There is just ONE regret I have from my childhood. I wish I neverrrrrrrrrrr said that I wanted to be GROWN! When I was young, I had no idea what it took to be an adult but here I am- a full adult with no warning whatsoever! Did anyone else feel like it happened within the blink of an eye? One day I was a kid and now I'm paying 100 bills! It’s here and we have to deal with it! Welcome to our new rite of passage!
“Adulting” has its highs but it can really suck sometimes. There are days I am overwhelmed with just the thought of how I will get it all done like paying bills or what to cook- for one (lol). Adulting comes with routine responsibilities that you'll eventually get used to but let’s not forget the numerous forest fires that have to be extinguished all the time like tire blow outs, home repairs, and outrageous medical bills. I even look at the groceries in the car and think, "man, I need to borrow someone's kids next summer ". The list is never ending, but I am here to tell you that WE CAN DO THIS! WE CAN ADULT!
You ever sit and wonder how in the world your parents did it? My mother at my age of 27 had not one, not two, but THREE whole children (I was seven years old, so I was basically an adult too). That equals three people outside of herself that she had to care for. Now she has a dog! Listen Linda, I can hardly imagine. It is a task taking care of myself, but she had four! When I look at this woman today, I stare in admiration at how she managed to keep us all alive and how she makes adulting look so EFFORTLESS! I do my very best to prove that I can make things happen on my own but when I need assistance, she is my number one adulting counsel! We all have a parent, an aunt or someone older that we know has the answers to life's hardest questions (like how much sugar to put in the spaghetti) or can make three phone calls in one hour and have a problem solved that took you months to resolve (like calling your credit card company who charged you a late fee on accident). Some of us have Google to thank for helping us stay alive as well!
*Googles 'how to stay alive when adulting'*
Beyond my amazement, I have been lucky enough to pick up a few valuable lessons in adulting from my mother that help me get through the day to day. These are things she has been saying and doing since I can remember. It is because of these five lessons that I’m not in millions of debt, that I have everything I need, and I am still breathing even when the adulting gets tough!
If you are perhaps struggling in the adulting department, these five lessons I hold onto (for dear life, trust me) can help you improve your “adulting” and get you living your best YMP life!
1. “I’d rather be broke than to owe somebody!” Pay your bills first!
I began to ask my mom a lot of questions about how she handled finances when I got to college because I was broker than broke and I couldn’t understand how she was single handedly taking care of all of us. The main thing she always emphasized is that she made sure all of her bills were paid first, even if it meant a few dollars in her pocket. Now as an adult, I like to take the time to sit down and pay bills as soon as I get paid, that includes putting money away immediately for savings because rainy days WILL come. I remember once pulling over on the side of the road to pay them when my paycheck hit! Even if I am left with a few dollars, I have my peace knowing that my lights aren’t getting cut off or my phone isn’t getting annoying bill collector calls. NOBODY has time for that!
2. “Just tell me what I need to do?” Handle your business!
To this day, instead of complaining or whining when things happen out of her control, my mom says, “Just tell me what I need to do”. She doesn’t back down from responsibility and is always ready to execute rather than sulk in the unproductive place many of us get caught in. She also tells us to move on when things happen and just think about what to do going forward. I have never seen someone get something done so quickly and with such minimal effort than my mother. She does write lists of things that need to get done and she doesn’t put things off. I now write lists all the time honey (if I don't write it, it just might not get done). No fancy notebook necessary either- the back of an envelope will do just fine... just make it happen! Watching her master execution has truly reminded me that the only way not to be overwhelmed with all that has to be done, is to suck it up and just do it! You're wasting time otherwise.
3. “I’m always working!” No handouts, no excuses!
My mother is the female version of a hustler! For the last ten years she has built a solid career as a car saleswoman but if you know her you know she has her hand in 1,000 things and counting. I literally called her one time and asked if she was working and she said "I'm always working". She is the epitome of can’t stop, won’t stop and would always tell us that no one owes anybody anything! She has hustled hard for everything she has and it has proven in all the fruit she bears including being Sales Person of the Year four (1-2-3-4) years in a row and having three children graduate from college with close to no student loan debt. There is NO ONE who will outwork her, outsmart her, or even out support her. She pours her authentic self into her work and confidently states, and I quote "I'M GOOD AT EVERYTHING I DO............” on her Facebook bio. It may come off as cocky to some, but when you work as hard as she does, YOUR WORK WILL SPEAK FOR YOU! That is my strive in everything that I do!
4. “I’m going to do x for y!” Give abundantly, for it will be returned unto you!
I believe that the success of my mother’s life is not so much dependent on how much she works, but how freely she gives to others! Even with the sharpest tongue in the world, she has the heart of Christ ( but I guess Jesus said what He wanted to also). There is almost always someone she is looking to help when I speak to her. Her giving spirit is one that has been passed down through generations and it has paid dividends in how God blesses her on the daily. Anything my mother can think of, she has a connection that will help her get it done. I've never met anyone who has connections for EVERYTHING from hotel hookups to laundry detergent! People never mind doing things for her because they know they can depend on her even through the tough times. Being her daughter, I have been lucky enough to also reap from the good seed she has sown. "You Tish daughter? I got you". Who am I to decline VIP everything everywhere I go? I hope to leave that kind of legacy for my children, so I thoroughly enjoy giving unto others and making meaningful connections.
5. “Do YOU!” Be the best YOU and don't apologize for you are!
*WARNING* My mom never actually said this but, it sounds like something she would say. When you look in the dictionary at 'AUTHENTIC', a picture of my mother is there staring back at you! For as long as I can remember, she has marched to beat of her own drum and been obsessed with loving herself with little care for what others have to think about her. (She is a Libra if that helps!) When you live in your truth, you allow others the opportunity to live their bold truth. I am perhaps a lot less bold than my mother and for years I wanted her to tone it down. Now I see what that boldness has afforded her a life of happiness. In everything from negotiations, to her style, to her ability to say no as needed, she has shown me that I, too, need to be BOLD and UNAPOLOGETIC in my adult life. Every year I grow a little bolder and I have my mother to thank for that!
Shoutout to all the adults who help keep us new adults ALIVE! What has your mother told you that keeps you grounded? I would love hear it in the comments!