After the initial optimism from Lent and New Year’s resolutions dies, everyone can acknowledge that certain things are always far easier said than done. (These include, “I’m going on a diet;” “I’m finally going to get in shape;” “I’m never drinking again.”)
However, as you transition into an “adult,” you have certain expectations for things that, logically, should be easy by now, what with your newfound maturity, responsibility and hard-earned wisdom from life experiences and all.
1. Breaking it off with someone who is bad for you
Now that you are an adult, you can tell when a relationship is just not right. When a friend is in a similar situation, you want to pull out your hair. It is so easy to see that the friend is dating a jerk, so just stop!
There are so many other people out there and once your friend is on the other side of her illogical emotions, she will be so much happier and together, you will laugh at the foolish period of her life when she dated this person.
However, when it is you, arguments like, “But, I LOOOOVVEEEE him!” or, “It’s fine, I am totally in control of the situation this time and things will be different,” seem totally valid. Meanwhile, your friends are rolling their eyes into the backs of their heads.
Someday, one of them will give you some #RealTalk that will stick — or, even better, you can be that friend to yourself.
2. Putting your laundry away
Doing laundry is a part of your regular routine that has a large productivity-to-scrubbing ratio. You throw your things into the washing machine with some detergent, and voilà, you have cleaned!
There is now space where there wasn’t before (in your hamper, or let’s be real, on your floor) and things are being washed of dirt and sweat.
You kick back for a half hour, until you remember there’s another part to this and mutter to yourself as you move your clothes two feet into the dryer. (I mean, really, can they not combine steps here?)
By the time you hear the irritating buzz of the dryer, you’re annoyed. You have to make these things NEAT? With like, folding and finding hangers and stuff? But, you CLEANED!
Full Disclosure: I am in my late-20s and somehow forget — every single time I do laundry — the huge effort involved in hanging up clothes.
The freshly-washed things that are not at risk of wrinkling often stay in my laundry basket for most of the week. At least my dishwasher is under control!
3. Making plans with friends
Ignoring the challenge of finding a day/time that everyone has free, God help you if you’re trying to make dinner plans.
That can involve hours of tearful negotiations between the guy who refuses food more foreign than spaghetti, the girl who won't spend more $10 and the one who is allergic to crunchy.
Therefore, you plan an outing sticking to what you know: drinking. While there is brief tension between beer/wine/cocktail-only drinkers, you successfully find a place that serves all three and even send a confirmation text: “Hey, see you at X Bar around 10!”
There are now plans — plans that everyone has acknowledged.
If you show up at X Bar at 10, one of the following things will almost always happen: 1) Your friends will be at least 20 minutes late and not respond to calls or texts; 2) your friends will find a cooler party at Y Bar and try to convince you to relocate (you may or may not be able to get in); 3) the bar will be out of whatever you went there for; 4) someone will get embarrassingly drunk and need babysitting.
The more people, the more variables that could go wrong.
And, people wonder why Netflix on your cozy couch is so appealing.
4. Not procrastinating
My father is the kind of person who finishes his work on Friday night so he doesn’t have to worry about it over the weekend. I always thought I would magically inherit this tendency when I got to college and had to be responsible for my own time.
But, I am pretty sure every single PowerPoint presentation I ever gave — even now, as a “professional” — got finished at 2 am the night before.
I have tried drawing up a schedule and planning in advance, but the truth is, necessity is the best motivation and inspiration for me.
Deadlines exist for a reason: to challenge me to run directly up against them and produce more work than I thought humanly possible.
5. Networking events
You are going to an event with people. You have something in common with all of these people — perhaps, the work you do for hours every day, or maybe, a place or interest that was a big part of your life.
You are all there to discuss this thing you have in common; you all have similar goals and are making a conscious effort to meet people. The talking should be easy. So, why are these events always so horribly awkward?
You choose the most talkative circle and walk up confidently as they smile and welcome you.
Then, you either wait for an opening that never comes, looking like a hovering creeper, or as soon as you join, everyone suddenly runs out of things to say, and silence falls.
Sad, awkward, unprofessional silence.
6. Waking up one minute earlier than necessary
Adults have a schedule that allows them to make the most of their time, right? They use their mornings to get a head start on the day by home-brewing coffee to save money, doing some quick stretches to get going and preparing and packing snacks to keep their energy up throughout the day.
Think of how much more productive and efficient you’ll be if you give yourself an extra 15 minutes in the morning to do these simple tasks!
While I understand, in theory, stopping at Starbucks on the way to work saves me neither time nor money, it is easier on my sleepy brain. And, pushing off the covers is as much physical exertion as I am willing to do in the morning (“willing” is probably not the right word there).
Any attempt at setting my alarm earlier for non-mandatory reasons have resulted in increased alarm snoozing. On the other hand, I am pretty great at staying up hours later than necessary, especially for procrastinated tasks and Wikipedia rabbit holes.
If there’s anything I have learned from being an adult, it's things aren’t always as simple as they seem, even if it is just getting out of bed in the morning. (Hey, brain chemicals like to throw curveballs.)
Sometimes, it seems like other people have it easy until you're in their shoes, so be sure to show everyone the compassion you would show yourself.