Friday, April 07, 2017

Growing Up

"You don’t stop laughing when you grow old, you grow old when you stop laughing". — George Bernard Shaw

I feel like the issue of acting "like a grownup" or "acting your age" comes up a lot. I admit I'm from the camp of refusing to "grow up" completely. Depending on who I'm with and the circumstance I adjust my level of adultness. Typically, if someone accuses me of not being a grownup, I'll just agree with them. No point in arguing about it. I'm not ashamed of this. But then I got to thinking- what's the definition of being grownup? When I was a kid I always heard when you're a grownup you 1) Get a job 2) Buy a home 3) Start a family.  Pretty broad definition but it holds merit. While the family thing never happened for me I hit the other two  which is more than a lot of people can say. I think I sometimes I take the self deprecating thing too far as I have actually managed a very grownup life with many grownup issues

1) I have been gainfully employed for 28 years at a job where I've never worked less than 45 hours a week, work weekends, many holidays and that has very few benefits (I am grateful I have health insurance). I've missed less than 10 days in 28 years for reason of not feeling well. I've worked through sickness, surgeries, tragedies, blizzards, and other weather issues

2) I walked out of college debt free and lived at home yet somehow I managed to accumulate credit card debt to the tune of almost $12,000 by the mid-1990s. Without consolidation loans or declaring bankruptcy, and with a huge hand from my mom in curbing my spending habits, I dragged myself out of debt. I had to give up a lot during the "prime" of my life but I was able to crawl out of the abyss and repair my credit rating to the point that by the time I was in my mid-30's I became a homeowner

3) I purchased a home and have maintained my home on a single, modest salary for 14 years now. I'm 100% responsible for everything that goes on in my home from paying bills to food shopping to preparing meals. Me. Just me (although my family is always there to pitch in).

4) I live life pretty much in "the black". No lavish vacations, no second homes, no expensive vehicles, nights out kept to a minimum, no credit card balances. While I may never have an awesome financial portfolio to brag about and no pension plan, I've set myself up for the future my making my needs less in the present and making sacrifices where I can

5) After being diagnosed with Type II diabetes and high blood pressure, I took command of my health and, hopefully, extended my life. I changed everything about everything regarding eating, exercise and lifestyle. I've given up a lot but I've gotten a lot back in return

When you look at it, I guess I really am a grownup. Just because there are times I choose to act silly, immature or irresponsible, none of these are indicative of my grownup life.
I think I've accomplished a lot and am very happy with my life which in not something everyone can say. So yes, while I may not always act like a grownup, a grownup is indeed what I am

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