The Six Worst Things about Being an Adult

As a follow up to the 6 Best Things about Being an Adult prompt a couple of weeks ago, last week, at MamaKat’s Writer’s Workshop, one of the prompts was: List the 6 worst things about being an adult.  For more stories, visit MamaKat!

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1. Lack of excuses –  I heard the other day that “I’m too busy” is the grown up version of “My dog ate my homework.”  This statement rings entirely true to me so maybe I am wrong that ‘lack of excuses’ is one of the worst things of adulthood OR maybe it is the lack of the simple ‘I’m cute’ excuse that disappoints me.  Today, as adults, we sometimes feel like we have to come up with a million reasons for why we can’t, won’t or shouldn’t do something.  “Well, Sally Mae’s cousin’s brother in-law sneezed on me yesterday so I couldn’t come in to work today.”  Case in point.  Remember when a chocolate smeared grin and some wide eyes were all that you needed to get out of chores?  Yeah… I wish I could turn back time too.

2. Self awareness – It’s probably right up until the ripe age of 6th grade (whatever that is) that you float through life not giving a “Fudge” about what other people think of you.  Then puberty hits, you start realizing that the opposite sex doesn’t actually have cooties and that you actually have feelings.  Life becomes an everyday battle.  You start judging yourself from fear that others might start judging you first.  Self awareness has made its appearance and decided to stay.

3. Kids – Isn’t funny that one of the worst things about being an adult is kids?!  The exact age group that you just exited is now your worst enemy.  I get that some of you are shocked right now.  But, I know that you are only shocked because I said it out loud/typed it on my blog.  And, yes, I get that I have no kids so really no reason for me to like any of them since none of them are my own.  And, if that ever happens some day, I will probably adore my little creations and give you  the worst evil looks if you ever say what I just said.  Butttttt… let’s be for reals here.  Kids are annoying; they are known to repeat the same words over and over again, they constantly smell, and they are like mini adults with all the same feelings and emotions, but none of the control….  Do I need to go on?

4. Retirement planning – I don’t even know what this is, but it’s terrifying.  The fact that I have to think about feeding myself and paying for a place for me to stay without any paycheck whatsoever is frightening.  I live the 1st of the month to the 15th of the month and repeat for 12 months, people.  Then you add all of the garbage of social security, medicare, medicaid, obamacare, etc. and it becomes overwhelming.  At what age is it inappropriate to be an exotic dancer?  75? Just curious.. not like I would do that or anything.

5. The reality that winning the lottery is slim – Sigh.  Not much else to say here.

6.  Becoming hardened – My friend’s dad texted her the other day and sad “It’s sad when you meet up with old friends and realize that they are the shell of the person that they used to be.”  Now, this might be the most depressing thing that I’ve ever heard.  Poor friend and dad.  But, it is also probably somewhat true.  I would hope that this would never happen to me or my loved ones, but perhaps it might.  As adults, we are subjected to the violence, cruelty and evil in this world.  We realize that sometimes guns, knives and harsh words are more powerful than the sharing, caring and loving environment that we grew up in as kids.  The world is not perfect and neither are its weapons.  We live in a place where the trajectory of pain is larger than the impacted target.  And, so we accept pain; we settle for the world as a calloused place.

 

I read a quote once along the lines of “You should never outlive your childhood.”  Perhaps, we should remember that the next time being an adult becomes too much.  Or, maybe quote the infamous line from Forrest Gump, “Life was like a box of chocolates.”

The Berenstain Bears and Not Enough Vacation

When I was younger, my family used to take annual family vacations.  The actual “throw ten suitcases in the trunk of a minivan, pile everyone in and drive for ten hours” vacations.  We are amazingly lucky; my family has gone to some beautiful places including all up and down the East Coast, Hawaii and Alaska.  But, we have also had our fair share of bad adventures including the one trip we took to Canada and Michigan.

My mom affectionately compares the Canada/Michigan vacation to the book, The Berenstain Bears and Too Much Vacation.  Do you remember the Berenstain Bears?  When I was younger, I loved those books.  I used to spend hours reading and re-reading the stories of Papa, Mama, Brother and Sister.  The tales usually twisted around the children having a problem, Papa making it worse and Mama saving the day.  In fact, in Too Much Vacation, the family getaway is a disaster: the cabin’s roof leaks, the lake is muddy, and the mosquitoes are ferocious.

My family and I visited Michigan a couple of weekends ago and I was reminded of our dreaded trip.  The events this time around, however, were so drastically different and upbeat that I couldn’t help but to give it the title of ‘The Berenstain Bears and Not Enough Vacation.”

Here are some examples of the differences*:

Not Enough: Ventured around cute little town with a famous restaurant and funky shops

Too Much: Walked around dingy, worn-down lake town with far too many people who were enjoying ‘Happy Several Hours’

Not Enough: My brother and I were passed by a Bentley and a Ferrari while on a bike ride; Family members golfed at a fun, local course

Too Much: Got lost in the middle of Canada and stopped at a par 3 golf course that provided lodging.  We played the same golf course several times and ate at the only restaurant attached to the ‘golf course hotel thing’ for all meals.  I remember that my dad, however, got his first hole in one here!

Not Enough: Spent days at the beach, laid out in the sun, played four square in the sand near the water

Too Much: Finally made it to our furthest destination in Canada – a supposedly adventurous, camp-like resort with multiple restaurants, an indoor pool and a hot tub.  Score!   But, unfortunately, Canada hates children.  No, seriously, they do.  Any child under the age of 16 was forbidden to enter the pool or the hot tub.  This left my brother, sister and I wandering the “resort grounds” a.k.a. some paths with a few trees and a parking lot.  My parents abruptly ended our trip after one day at the ‘camp-like resort’ and we headed back home.

Not Enough: We stayed a ridiculously close distance to a decent casino.  The entire family enjoyed some time trying to get lucky in the Wolverine State.

Too Much: My parents made a last minute decision to stop at Windsor on the way home due to the trip unraveling before our very eyes.  Us underage kids had to stay in the hotel room while our parents enjoyed the bright lights.  I remember that nothing was on TV except for ‘How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.’  This is when I first discovered that I despise Kate Hudson.

Lesson learned.  When in doubt, stay clear of Canada until the age of 19.

*Pictures are from the most recent Not Enough Vacation trip!