I’m sure unless you’ve been living under a rock, that you have heard the term “adulting.” By the way, the recent trend to morph a noun into a verb by adding “ing” to the end (does that officially turn it into a gerund?, anyway, I digress) is getting pretty annoying.
the practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks.
Ok, so there is the definition from Dictionary.com. My issue with the concept of adulting is that most often it is used by millennials when bemoaning the tasks that most people don’t like to do, such as paying bills, cleaning the house, or going to work, as in “adulting is hard work” or “I’m so proud of myself for adulting today.” I don’t want to bash millennials because it seems like they get their share of criticism, some warranted and some not so much. My own children are millennials and they are fine, productive members of society. The problem, as I see it, is that many of that generation have been brought up in households where they didn’t have responsibilities and now that they are out in the big, bad world, they find their responsibilities overwhelming. There are also things that they have not been taught, such as balancing a checkbook or sewing on a button or changing the oil. I just threw that last one in there since my own father found it imperative that I knew how to do that. I’ve actually never done it once. But you get the picture. When faced with the ever-present tasks of working for a living, cooking meals, cleaning a house, basically taking care of yourself, many people are shocked at what they entail.
30 years ago when I was a new homeowner, I spent little to no time thinking about my new life. I loved the freedom I had as someone who was finally an adult. Wasn’t that what we all wanted to be? Didn’t we always say that adults can do anything they wanted and that’s what we strove for? Perhaps the generation that had so many choices and so much freedom didn’t really want to “grow up.” Many of them already had every material thing they could ever want, someone to pay their phone bill, their car insurance, their car payments in many cases. Many millennials never even “had” to work as teenagers and some were either not allowed to or didn’t work so they could pursue other activities. Hell, I couldn’t wait to have my own money when I was a teen! I knew my parents wouldn’t buy me the expensive Nikes I wanted, so I saved up and got them myself. Getting out from under a parents’ thumb is what we all desired so badly and we had to “adult” in order to do it.
So, millennials, next time you complain about “adulting” and pat yourselves on the back for doing the “adulting” thing so well, remember that this is life, baby. Sometimes it’s drudgery and if you’re lucky, there will be happiness to offset it. Just quit bitching about having to do the minor life stuff that we all have had to do for so many years and if you have problems completing the tasks, maybe we can show you a thing or two.