This past Thursday, October 12, was my 26th birthday. My plan had been to post something heartfelt and meaningful, reflecting on 26 years of life, but occasionally I get an idea in my head and it simply won’t come out onto paper (or in this case, screen). So I took a few days to think about it.
Instead, I couldn’t help but ponder all of the ridiculous adult things I had to do for the first time this year, or consider what adult things have become a regular occurrence in my life.
It’s become a common theme among my friends: are we really “adults” when we sure-as-anything don’t feel like them? Don’t adults have it all together? I mean, my mom had three kids by 26 and I can’t fathom the idea of one. Well, friends, I am now closer to 30 than to 20, and yes, I am an adult. This is how I know:
26 Ways You Know You’re an Adult…
- When you receive separate letters and emails informing you that as of 11:59PM on October 11, 2017, you’ll be kicked off your parent’s insurance plan.
- In that same idea, when you spend an hour reviewing the booklet with your new health benefits, and excitedly exclaim that all annual routine checkups are covered 100%, even on the 80/20 plan.
- When your husband tells you you don’t have enough life insurance. Woah woah, whaaaaa…
- When you’ve worked at the same job for 4 years and have no plans for leaving.
- When the class of 2012 celebrated 5 years–that’s your college graduating class. Next year will be 10 years out of high school.
- When you’d rather spend 7PM on a Friday night at Wegman’s shopping for groceries during non-peak hours rather than “going out.”
- When you budget $100 a month on a gym membership–and consider it a worthy investment of time and money.
- When you call your little brother–who is not actually little at all since he is also a college grad–and ask him for his SSN so you can walk him through how to check his credit score.
- When you’re actively saving for a house–and you don’t dip into that savings in times of emergencies. You have a separate savings account for emergencies.
- When once a month you and your hubby sit down to talk about finances and go over the budget.
- When the amount you are willing to spend in a single transaction is VASTLY different from pre-25.
- When you and your spouse find it acceptable to buy your own holiday presents, then give the item to the other to wrap or “hide.” (Literally every holiday for us this year, haha!)
- When you realize you didn’t receive many items for your birthday, but had many experiences with friends and family. And that makes you incredibly happy.
- When you schedule time for reading the Bible and writing in your prayer journal, and you feel wrong when you don’t have time to dedicate to it every day.
When cleaning becomes a need rather than a chore. I’m sure not every adult feels this way, but cleaning and organizing has become a way of life. I hate clutter and stains–very different from pre-25.
- When you learn how to say “no.” And it’s still hard, but you learn to say it and realize that it’s better to say no than to grudgingly say “yes.”
- When you want to say “no” and can easily say “no” but know that should you say “yes” you won’t regret it. So you do it.
- When you can listen to NPR for hours and not want to change the station.
- When you have a recipe box–electronic ones count to!–and have a list of recipes that you can pull out any time for a delicious dinner.
- When you limit your binging and TV intake and instead do some of the other things you love.
- When you realize you have a Starbucks problem and cut back. I’m serious! It’s a sign of maturity (I hope).
- When you do an extensive closet clean-up and throw away the last pieces if clothing from college and pre-college. Your fashion sense was not the greatest, and you never used to splurge on nice pieces of clothing that would last (aka, dem clothes had holes and were mostly tees).
- When you stop killing plants and dream of growing your own veggies in the backyard.
- When you embrace your hobbies: I love to knit!! I have coloring books! I want to spend all my Saturday’s reading by a lake! I love baking sugary, delicious goods. I’m not great at everything I love, but it’s about the joy it brings me.
- When you realize that just because you have the money, doesn’t mean you’ll be happy eating out all the time.
- When you know what your dreams are, you know where you want to be, and one day you just start working toward it. No more excuses.
Twenty-six years, and too many firsts and lessons-learned to count. But the amazing thing is that I have another day, hopefully another year, and I pray another 26 years. And by the time I hit 52 (holy cow!), I hope to be able to look back, and still not feel like I have it all together enough to classify myself as an adult.
Okay, so share: what would you add to this list?