Sunday, January 1, 2012

Impersonating an adult

I turn 36 this month. That's like...old. Like middle age old. My 16 year old self would think I am ancient. People tell me I don't look that old. Good genes and moisturizing sunscreen on my face every day since I was 16. I also stay out of the sun as much as possible because I burn super easily. I once got a sunburn walking across a parking lot in Arizona in the summer.

Okay, back to the old. I know I'm not really old when it comes down to it. But I'm a full time resident of adult land. I am paying a bank to stay in my house rather than a landlord. I have a career. I'm married and have children and a pet that wasn't won at a fair. All these strike me as characteristics of adulthood. If I was a bird, and a birdwatcher was trying to classify me, all these are things what would indicate that I am a full-fledged (hahahahaaa) member of the species adultus humanus.

And yet. I have Playmobil goats on my desk. The required good Mormon Christus statue sits next to a sculpture of a meditating elephant.  One of my favorite Christmas presents this year is a miniature spirograph. I like to color. I wear funky socks under my work pants. I shot my husband with a squirt bottle this morning.

These are not things that I think of when I think of an adult. But I'm not sure why. Whoever said that being an adult meant being boring? Who says I can't wear polka dot socks as I lecture about Plato? Nobody. Or at least nobody that I feel like listening to.

Somebody I do like listening to said “In all of living have much of fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured.” Gordon B. Hinckley, “Stand True and Faithful,” Ensign, May 1996, 91. I am going to enjoy life as an adult. Maybe that means by some standards I will not be an "adult." If that is the case, then I am going to just impersonate an adult. That way, I don't really have to be one, I can just act like it when needed.

So this is my plan for the year - to impersonate an adult.

What does an adult look like in my mind?

An adult takes care of herself.
An adult cares for those people and objects in her stewardship.
An adult knows her limits, and her horizons, and does not confuse the two.
An adult has at least as many laugh lines as wrinkles.
An adult finds joy in small things.
An adult knows that all sadness passes.
An adult has a place for all things, and all things (usually) are in their place.
An adult is more tortoise than hare.
An adult has a roadmap for the future, but also takes scenic detours.
An adult has passions, rather than fads.

So this is my journey this year. To become an adult on my terms, rather than someone else's. I'll be blogging some of the things I do to make this happen, so if you want to be an adult on my terms, you can. I really encourage you to come up with your own, though. It is much more satisfying.


Ruby Hill said...

I understand what you mean. I am barely turning 24. I used to think my YW leaders were old when they said they were 26. You definitely don't look over 30 so I'm going to take your advice on the sunscreen even though I don't burn very easily. Much love! -Ruby

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