working on it

I know – it’s a big call: growing up, adulting, taking responsibility for shaping the rest of my life.

I’m not saying the last 40 years haven’t had some wonderful highlights (and some lowlights) but really, I’m not where I thought I’d be at this point. Truth be told, I’m not even sure I can recall where/what younger me I thought I would be at this point of my life. I think it involved my own house, a natural calm, money in the bank and fabulous holidays. I’ve grown up a little (thankfully) and I know that happiness, gratitude, family, friends and living are also important but the practical side of me knows that this is it: the turning point for somehow bringing it all together so that I can actually afford retirement and look back and be happy with my life.

I’ve been taking a poll (randomly) over lunches, during work break chats, when out for drinks, during roadtrips. Turns out being a grown up means a great many things to different people.

For some it’s being over 18. For others it’s paying your bills on time, being a good friend and calling your mum regularly. In every conversation, I wondered if that was all there was. Probing a little deeper and yes, my friends wanted to be happier, they wanted meaning but sometimes, just like me, they didn’t know what they wanted.

So, are all the trappings of being a grown up – the house, the car, the family (whatever size), the good relationships, holding down a job, paying the bills – are they actually the easy part? (Not that they’re easy either.) Really though, is this whole Grown Up thing just about being able to pay your bills and pick up the phone? I reflected on that and for me at least, it’s not.

When I’m (finally) Grown Up, I’d like to:

  • be doing something I love,
  • not have to schedule time for those I love because I haven’t over-committed myself,
  • have my own home (I’ve thought about it and I’d really like to achieve the Australian Dream),
  • know that I can afford to retire at some point.

So for the next year, in the interests of growing up, I’m going to focus on balance, on being healthier and happier, saving some money, getting back into some writing and general creativity.

I’m up for the challenge. I can do this.

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