Thursday, January 20, 2011

Thursday Thirteen

Today I offer up a list of 13 things you should do if you are an adult.

1. Make a will. Even if you have just a little estate, a will is an absolute necessity in order to bring peace and closure to your loved ones as well as to ensure that things go as you would like. I know no one wants to think about dying, but sometimes you just have to suck it up and be a grown up. Remember, if you have no will, your estate is ruled by the laws of your state. You might not like them.

2. Appoint guardians. If you have children, I cannot imagine not doing this. If you are killed in a car wreck today, who will look after your kids? Again, the state prevails if you do not have things already in writing.

3. Take care of your health. No one else is going to do it, and you have other people depending on you. The least you can do is visit a doctor every now and then. Take up yoga, learn to relax, reduce stress, take a Geritol, eat your vegetables. Don't drink too much, stop smoking, put down the root beer and ditch the bag of chocolate candy. Whew. Being an adult is tough.

4. Register to vote. And then vote. Yeah, I know it's all smoke and mirrors and democracy is a joke now that people think capitalism and democracy are the same thing (they're not), but vote any way. Who knows, maybe one day we will sneak someone in with some common sense.

5. Establish a relationship with a banker. Most people need to borrow money at one time or another. Unfortunately, who you know plays a big role in most things in life and this is one where it matters, too. So get to know the loan officer. Go in and ask a few questions, of nothing else. Be nice.

6. Obtain a lawyer. Ideally, you will never need one to bail you out of jail but there are other things (like making that will) that require a little bit of expertise. During uncertain times, it helps to have this one already figured out. What lawyer would you use if you were in an accident? If you don't know, think about it. The guy who is advertising on TV might not be your best choice.

7. Establish a home. I hope everyone eventually owns their own home, though I must say that renting and having someone else take care of things has its upside. However you decide to keep a roof over your head, make it yours and embrace it as a place of possibilities.

8. Find your passion. This one can be a tough thing for many people to do - we're so busy struggling to pay the bills, who has time to figure out what her passion might be? But I submit to you that having something to look forward to beside the drudgery of everyday life is an important part of being human, not just being grown up.

9. Learn to manage money. This is harder than it ought to be, but in this day and age of credit and plastic, it's very easy to overspend. Keep track of where your dollars go and you may be surprised how much you spend on lattes or cigarettes or clothes or books or whatever you like to purchase. For example, I tend to blow around $500 a year on books. Good? Bad? I don't know, but at least I know that's where I spent it.

10. Learn to have fun. Yes, have fun! Enjoy your life. Be spontaneous. It's not all about paying the bills and wiping noses and ironing. Go see a movie, for heaven's sake.

11. Find your god. Spirituality is both over rated and under rated, but finding your own personal spiritual core and belief system is definitely worth taking the time to do. Examine the values you were brought up with and accept or reject them as you will. Take a look at different religions and see if something fits better. You may go right back to the doctrine you were raised in and that's fine, but embrace it thoughtfully and with contemplation.

12. Remove the bad things. This is also a very difficult project to undertake because it requires a lot of inner prodding. But if something or someone in your life isn't working for you, and has absolutely no redeemable features, then you must figure that out and then toss them. Maybe you have a good friend who is a real downer. You must still get something from that relationship, and maybe that good thing is enough to keep the person around. But do take the time to examine it and figure out what is worthwhile. Maybe your job is the pits. Can you do something else?

13. Embrace the good things. This is also hard, because the bad things sometimes can be overwhelming. But good things are there all the time - you are able to read this. You are up and awake and not in a coma. Sometimes you have to be grateful for the mundane in order to appreciate your existence, but do give it a try. Grace is wonderful and we all have it in our life, even if we forget to look for it. So be grateful. At least you don't need that will just yet.

Thursday Thirteen is played by lots of people; there is a list here.  I've been playing for a while and this is my 174th time to do a list of 13 on a Thursday.


  1. All of them are wonderful, but finding one's passion stands out the most to me. I think it's something that can naturally lead to many other things on the list.

    Wonderful sentiments to share. Thank you so much!

    Happy TT,

    13 Comforts

  2. Sometimes, I hate having to be an adult...

    Have a great Thursday!

  3. Smart thinking. You're right. All these things are things we should do. :)

  4. Practical and positive. I like your list!

  5. It's also best not to wait until the day of a big vote to do the registering as that little extra hoop (such as having to drive out to a particular place because that's where they have it set up) can be enough to derail you.

  6. A very thoughtful and thought-provoking post, though I agree with Harriet--sometimes being an adult royally sucks. *g*

  7. They're all good but number 12 really rings a bell for me. A few years ago I decided to get rid of people, so to speak, who weren't adding anything positive to my life. I didn't fight with them. I didn't tell them I was mad at them. I just stopped cultivating the relationships. I don't need to collect friends just to have a big number. I do the same thing with Facebook friends and even blog buddies. This gives me more time to savor and appreciate and cultivate good relationships with the ones who add to my life. Life is too short.


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