In the United States, you are considered a legal adult at 18. But… “Age is just a number!” Adulthood can hit you at any time. I’ve known some 13-year-olds to be more mature than some 35-year-olds. How can this be? It’s because maturity is not dependant on your chronological years or how long you have been on this planet. It depends on your own experiences and mentality. Do you think you made it to adulthood yet? Here are three relatable ways you can know that you have been adulting.
1. Goals Over Immediate Pleasure
Your friend calls you and asks you out to dinner to the latest trendy hot spot. You know the dinner will cost easily $80 if you get an entree and a couple of glasses of wine. Looking at your bank account, you have the money. You’ve been saving for your next car so, technically, you could take $80 from your $1500 already saved. But No! That new Toyota in your mind looks too good. After telling your friend that you are staying in tonight despite her huffs and puffs, you hang up the phone.
The moment you pushed the red circle to hang up, might be the very moment you just adulted. Putting your immediate pleasure behind you for long-term goals is a sure fire way to know you are adulting. Starting to eat healthy when the burger and fries look so delicious. Waking up at 6 am for a run when the bed feels so good. Long nights at the library to complete your degree. Staying home to save money as opposed to a night of drinking and debauchery. All signs that you value your goals and that you are adult enough to listen to your head over your impulses.
2. Sleep Is A Reward in Adulthood
Remember the days where sleep as a kid was the worst thing that could happen to you. Today when I see parents tell their kids its nap time or bedtime, it results in instant tears. If you still want to party until 4 am and go to work at 8 am, then adulting may not be for you yet. But if you sit at work and can only dream about your soft pillows and warm blanks, adulthood is knocking at your door.
I had a conversation with a coworker the other day who is in his 60s. He arrives to work at 4 am to start his shift. He was telling me that he is happy to get off work early as a reward for coming in early. I asked him how he can get up so early. He said, “When you get my age, your priority changes.” He explained that when you are young you want to “run the streets” but when you get my age, “You know to let your body rest.” So if your idea of a nice Friday night is to curl up and watch a good movie and you feel that rest is a reward for a long week of rest, you’ve reached adulthood. Don’t get me wrong, a good loud and rowdy party can be fun sometimes. But adulting means you can find enjoyment in sleep and rest too.
3. Enjoyment Of The Little Things
Cleaning, Laundry, and decorating your home. As a kid, these tasks were annoying and felt useless. Why make the bed when it will be messed up again tonight? I would ask my mother. But now, the joys of a freshly washed and neat bed fills my heart with warmth. These simple things make me so happy. A night of laundry used to be such a chore. Now, the smell of fabric softener and warm laundry is so refreshing. Long bubble baths and hot showers. The sweet smell of a burning scented candle. Waking up early to enjoy a cup of coffee with the sunrise. A hug from your child. Brunch with a friend you haven’t seen in years. These simple pleasures are ones that make life living. It keeps the soul alive. Before Adulting, I didn’t realize how much enjoyment I would get with these little gifts in life.
Even if you are 16 and you relate to these then you are adulting, my friend. Being an adult doesn’t necessarily have to be the legal age of 18. Some of you late bloomers will need to wait til 30 to feel this way. Working on goals, wanting to rest your body, and enjoying the little things, help you realize that you have reached the state of adulthood. Too bad this also means we are now responsible for our own bills!
Do you agree with these three relatable ways? Was there a specific moment in your life when you knew you reached adulthood? Let me know in the comments!
If you enjoyed this topic about adulting, read my previous post: Adulting: No ONE warned us!