really all I could handle for a while.

So he asked me what I wanted him to make for dinner.  I don’t know. I sort of don’t care.  It won’t make the day special for me to have anything in particular.

It’s just going to be Wednesday.

I guess what I wish is that it wasn’t going to be “just Wednesday”.

That somehow it was going to be extraordinary. Magical.

That magically my entire house would be clean and fresh.

That I would get to be pampered.

That I could rest.

But I know that is not feasible.  That is not going to happen.

I know, this is horribly depressing and sounds incredibly ungrateful.  I know.

But I started dodging questions about my birthday a month ago and now that it’s just days away, I am getting sad.

I cried at Charlie’s birthday for one because my baby is One, but also because I was mourning the magic of birthdays for myself.  March was always my month.  Now it’s his month.

I am good with this.  I know it doesn’t sound like it, but I am.  I was planning on sharing, but it just isn’t about me anymore.

And I wouldn’t want to change that.

Except I am grieving it a bit.

Maybe part of being an adult means giving up part of your childhood so you can give your kids an awesome childhood.

Or maybe not.  Maybe I am just being stupid and emotional and a brat.

Maybe it’s just the time of year and the weather this year; winter showed up late and is hanging on with all its gloomy, depressing might.

I really don’t know.

What I do know is that I am grumpy about my birthday for the first time in a decade and I wish I wasn’t.

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