adulting goals: MASH

26 October 2015

Man, I don’t know what it is, but you hit 31 and almost a half and all of a sudden your mind is just swarmed with all these adulting things. You’re thinking homes and home repair, long term career goals, kids and family, and even all the way down to planning activities for those kids and family and career and home you don’t have yet.

Or at least that’s been the case with me. Like, totally completely. I mean, it’s not necessarily too surprising. We do think about these things from an early age. Remember MASH?

MASH_jamiesrabbitsphoto via flickr

What was it: Mansion, Apartment, Shack, House? Yeah. That “predictive” game where you divined out your future. Where you’d live, how many kids you’d have, what kind of car, what kind of career, what kind of salary you’d make, who you’d marry… I mean, it could figure out anything. You’d load up the list with super awesome choices — the hottest guys, the coolest cars, the most prestigious careers — and also with some duds. Then as you made your way through the list, you hoped beyond hope for all those super awesome choices.

It was all superficial. … Now, the superficial things on my list, well, they’re of a different scale.

Home:
» Dishwasher
» Decent sized kitchen; enough storage and counter space to work
» Hardwood floors (at least in main living areas)
» Soaking tub
» Reasonable utility bill
» Windows that aren’t ground level with the road/alleys, or look directly into another building a few feet away
» Non-annoying neighbors
» A good spot for the litter box
» Preferences: Cottage or craftsman; 2-3 bedroom; doesn’t need to be “big” at all

Career:
» Room for growth
» Allows me to be curious/continue to learn
» Good coworkers
» Good health insurance & benefits
» Preferences: museum collections or education or curation; professor

Family:
» Healthy, supportive, and understanding
» Love each other even when we might not like each other
» An affordable and non-complicated adoption
» Preferences: girl aged 2-4; spouse ?

Car:
» FWD or AWD
» Good fuel economy
» Will last for years
» Preferences: something better (exponentially) than the Lancer; Mini Countryman, Nissan Juke … quite honestly, it’s hard to have real opinions about this because I’m increasingly less picky as I just want something that’ll last for a while. Do I prefer certain cars over others? Yeah. But really it’s just about what’s going to be reliable and within budget.

I think one of the big things with adulting is not necessarily learning to make do, but that a lot of things that we relate to status and whatnot in our culture don’t actually matter. There are many other ways of finding and maintaining happiness outside of those things. Some of that’s how you measure success. I don’t need some six figure career or anything like that. I don’t need some massive house and some spectacular curb appeal yard. I’m not wanting some picture perfect family. Heck, not even a picture perfect life. They’re not realistic.

Adulting, well, for me it seems to be about the simple things. With the few particular requests thrown it. And mainly just ones that either make things a little easier (dishwasher) or a little comfortable (soaking tub). I don’t need those things and can live without them quite happily, but I’d enjoy those perks.

What’s on your adulting lists? Any surprises from what a younger you might have wanted?

  • I so feel this post. I think 29 was my magic number. I realized I was going to turn 30 and I wasn’t anywhere I thought I’d be. Remember when 30 seemed ancient!? Now I’m 30 and I’m like “Excuse me while I still wear glitter nail polish and carry around a purse with animated characters on it…”

    I’ve done the marriage and family thing. I started super early – like, soon as I hit 20 I was married and soon pregnant. Now my goals are aimed at having an overall better lifestyle – more money to do nice things for us, more time to do nice things, more everything… so long as it’s with the people I love.

    • I definitely remember when 30 seemed ancient. Now that I’m here I’m just like THIS IS AMAZING. Still young enough to have fun, old enough to be taken seriously, and old enough to be past all that youthful drama.

      And definitely. Once you find your people/family, being able to properly invest and show your appreciation to them is what matters. Becomes less about about the what about the who. 🙂

  • I totally get this. I think the thing that would surprise younger Kendall the most is the fact that my career goal isn’t to become a famous actress–ha! And man, I totally feel you on the reasonable utility bill in a home. That makes so much of a difference!

    • I think I thought I’d have my own little video production company and it’d be amazingly successful right from the beginning. Then as I started actually doing minor film work I realized I wasn’t really enjoying all of it like I thought I would. Once I hit college I just became more open to any and all possibilities, and just see where life might take me. Bumpy road, but it got me here.

      • That’s always tough, trying something you thought you’d always love, and then realizing it actually isn’t fitting just right. Bumpy road for sure!

  • Kay

    Yes, so much yes to this. Your entire 2nd to last paragraph is just wonderful – and also exactly what I believe. Success is a personal goal, and it means something different to everyone. I definitely don’t want a huge home, nor do I lust after a massively high paying job – though I totally do lust after a soaking tub! Definitely on my adulting list.

    • My deep tub is one of the very few things about my last Chicago apartment that I seriously miss. My legs have been so sore, I just wish I could soak for a while… *someday* I guess.

  • It’s funny to look back and see how I’ve changed since ten years ago… When I was 21, I was on the fast track to adulting. Engaged to be married, and assuming that I’d be having kids and buying a house shortly thereafter. The wedding happened, but none of the other “traditional” trappings of adulthood did, other than divorce.

    After ten years of apartment living, the thought of having a full sized house gives me the howling fantods. I can barely keep up with keeping a small space tidy, I can’t even imagine what kind of disaster I would make out of an entire fullsized house. It’d be nice to have a partner, but I’m not holding my breath. I could take it or leave it when it comes to having kids. And I don’t care about having a dishwasher anymore because it’s not a big deal to wash dishes by hand when you only ever use 5 of them.

    • I think my big issue is that I haven’t been able to downsize my dishes. Or I’d fall into that too busy/gotta leave right now and my dishes would end up sitting. If it wasn’t terrible for the world, I’d be a good candidate to just use paper plates, etc.

      And YES to the “what kind of disaster I would make out of an entire fullsized house” thing. Going from a studio to a two-bedroom… It’s like as soon as I finish with one area another area is somehow wrecked. It never ends.

  • It took a while, but I think Rick and I have made peace with not being conventional adults. We left that to his brother, with the house and the yard and the kids and the minivan. I mean, we’d like to do the kids thing at some point, but we’re fine living in the city, renting, not having a car. As long as we’re healthy and happy, right?

    • Yeah, my brother has the kids and the minivan too. Definitely takes off pressure from me to at least do that part. Healthy and happy is definitely the main goal. 🙂

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