One Little Word – Adult

I realized that I am an adult.  Several years back, when I first started teaching, I was challenged to write with the topic of, “When did you realize you were an adult?”.  At the time, I was in my first teaching job and I lived with my parents.  I decided to write on the theme of being a part-time adult. This idea stemmed from a checklist of things that I felt were adult traits.  This list included having a full-time job, holding my own health care, car payments and insurance.

Looking back, my list was very naive. I felt that the role of an adult was simply a list of things – things that I could just cross off a list and accompany with age to finally be an adult.  I know now that adulthood is a list of experiences, but also the resulting emotions.  This makes sense when I consider observations that a young person who has been through a traumatic experience people comment that they had to grow up too soon.
But, back to the moment when I realized that I was an adult.  I was thinking of my impending birthday as a moment of reflection on the past year rather than of expectations for the future year.  This, I think is the true mark of adulthood.  I think that when you can accept your future and take things as they come because you are genuinely enjoying that experience rather than rushing through to the main event makes your emotions very adult.
However, I was thinking recently that I’ve had a very adult year.  I was married to my high school sweetheart.  I moved into a house that I own.  I created a home filled with things I had saved in my hope chest readying for adulthood.  And, I lost my only known grandparent.  But, my slice and what I’ve realize is my one little word is adult.   I am an adult now because I know myself and I appreciate those people and experiences that made me this person. This is truly when I realized that I am an adult.

Searching for a Slice…of Life

I went on a search for my slice of life only to realize that that purposeful search was the opposite of the meaning behind a slice of life. A slice of life is not something that I can find, but something that I should notice.  A slice of life is a moment that is made available for me.

I was faced with one of those miraculous evenings when the possibilities were all mine. My husband was out of town, so takeout was in my hands for dinner, rather than a meal that I would normally prepare.  We were also having a catered lunch at school the next day, so the regular nightly chores were quickly finished, and I found a moment to sit down and ponder what my night would hold. Now this night was accompanied by frigid Michigan weather where temperatures were in the single digits and felt like negative of those low numbers. Despite the warmth of my house and opportunity of a night alone, I ventured out.

The venturing was planned and a part of my weekly routine, a spinning class at my local gym.  But it was one that I thought seriously about avoiding this week.  Typically, it takes me about 8 minutes to get to the class and I like to cut my arrival close enough that I can get a spot in the classes and warm up, but by no means be early. Tonight, though, I left early thinking of the New Year’s resolution people that crowd the gym at this time of year, only to get stuck in traffic. The cut-through street that I take was completely closed, and the off-ramp was jammed with everyone previously on the cut-through. 30 minutes later, finally merging onto the street that can take me to my gym in about 10 minutes, I know, that there are no bikes left at spinning and the temperature continues to drop, so I am forced back home. Home I went, disappointed that I missed a workout that I thoroughly enjoy and frustrated that I ever left my house in this cold, but with a slice of life and some time to write it.