Sunday, February 24, 2008

The Grown Up Thing...

With my 25th birthday creeping up on me, I've been reflecting a lot on what it means to be a grown up, and specifically why I am having such a miserable time doing the right thing... the "grown up" thing.

Example: Josh and Kerith make money. Said money is deposited into our bank account every two weeks electronically. Kerith has gone through the trouble of setting up most of our accounts through bill pay. Kerith and Josh make enough money to pay our bills, yet for some reason Kerith HATES to get the mail, open the mail, read the mail (ie, read the bills) and is CHRONICALLY late on bills. Bills that we have money to pay. This of course costs moolah us in the form of "stupid" tax because we end up paying late fees. This is so dumb, yet I'm continuously stumbling upon the steps required to get the bills paid on time. The obvious first hurdle is getting the mail. I really do have a mail problem.

Now, in this instance, the somewhat glaringly obvious solution would be *duh* to have Josh take care of the mail/bills. Yeah, it does make sense. BUT - no no no, I don't want to do that. Come on, people. I can do this. I can walk my happy ass to the mail box (that is LITERALLY 30 feet in front on my house... I mean, RIGHT IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE!!). I can turn the key, grab the mail, maybe even every day! And is it really all that difficult to walk the mail back into the house, sort through it, shred the junk, pay what needs to be paid, and file the rest away?

Ok - when I look at it that way, it seems like a lot of steps. Perhaps that is my aversion to the process - I can't simply "get the mail" and be done with it. I've got to do something with all that mail. Hey - that is the grown up thing to do, right? Take action?

There are many more things in my life that I can apply this same problematic cycle to. Should I hand them all off to Josh? Is that really an appropriate solution? You know, in my house, the laundry doesn't fold itself (or wash/dry itself for that matter) the pets don't feed themselves, the dust is perfectly capable of bringing itself INSIDE the house, but needs a hand in leaving. The weeds out front? Yeah, those have to be pulled, and the dog crap outside isn't as biodegradable as it should be, or at least not as quickly as I would like it to be. These are all things that need to be done, and yeah, it isn't convenient, they aren't things I enjoy doing, yet I can't expect Josh to be the grown up in the relationship and do them all.

Of course, another big problem here is that Josh and I are both suffering from a BAD case of lazy-ass-itis. The mess piles up around us, and we both would rather spend time in front of our computer screens than tackling the responsibilities in our lives. What kind of parents will that make us? Will I have the same aversion to diaper changing?

All of these problems loom up before me, these character flaws, personality traits, issues... they need to be addressed, conquered. I'm tired of feeling anxious about the mail, the bills, the housework, the animals. I know we aren't all naturally blessed to have the drive and internal responsibility needed to always do the right "grown up" thing, but that doesn't mean I can't force myself into it. Plus, I consider myself to be somewhat of a problem solver. There has got to be an easier way to get these things done. Perhaps I can attempt to streamline the blecky crap in my life to make it happen more efficiently (because lets face it, I doubt cleaning up the cat box is every going to get "fun").

So - all you responsible grown up type people out there, how do you handle it? What are your tips, tricks, suggestions? I'm looking for help people! I'm trying to give myself a 25th birthday present that will last a lifetime!


  1. Start taking the dogs for a walk. Hang the mailbox key with the dog collar. Pick it up on the way back. Feed the junk-mail to Guiness.

    As for the dog crap in the back yard... Are you going to get us out there to put in your back yard before it gets hot or not? 81º tomorrow. Summer's coming, and I don't want to be laying sod in May when it's already pushing 100.

  2. Will - perhaps one of the most adult "adults" I know! You still make us all look like rebellious 13 year olds. These are all excellent suggestions. I especially enjoy the "Feed Guinness the Junk Mail" suggestion. This is probably the only one that I would have been able to stick to in the last few years.

    I did have one accomplishment this month - all our bills are paid. All of them! So, come March 1st, I'm going to start all over and get the March bills paid. Oh - and I've checked the mail twice since my last post :)

    Also, the dogs appreciate your dog advocacy. They would love a walk. The cats want to know what is in it for them, though. If the animal union is going on strike, I think they should all draw up a list of complaints so I can address them all at once.

    As far as the backyard goes, you'll have to ask Josh about that :)

  3. Geez... don't go making me feel like an old man now.

    What the cats get out of it is dog-free time in the house, and the dogs "should" be more mellow the rest of the time if they're getting it all worked out on the streets.

  4. I have the same problem with putting off things I don't want to do. I've realized that it must become intentional. It won't get done if I just think that someday I'll do it. I must actually make an intentional effort...which for me comes with making a list.

    OH! And one should never forget the positive reinforcement method. Once you set a goal and reach it you must reward yourself with something great.

  5. Yes, reward yourself with something great! Perhaps you should take your younger brother to an upcoming Phoenix Suns game. What could be more rewarding than that? I'm just sayin...

  6. Vicki -

    You make an excellent point, however, I really think I do intend to do all of the things I end up NOT doing. Each day as I am preparing to leave work, I make a list of the things I want to accomplish for the evening. Rarely are these things accomplished. I have no ambition to complete them. However, on the rare occasion I do accomplish one of these goals, I always feel much better about myself, my house - less anxiety. You would think the reward would be in the work itself. Perhaps I should put up a chart, and give myself gold stars when I get my chores done :) This could provide some sort of motivation, lol. The only other type of reward I can think of is cookies. My pants disagree with this reward method, however.

  7. Kerith - I've learned that if I sit down or turn on the TV I don't accomplish anything once I get home from work. So, if you make a realistic list (ie do one load of laundry) it's more likely to get done before you "start" your evening. I also have the bills set up as a reminder in my calender on my computer (since most bills are due on the same day each month). So, a few days before it's due, a little reminder pops up and I take care of it. Hope this helps! Love the laundry room ideas!!

  8. Sabrina - I think that is my problem. I'm not good at making lists that fall into the category of "realistic." I LOVE to, make lists, but they usually have 8,286,457 things on them that I HAVE to get done that afternoon. I'm going to take your advice and try and make a reasonable list for tomorrow! Thanks!

    (also - I love your idea about the bill calendar reminder!)