How to be an ‘adult’
This festive break I referred to some of the tasks that I was carrying out as ‘adulting’. Someone would ask me what I was did today, and I simply replied ‘adulting’.
So, what does this exactly mean?
For me it was taking care of the environment around me, my home. My home is my sanctuary, it’s the place I feel most grounded outside of nature’s playground and it’s the place that reflects my mental state of mind.
Striving for perfection
My adulting meant I was striving for perfection in my home; for everything to have a place, to be in order and this resulted in me purging, cleaning and re organising almost every cupboard in the home from the walk-in wardrobe to the kitchen cupboards (& fridge).
Being organised takes time, I’m talking more than few hours but the sense of peace as I logically and methodically sorted clothes, underwear, socks, tupperware, pans, and jars set my mind into a place of calm; I was carrying out a mindful moving meditation.
Learnings from menial tasks
As my mind processed thoughts, some conscious some not I had a sudden realisation that no matter how much I tried to get on top of things, striving for perfection was/is unattainable.
Did my world come crashing down at this point? Absolutely not, it was almost like a light bulb moment, I was finally understanding some of the (many) lessons of life. The pinnacle of perfection that I was trying to reach was no longer a struggle, I got it. My thought process relating to perfection was now well, less than perfect. I realised that what I must do was simply – give every task my best.
The journey to imperfection
If you look at some of the titles of the books in my bookshelf you would think you were in the ‘self-help’ section of a bookstore or library. I have longed to understand the workings of my mind through the books I read but the greatest learnings have come from meditation.
Meditation has taught me more than I give it credit for and one of the greatest lessons is ‘you can’t turn off the thinking mind’ you merely learn to ‘turn down the volume’.
The nature of the brain is thought, our life is made up of scenarios that become our story, our identity, we think we become our thoughts. But what if, you could control all of that? You have the power to control, change and create the change you wish to be.
My perfect is it: “having all the required or desirable elements, qualities or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be completely free from faults or defects” Hmm yes, no, kind of. My perfect, well its imperfect and I’m pretty happy with that.
Here’s looking at you
Adulting for me is something my 16- to 21-year-old self would have described as boring and would have told myself to ‘get a life’. Outside of the four walls there is a life to be lived; fun to be had and places to explore, wasting it cleaning was well, a waste of a life.
But here in my mid-forties, I still know this to be kind of true and where I can I do grab life by two hands and experience it, but life is also about creating a space around you that reflects you – your values, meaning, interests and in a way your current mental state.
My house is filled with living plants because I yearn to bring the outside in, I’m connected with plant life force energies which help feed me both physically and mentally. I notice the small things, insignificant to some; the growth of a new bud, leaf, or flower – I sense the plants happiness because when they are thriving, I am too; that’s my connection with nature and most importantly with change.
Adulting isn’t just about ticking boxes; finishing school, reaching a certain age, being able to vote, moving away from your parents, getting a job/career, getting married, having kids or even suddenly everything that confused you now making sense.
It’s not about what I did either over the festive break; cleaning cupboards, sorting through clothes, and rearranging pots & pans adulting is about constant learnings and realisations, it’s about letting go for traditional ideas and creating your own. My adulting happened to be realised when I yearned for the space around me to be uncluttered and calm, I wish for my environment to be set up in a way that gets the best out of me, not my perfect self but my best self.
To some the thought of spring cleaning over the festive break is pure hell but for me; it was life giving, life affirming and life teaching.
Adulting is about finding your authentic self in any which way and just being content with that and as the saying goes ‘it may not happen overnight, but it does happen (eventually)’.