A friend’s Facebook feed turned up this book:
Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, and the blurb tells you who the target audience is,
If you graduated from college but still feel like a student . . . if you wear a business suit to job interviews but pajamas to the grocery store . . . if you have your own apartment but no idea how to cook or clean . . . it’s OK. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Let me stand by my front door and get this off my chest: “Take one step and GET OFF MY LAWN.”
This is the sort of thing that gives millennials a bad name. No. It is not “OK” to inflict your pajamas on the unsuspecting public at the grocery store or anywhere other than a. your home or b. the hospital.
Instead of 468 steps (five more steps than it takes to clamber up to the top of Florence’s Duomo, and that’s a climb), I propose twelve steps (I’m assuming you are gainfully employed in some form):
1. Live within your means.
2. Clean after yourself.
3. Make your bed.
4. Wash, fold/iron, sort, and put away your laundry at least once a week.
5. Pay your bills on time.
6. Keep yourself clean and well-groomed.
7. Stop complaining.
8. Practice daily saying “hello, please, thank you, may I.”
9. Listen before you answer.
10. Be punctual.
11. Learn to fix yourself three simple meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner keeping this in mind: one starch, one protein, one or two veggies.
12. Learn from your mistakes.
Give yourself extra credit if you learn how to parallel park.
It’s twelve steps, not 468. They are in random order, since these are steps you take every day.
No, I have never taken part in the AA twelve step programs, but a dozen steps certainly are catchier than 468, especially on a post-it note.
As you can see, there are three categories: Personal cleanliness and maintenance, financial, and interpersonal skills. Learning from your mistakes applies to all three.
Some steps are easier than others: Making your bed every day, for instance. That doesn’t mean they are not important. Indeed, Admiral William H. McRaven (U.S. Navy Retired) has a best-selling book based on his speech, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World that begins by explaining why it is important to start your day with a task – i.e., making your bed – completed. Admiral McRaven learned that as part of his Navy Seals training. Socio-economist Randall Bell found that multi-millionaires make their beds, too.
That is what “adulting” is really about: Getting up every day and completing the tasks that bring meaning to our lives without neglecting the necessary daily chores that maintain us healthy (physically, mentally and financially) and grounded.
Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes in U. S. and Latin America at Fausta’s blog.