When did adulting become a verb? I use it so casually now I don’t even think about it. It didn’t exist as a word not that long ago!

Adulting is an informal term to describe behavior that is seen as responsible and grown-up. This behavior often involves meeting the mundane demands of independent and professional living, such as paying bills and running errands.

I had a week of successful adulting last week. I’m quite proud of myself! I started the week with a list of 4 things I really didn’t want to do that needed to get done. Do you have lists? Actual or mental? There were some tasks that come with being a homeowner, pet owner and friend that I needed to look after. The thing is they all triggered the domino effect. You know how that works! To do this I need to clean up that, and to clean up that I need to deal with this, and to deal with this I need to… You get the picture.

So one task was washing my hardwood floors. I spot clean regularly but I needed to actually get down on my hands and knees with a bucket and the Murphy Oil soap and get them clean. A summer of pets and people had been hard on them. I love my floors, they hide a lot! But to wash the floor I had to move mats and furniture and sweep. Then when you’re down on the floor you see how bad the lower cupboard fronts are and you have to wash them. Then there are those lovely profiled baseboards that seemed like such a good idea 17 years ago… Once the baseboards are clean every spot on the walls show… And when you see the track for the patio door is full of dirt… that has to be dealt with. Oh, and I made the mistake of pulling the vent cover off in front of the patio door…

So this one thing on my list snowballed into an entire day of tasks. Which is why I had been avoiding it for awhile! But it sure felt good when it was done! (And looked good too I might add!) I buckled down and got my list done for the week (The bath and haircut for the dog was also on the list, a task neither of us enjoy) and then I patted myself on the back for adulting so well!

I don’t always have the energy and drive to get those dreaded tasks done. How do you motivate yourself to do the things you don’t want to do? Most of my dreaded tasks contribute directly to a life that I love and things that bring me joy. I am blessed that way!

What if your dreaded task had no foreseeable conclusion? What if the effort to tackle it was so far out of reach you couldn’t even fathom getting it done? What if there was no way to reward yourself for doing hard things? What if there was no one to cheer you on for your successes or hold you up through your failures?

My list of dreaded tasks seems frivolous compared to the list the other mother has in front of her. I am humbled by the herculean effort it will take her to accomplish the things she needs to do so she can successfully parent her children again. I don’t think I have ever faced challenges the equivalent of hers and definitely never without the support of family and friends.

So before you pass judgement on someone else’s choices stop and assume the best of them. Let’s believe that people want to be their best selves… but sometimes they just can’t.

In the midst of the mess


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