Sometimes I forget that I like being a grownup. When I’m driving in traffic that’s moving slower than I can walk. When I have to pay bills. When I have 14 deadlines, all at 5pm on the same day. When I have to ask other grownups for permission for something (Big reason why I went into business for myself.). When I have to make a doctor’s appointment or dentist appointment or car appointment. And then go to them!
But there are times when I remember that being a grownup is really quite badass. Like when I eat ice cream for breakfast. When I sit in a hot bathtub with a great book and a glass of wine.
When I go out on a school night. And can stay out until three in the morning. If I wanted to. Without anyone’s permission.
It can be easy to forget how good we have it and think that something else might be better. I totally remember being a kid and thinking, I cannot wait to be a grownup. Probably so I could eat ice cream for breakfast. I doubt I’d discovered wine at that point. Now, there are certainly days I wish I could go back to the bike riding, fort building, no bill paying freedom of my youth.
But I also have moments of mindfulness that help me realize that where I’m at right now at this point in my life is perfect. Plus far as I know we can’t go backwards, so there’s also a level of resigned acceptance.
Last night was one of those moments.
I wouldn’t say cooking is my passion. But I enjoy it at times. Especially because I do have a passion for eating and if I have to make food I enjoy eating then so be it. And I’m partial to delicious home cooked meals, a throwback to my childhood. But cooking isn’t usually a form of self-expression for me. Also, because busy is the new black (See busy post.), my thing is to make the most simple and quick, yet delicious meal possible. This can sometimes lead to mediocrity or if I’m being honest, probably complete crap. But I can be sensitive so let’s not go there.
Sometimes, though, like last night, I have a zen experience in the kitchen. And this particular experience made me feel grateful to be a full fledged grownup. I’m not sure why since I surely could have made this meal as a child. Although, I didn’t spend much time in the kitchen at that point in my life... which might account for my adult cooking abilities. I mean, there was just too much to get into outside!
Last night I made a roasted vegetable pasta. Super simple. Yet insanely delicious. I felt like I should have knighted myself as a professional chef immediately after the first bite, that’s how good it was. There was wine. A tobacco leaf candle burning. A Wilbert Longmire record playing (Jazz musician. I had to google him. But his music is solid.). The stuff out of grownup movies, people!
As I sat down at the dining room table with the bf (And our dog hiding under the table in hopeful anticipation.), I felt accomplished, proud, and satiated, which I imagine is a grownup feeling. Or at least the words to describe it. As kids we felt that way about everything we did. As adults we tend to doubt ourselves far too much.
We also take these seemingly ordinary moments for granted far too much. I mean, we eat multiple meals every day. Yet, when we slow down and truly experience the meal (Oh, good ol’ mindfulness.), they often transform from ordinary to extraordinary. Sure, sometimes we realize what we’re eating is crap (Shoutout to Taco Bell’s seven layer burritos. And probably everything else on their menu.), but for the most part when we’re mindful, things are actually pretty darn good.
These moments are what make up our lives. Feeling the breeze on our face. Tasting that bite of ice cream. The touch of our loved one’s hand. The sound of our child laughing. The smell of fresh baked bread. The sun setting over the ocean or a field or the mountains. How our feet feel against the ground of the forest.
It isn’t about getting caught up in the bill paying, appointments, gossip, or obligations to others. Yeah, we need to do some of those things for our overall well-being, but we don’t need to dread them, dwell on them, or prolong them. It’s often our mindlessness that make them seem worse than they are. Wanting things to be any different than what they are takes away from the beauty of life’s moments.
It’s ironic that being a grownup is actually about rediscovering those childhood attitudes of being in the moment, of loving ourselves just as we are, being playful, and following our hearts. Attitudes that were stolen by grownups who forgot what life is truly about. The good news, though, is that as grownups, we don’t have to listen to anyone else if we really don’t want to, especially if they’re trying to rain on our parade. We all know deep down what feeds our soul and it’s up to us to feed it with people and experiences that support our growth and wellbeing. That, my friends, is being a grownup!