Tomorrow, I will turn 32.
At 32 years old, I will be a wife, a mom, a homeowner, a full-time employee, and a pet mom. I am training for my fourth half-marathon and I still am trying to remember that chocolate chip cookies and a diet coke do not a healthy lunch make. I still have to drag myself out of bed at the unholy time of 4:45 a.m. to complete a rise and shine run with my friends.
Those younger than me see me as an adult. Those older than me probably chuckle as they see me trying to figure out this adult thing.
I saw an Internet meme the other day that reflected this feeling perfectly: “That horrifying moment when you’re looking for an adult but then you realize that you’re an adult. So you look for an older adult, someone successfully adulting. An adultier adult.”
That’s basically me in a nutshell.
When do you cross that line and find out you’re an adult? Because I was so not an adult at 18. I was barely passable as an adult when I married at 21. When I was 22, we took on a home mortgage. Was that when I became an adult or was it when I started paying for my own bills? Was it when I had this little human who calls me “Mommy” and depends on me for everything? Or have I even reached it yet?
I completely believe that age is just a number. I’ve never been a person to hide my age or to lament the passing of my youth. I still do everything I did when I was younger – and, in fact, it seems life generally gets better with age. Remember those cookies and diet coke I had for lunch? I can do that because I’m an adult. Feel like binge watching some Netflix on a weeknight? Well, darlin’, I’ll pay for it in the morning, but I can do that because I’m an adult.
I’m apparently an adult with the mind of a college student.
We never have this whole thing with life figured out. I always hope that in the future – whether that’s next year or the next five years or even the next 10 years – that I’m a better person overall than I had been. I’m not really a specific goal keeper, which is a fault. Specific goals allow you to measure your success at the end of a set time period. Therefore, just saying I want to be a “better” person is not really attainable because I’ve got to define better. What does better mean for me?
To tell you the truth, I haven’t really gotten that far as to figure out what better looks like for me. I do have questions in mind – I just haven’t answered the questions.
Here’s what I’m asking myself right now, though, to determine where I want to be when I turn 33:
Where do I want to be physically? Is there a certain weight I want to get to or maintain? Do I want to run certain races in the upcoming year? What do I want to eat? How do I want to change my food intake?
How can I improve my prayer life? Do I want to have a memorization goal? Do I want to complete certain studies or read certain books? What can I do to fulfill my life’s purpose?
I’m currently on tenure track, which means I’m always in the research mode. What research do I want to focus on for the upcoming year? How many publications can I achieve? What goals do I have for my employment?
What can we change or continue that will keep us close as a family and increase our awareness to help those around us? What can we do that will teach our daughter how to volunteer and serve? What can we do to be more hospitable to our friends and family?
I call this the “other” category because I remember some really random goals on my “13 things to complete before I turn 30” list, which included learn to surf and learn Spanish (I did neither). I don’t really have a desire to learn Spanish or to surf now, but I may have some other random goals I want to add.
General goals won’t get me anywhere; specific goals will. If I want to be a better adult – maybe even an adult who is successfully adulting – I need to have a plan of how to get there.
What specific goals do you have? How do you successfully adult?
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