I remember as a child longing so much to be an ADULT, because fuck this shit of parents’ rule…I want to eat Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups whenever I want. Don’t tell me what to do, you’re not the boss of me! I mean, c’mon, what kid hasn’t said that at some point during their childhood?!? Being an adult seemed so magical, fun, and exciting! No one to make you eat your vegetables or make you go to bed at a certain time or tell you what to do. Ah, the nostalgia of it all. It sounded SO good when I was a kid.
Sitting on the other side of that childhood wishing as a middle-aged adult who is also a parent, I so desperately want to give back my adulting card. Like where do I get a refund people?!? Can I be a Karen and ask, “May I speak to the manager of life, please?” Because this shit is not magical, fun and exciting. Most days, if I’m truly honest, as an adult and a parent, I’m winging it. I’m making shit up as I go along and praying to the gods, nature, divine (basically anyone out there who may listen to my fervent praying) that I don’t fuck things up too badly with my decision making. The pandemic has not made this decision making any easier. At least in the beginning stages of this, it seemed like we could all die if I made the wrong decision for myself or my family. I’m only being a smidge dramatic, but the burden seemed real to me.
There’s SO much decision fatigue as an adult. From your job, to friends, to all the household and parenting responsibilities, we’re making decisions. All. Damn. Day. Some are easy…like I’m too exhausted to cook so pizza tonight for dinner it is! Some aren’t that easy…will moving to a new job alleviate some of my work-related stress or just shift it around? Is a new job going to make things better, worse, or samesies?
And then you get into the major dilemmas of life, beyond career. Currently, my husband and I are going through marital issues and the myriad of questions and potential decisions overwhelms me like an avalanche. Will counseling help? Can we really afford it (we can’t)? What if we get divorced? How will that affect our daughter? Am I making the right decision? Am I going to permanently fuck up my daughter or look back and think if I take step A, I made a horrible mistake?!? Queue the avalanche of feelings. Worry. Helplessness. Anger. Sadness. Uncertainty.
I’m longing for that parental oversight of someone who will tell me what to do. In an individual counseling session for myself, I even talked to my therapist and said, “So, can you provide me a bulleted list of what needs to be done?” She laughed, but I was one million percent serious. Can someone just tell me what I need to do here?!? What is the next right step for me? Does someone have a secret adulting manual they can share with me that has the Cliff Notes and all the answers?
Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? No? Well, damn it, I’m at least going to go back to eating my Reese’s Peanut Butter cups while I fret over this adulting bullshit. And it IS complete and utter bullshit.