Adulting and the wisdom of (middle) age
I have now officially been an adult longer than a child, having turned 36 last month. By my calculations I have crossed the threshold and well on my way to be an expert on adulting. Some have said in response to these claims: “what about maturity?” I retort — that’s unmeasurable — so let’s just go off age…
4 key things learned on a journey to adulthood
In the spirit of adulthood, I wanted to share some thoughts for both sides – younger and older – some things I have found to be true over the years. To get us in the mood to wax philosophical: imagine the theme song to The Joy of Painting with Bob Ross playing in the background. I suggest a theme song to everything we do, but that’s a freebie and not part of the official list. Enough gibberish, here we go:
1. Community is a priceless commodity. Being the social animals that we are, we need meaningful human interaction. I’m not talking about Insta-friends, I’m speaking about true relationships. Where you feel that your soul is knitted to another in friendship or love. I think of the people in my life that share enjoyable moments in equal parts to difficult times. These are people that drop everything to bear each other’s burdens. It’s easy to find friends willing to enjoy themselves during good times, but a different story when they’ll to get in the mud of life to pick you up. This commodity will spoil without care or attention.
2. Transparency. We don’t come by honesty honestly, at least not all the time. It can be a more difficult practice for some than others. But don’t misunderstand me, it is very much a daily practice or an exercise. Our default is self-preservation: “what will others think” or “what if they are upset.” The exercise of someone knowing who you truly are is a life with freedom and gives people proper expectations. Living life in full view of others, not in a self-aggrandizing or spiteful way, but rather in humility and eagerness. I believe this goes hand in hand with community.
3. Everything with Intention. When I entered the business of finance as a financial advisor, I realized that I needed a goal. I couldn’t just peddle products aimlessly with no enjoyment or positive effect on humanity. How was I going to leave my mark? When I started, the national savings rate was abysmal, in fact I think it was almost nil. I knew I most likely wouldn’t affect national averages, but I could affect my city and my clients for the positive. Why are we nurses, teachers, sales people, managers, or owners? I whole-heartedly believe that we are here to make a positive impact on the world around us. There will always be people ahead, behind, alongside, and after us. I believe that we should step into every task as though it does matter, and it will have value to someone.
4. Please have patience. This is one of the most difficult things we tackle in our home as parents. Asking an individual (adult or child) to put down their own time table in efforts to fit the needs of another. I honestly think our children teach us as much as we teach them. Having patience while they make a mess during sandwich making or still have stinky breath after brushing their teeth. I must frequently harken back to the wisdom a friend shared one day. He said: “You’ve been doing that same task for 20-30 years; they just started.” Do I allow others the same opportunity of growth that I was shown? Do I allow myself an opportunity to grow in a skill before deeming it impossible and giving up? So, have patience on those who are sharpening their abilities — even if that someone is yourself.
Thank you for taking the time to read my thoughts. It’s always appreciated and I hope my journey to “adulting” can help you on your own.
February 2019Contact Author