Friday, June 15, 2012

being a grown-up.

{photo by Hannah Hayes}

Being a grown-up means getting the New York Times delivered every Saturday and Sunday. It means sitting up in bed, doing the crossword puzzle while the cinnamon rolls finish baking in the oven.

Being a grown-up means having a signature scent and style. It means having a livable, wearable, color-coordinated closet and clothes you iron the moment they come out of the dryer. It means having a tailor and a dry cleaner, even if you use both sparingly. It means spending wisely and taking care of what you own.

Being a grown-up means traveling the world and responding to adventure's call. It means making time and money for fun, because some grown-ups forget what fun is, and who wants to be one of those? 

Being a grown-up means having fresh flowers and remembering to throw them out before they begin to rot. It means having a well-curated, well-loved home, full of books and paintings and comfortable furniture. It means having a place other people love, too, a place where they feel warm and welcome and loved and appreciated. It's knowing what you love and why.

Being a grown-up means having a yard and a lawn chair and a fire pit and a sprinkler to run through on hot summer days. It means cooking and cleaning on a regular basis, mostly because you have to, but also because you know it makes you feel better when you do.

Being a grown-up means early to bed, early to rise. It means breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It means no more running out of the house with breakfast wrapped in a paper towel or scanning the refrigerator for expiration dates and signs of mold.

Being a grown-up means front porch living and rocking chair sitting. It means loving your neighbor and caring for those around you. It means having time to do the things no one else seems to have time to do anymore. It means life is a lot more simple than people want to make it.

Being a grown-up means no more overgrown laundry piles or rewashing clothes that soured in the washer overnight. Being a grown-up means sometimes drying your clothes outside on a line so they can blow in the breeze and smell like the air we breathe instead of some soapy chemical. It means doing the things you'd rather not have to do.

Being a grown-up means a little less television and a lot more books. Lots and lots and lots of books, and only the kind you can hold in your hand and mark with a pencil. Real grown-ups read books you can hold and feel and touch and smell, because deep down you know that's what your grandparents did, and it's what you want your children to do too.

Being a grown-up means getting your hair cut before it reaches the point where you begin to look homeless and ill-kempt. Being a grown-up means timely doctor's appointments and healthy eating habits and washing your face and flossing your teeth. It means taking care of yourself, because then you're better capable of helping others. It's putting on your own oxygen mask first.

Being a grown-up means getting vegetables from a garden -- maybe even one you helped God grow yourself -- and having at least one go-to recipe, the kind of recipe that made your grandmother famous. It's knowing some things are better made from scratch, and some things aren't worth the time and effort, no matter how many accolades you might receive. It's knowing some things are better made by your own hands, and some things can be better entrusted to the experts at Publix.

Being a grown-up means being a good friend. It means calling when you say you'll call. It means showing up even when someone forgets to ask you to. It means crying over hurts and smiling over successes. It means grace under pressure and enthusiasm over good things. It means a kind no and a reliable yes.

Being a grown-up means date nights with your husband and girls' nights with your friends. It means hanging out as a family and spending hours at the dinner table. It's knowing how to play a handful of card and board games so you never run out of things to do with the people you love. It's making time to do nothing with the people you love best and need most.

Being a grown-up means confidence in your own decision-making. It means gratitude for who you have become. It means trying to be better, but being content with what you have and who you are.

I'm trying, these days, to be a grown-up, the kind of grown-up I dreamed of being when I was a little girl.

What kind of grown-up do you want to be?


Brittany said...

I liked this so much Annie. I've surprised myself a few time recently when I've done something in a way that is much more adult than child. It happens so subtly, the grown-up thing. It's a little crazy.

kinga said...

this is so absolutely beautiful. i'm not sure what kind of grown-up I will want to be, but I've still got a couple years to decide.

Danielle Skye said...

This post is beautiful. I often feel so overwhelmed by this new stage of being a 'grown up', and desperately wish that I was a little girl again - but what you've written expresses all the beautiful parts of it, the ones I should cherish.

Rachel Reeves said...

I want to be the type of grown up that, when I'm 85 and looking back, I won't be embarrassed by.

But I have a feeling that's a bit ambitious....

Loved this post.
And you.

engineer's wife said...

what a precious post! I just adore this. Looking back, when I was in my 20's I wanted to be a grown up with a great income and career. Things changed profoundly when I yielded my life to Jesus. Now, in my 40's I want to be a Titus 2 Proverbs 31 aspiring minute by minute woman when I grow up.

Anonymous said...

Hi Annie, my name's Niru and I'm from India. Just stumbled on your blog and loved the 'you' reflected in your about page. Beautifully composed!

Anonymous said...

Hi Annie, my name's Niru and I'm from India. Just stumbled on your blog and loved the 'you' reflected in your about page. Beautifully composed!