I found lists on Pinterest of adulting skills. There are classes that teach these skills. I know they’re aimed at younger millenials and Gen Z kids that are just making their ways into the world, but I really want to take one. And I also don’t want to be around a bunch of twenty somethings that I would inevitably start being their surrogate mother and also trying to hook one up with my kid. Plus I don’t really like being where people are. So, instead, I’ll continue to watch videos on YouTube of things I wish I knew how to do and seem like adult things I should know how to do.
There are in no particular order:
- How to create and remember usernames and passwords that would totally not embarrass me if someone found my password keeper book. Yes. I have a password keeper book. I needed this before I entered my forties. They’re cheap on Amazon or you can just use a notebook. I have to use the actual password book because I would wind up using the notebook for any number of things that were not related to getting me into my work computer and systems. I do have a system of writing my goals as passwords but sometimes I forget the special symbols I’ve used. I need to reset everything. Some of my work passwords require IT to reset. And how do you explain your old password was DrunkW!n3M0m – that’s drunk wine mom for those that can’t see it. And no, that’s not my actual password. Anymore.
- Know where the important documents are. As a kid, I never knew where my social security card or birth certificate were. Because Mom knew. And if Mom knows, then I’m good. But now I’m the mom. And I don’t know. I don’t know where my card is. I don’t know where my kids’ cards are. I know my social security number. And that’s only because my counselor in high school made us write it ten times a day and then shred the paper. We have a blue folder that we keep everything in. But I’ve also found cards in my hideaway drawer on my dresser. We have a safe and I think we’ve put the blue folder in there. A few times. But anytime we need something out of there we tend to forget to put it back. Like everything else in my house. In my life. Maybe I need a note on it that says, “Put me back where I came from or so help me..”
- Create a savings plan. I’m torn on this. Listen. Here’s the thing. It’s challenging at best to have a savings account and three college funds when every cent goes to bills and food. I’ve been in the boat where all there is to eat is Ramen. And even then it’s only one pack a day. I’ve also been in the boat where I could buy everyone’s Christmas haul in one paycheck and have money left over. Part of my brain says I need a savings account for when things go bad. Like my car needing a thousand dollars of work, my dog needing surgery, or my property assessment taxes being due. The other part of my brain wants to buy and store food and build stock piles for the future. It’s a fight. This goes back to the Dave Ramsey thing. I know old boy says six months of income in savings. It would take so long to do that. And maybe I just don’t have the discipline. I’m OK with that. But I would like to have something to fall back on. Just in case.
- Create and stick to a budget. I would love to be able to do this. I want to hold up a budget plan at my family as a shield against the I wants and I needs and We nevers. Then maybe I would be able to have that savings plan. Sorry, kids. You don’t need two hundred dollar shoes. Don’t blame me. Blame the budget. I feel like we could give the budget a name and then we could refer to it by said name. “Mom, can I get twenty bucks?” “Sorry, kid. I gave you your allowance. And Mr. Tired Of Being Broke said no.” I know they sell budget planners on Amazon. Again, I could and have used notebooks before. And in true writer fashion, after a while, I saw a notebook and had to use it. Well, half of it.
- Create a filing system. So, yeah. At work, I have files in files in files. Digitally. Nothing is in paper. We are a computer based company. At least on my team’s end. I have files for each customer I deal with. In those files, I have folders for their services. That’s where I put reports. For some folders and files, I literally have them labeled by the steps I take. Create the purchase order. Did that. Move it up. Receive the purchase order. Did that. Move it up. Attach the paperwork to the job. Did that move it up. Invoiced. Did that. Move it up. Send to payable. Did that. Move it up. Because if I don’t do it like that, a step will be missed. But at home it’s totally different. My computer desktop is littered with folders and files. I’m sure a little organization at home would help. Like knowing where the important documents are. And keeping receipts for tax purposes. Why can I do things at work but not at home? Is it the money? Or is it the time? I was given time to set those files and folders up. Maybe I need an hour to get it together. But that would require an hour of being left alone and not being distracted. That is a lot to ask.
- Organize my planner. I love planners. I have two sitting on both sides of me right now. I have another in the bedroom. And one at work. And I use my Google calendar for everything. And I still forget things. I forget birthdays. I have not remembered my anniversary in eight years. We’ve been married nine. I have alerts and messages that pop up on my phone. These tell me to do things like get a shower, make my son’s lunch, and go to bed. My planners help me with writing and social media and bill pay planning. I learned a long time ago that I can only plan for a month at a time. I tried a yearly plan but things changed so much that I had to throw the planner out. Thanks, Global Pandemic. But by the month is fairly manageable. There are days I don’t look at it. But just having it lets me know there are things I should be doing. And let’s be honest. Planners are so much fun. Like, they give me the illusion of having my shit together. And have you seen the ones with stickers? It’s like scrapbooking but instead of remembering memories you’re remembering to take the dog to the vet and the kids to the dentist. So much fun.
- Donate. This one isn’t as tough as my brain wants it to be. It’s a simple process. One I’ve seen done thousands of times. My own mother has done this. Thank you, St. Vincent’s for taking all those Beanie Babies. I’ve even donated things myself. The concept is simple. Find stuff you don’t need, want, or use. You know. The Marie Condo “it doesn’t spark joy” stuff. Then you put it in your car so you can take it to the local drop off site. And that’s where I get lost. Because I put the bags and boxes in the back of my vehicle. And forget about it. I marvel at how much more room there is in my closet. I stand fascinated at how clean and organize my kids’ rooms are. And then I go grocery shopping and don’t have anywhere to put anything. Why? Because there are forty two bags of clothes sitting in my car. I should put “Take donations to the DAV” in my phone, and planner, and Google calendar.
- Express gratitude. This is the easiest. And hardest habit to get into. It’s easy to say thank you. Especially when things are going good. All things are roses and sunshine, kittens and glitter. But the days I learned I needed to appreciate more were the days when the rains came. No sun, only clouds. Those are the days I need to look at my bright spots. My husband, my kids, my cats and dog. And if they’re the cause of my clouds, then there’s flowers, and friends, yarn, and planners with stickers. And Oreos. Thank the Universe for Oreos. And I’m still learning that even when my kids are the cause of stormy weather in my house, I still love them. I may not like them in that moment. But I love them. I love their smiles and laughter. I love their sense of style and individuality. I may not love their attitudes, but I can appreciate my strong willed, articulate, smart (mouthed) offspring. That’s the time to be grateful. Not just when you have turkey on your table and you’re surrounded by friends and family. I need to learn to better express gratitude in the moments that make me grateful for sunshine and unicorns and smoother seas.
- Be myself. There’s something so refreshing with this new batch of adults coming into the world. They are comfortable with who they are. Sometimes a little in your face about it to the point of making some super uncomfortable. But that’s the price of being yourself. As a Gen X and only child I have people pleasing personality. And even though a lot of my true self shows through, I still hide a lot. I’d like people to know I’m not always the mask they get to see. That mask has cracked but I glue it back before anyone notices. Because that’s what we do. But I’m a little tired of pretending. So, I may take a note for Gen Z and take off the mask and if I’m too much for some people to chew on, then they can choke. If they want to judge me, I will let them. But maybe a little at a time I will let the cracks crumble and fall naturally. I’m not ready to go full Phantom and remove the mask all together.
Well that was eye opening, for sure. It seems I have a lot of work to do in order to achieve my adulting goals and dreams. Some are practical. And I think some juts come with age. I’m not going to say wisdom. I’m not some ancient turtle on a rock telling you what’s good. But that gratitude thing starts right now because I am grateful for the clarity to know I have a lot of work to be done and may not achieve it all. If I do, then I’ve succeeded. If not, there’s Oreos.