beth.clark@ymail.com

Adulting Instructions

The portfolio, true adventures, and observations of a pragmatic optimist.

Adulting Instructions

First instruction…save your work as you go! Seriously, I spent two hours writing a profound but funny post that was seconds away from being finished, then had an ADD moment and closed the browser tab. ‘Sokay though…my original wisdom is now part of the ether. 🙂 The gist of it was that while I definitely don’t have “it” all figured out, after getting kicked hard in 2016 and having to put forth superhuman effort, dive deep into my inner self, AND ask for help in order to move forward, none of which was fun or easy, I did learn some stuff worth sharing that would make 2017 a better year for all of us. And the rest of the world.

  1. Whether it’s overtly lying to people, or covertly manufacturing your life on Facebook to be something other than what it really is, pretending to be someone you aren’t is dishonest, and no good comes of it for anyone, so just don’t. BE WHO YOU ARE AND DON’T APOLOGIZE FOR IT.
  2. Unless you’re an asshole, in which case, knock it off. Fix your shit and start being nice. Today. You’ll die alone and miserable if you’re mean to people your whole life, and in the event you do get another go ’round, karma will follow you until you learn. So in the immortal words of Nike, just do it.
  3. Same goes for divas. There’s no excuse for acting like an entitled, spoiled brat, and satisfying your comfort and desires shouldn’t be the expense of others. You’re not that special. Also, people can’t read your mind…you have to ask for what you want just like the rest of us. If you don’t, you have no right to act all butt hurt. So do it nicely and say please and thank you…it’s really simple. (That actually goes for everyone.)
  4. Be kind. Hold the door open for the person coming in behind you, and express gratitude for someone if they hold it open for you. Even better, look them in the eye and smile when you do. The ripple effect is huge, and a little bit of kindness and connection goes a long way.
  5. Be grateful. I mean truly grateful, not just “thanks Obama” grateful. If more of us focused on being thankful for the people that surround us and the experiences we share with them, we’d all have more to be thankful for.
  6. Stop being critical of other people. Don’t like something? Then don’t do it/eat it/buy it/visit it, but STFU when someone else does unless they specifically ask you for your opinion or it impacts you in some way. Let others walk their path and don’t piss on their plans and dreams…it’s not nice. (See #2 and #3.)
  7. That goes triple quadruple for other people’s beliefs. Do you want someone telling you what to believe, especially if it goes against what you feel at the core of your being? Prolly not. Your god/higher power/divine being/overlord/sock monkey is YOURS…let others have theirs.
  8. Before you lash out at someone, pause for half a second and think. Even people you know may be dealing with something you’re not aware of, and back to that kindness thing, do you really want to ruin someone’s day?
  9. On the flip side of that, if someone is deliberately being an asshole, then STAND UP FOR YOURSELF. Speak your mind. Make your words match your emotions and say what you mean. Martyrdom rarely works out well for the martyr. Unleash if it’s called for, but remember that not many things warrant compromising your dignity or someone else’s.
  10. If you lash out at someone who didn’t deserve it, apologize. “I’m sorry” is all you have to say. Easy peasy, lemon-squeezy.
  11. Does it really impact you if a transgender person uses the same bathroom you do? I mean, REALLY? (If you think it does, see #2 and #3.) Odds are that a person of the same sex but different orientation has checked you out in a bathroom at some point…I doubt it impacted the way you wiped or put on lipstick. See #5 and just be grateful you have a damn toilet stall and a sink to begin with.
  12. And does gay marriage REALLY affect you? Do you really think that gays and lesbians are somehow taking something from YOU by getting married? (Hint: It doesn’t and they aren’t.) Why would you want to deny the world of love? Also, why are we even still talking about this?
  13. You were born with both a conscience and a gut instinct…use them. Does it feel right and is it unlikely to hurt anyone? Then do it. Does it feel wrong and someone will suffer? Then don’t. Inner Guidance Systems, 101.
  14. If you’re unhappy, do something about it. Today. Because it’s your life, not because it’s New Year’s Day. If you can’t do something about it, get help.
  15. Stop complaining…the world doesn’t need any more negativity or victim mentality. And if you’re a true victim, I’m sorry. That sucks. But there are an abundance of people and resources out there to help you, so find them, and don’t give up. It may not seem like it now, but it really will be okay.
  16. BE PRESENT. Your life is happening now, not last year or next week. Think about the future, because you kinda have to know the general direction you’re heading, but let go of the past unless you can change it (you can’t) and be aware that the process of getting wherever you’re going = YOUR ACTUAL LIFE. If you die tomorrow, I promise your last thought won’t be “Aw man, now no one will ever know how brilliant my presentation next Tuesday that I’ve been working on 18 hours a day was going to be!”
  17. Related to #16, Put. Down. Your. Phone. Pay attention to your kids. And your spouse or significant other. And your friends. And most importantly, yourself. Make meals no phone zones. Leave it in another room when you go to bed. Get an alarm clock instead…they still make them.

Happy New Year people…let’s work together to make it an amazing one.

 

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