‘Tis the Season for Adulting

To spare you from hearing this in November and again in December, I’m going to say it now: I need a break from people.

Work has been creeping into every single corner of my week, and when it’s just projects, it’s fine. But when it’s people and feelings and complaining and petulance, it sucks my very will to live. (Yes, some grownups are annoying to work with. Now you know. If you happen to be reading this as an adult and don’t know some adults act like children, now you do. You’re welcome. Life’s great, people suck.)

Single parenting sucks. It just straight up sucks. I’ve spent two years telling myself that this is better, that the lack of conflict is worth the challenges, for me and for the kids. That extra time with my boys is the reward for grown-upping, in the way I now choose to grow up. But this month, especially, it’s just weighing on me. Nobody to talk to when I come home. Nobody to help in the morning or at bedtime. Passing kids back and forth between houses, between parents; panicking while at work (50 miles away) that I might have forgotten a change in the custody schedule, realizing that my solo weekend has two soccer games and a school carnival that I don’t want to miss, parachuting me into yet another work week without reserves, without coping skills, without having recharged.

Interminable. Treadmill on high.

I have lost the will to even. It’s not that I can’t even. I don’t want to even.

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Ugh. Work. I am over this particular obligation of adulting.  I took the job because it’s exciting and intellectually stimulating and fun. Now I’ve been beating my brains out giving this company 55+ hours of my time every week, for what feels like no good reason. If I’m not there, someone else will do this shit. If I’m not there, other people will do their jobs, or not, and I won’t care. I’m burning myself out for people who don’t notice, and, quite frankly, wouldn’t notice the difference if someone less engaged, less passionate, less competent took the job.

So what am I doing? If it feels like you’re wasting your time and your energy, chances are you’re adulting. Yeah, I know. It’s called adulting because it’s what adults have to do. But I thought adulting is feeding children and taking out the trash. Adulting, I thought, is paying taxes and reading all the initiatives on the ballot and sending money to Haiti to help with hurricane relief. Is adulting really killing yourself to prove you’re good at something when it doesn’t freaking matter?

So as I grapple with all this, Halloween decorations are slow in coming and Christmas crap is already in the one store I went into this month. Dread. Fear. Bah Humbugishness. The holidays are usually, for me, too many activities with unrealistically high expectations. Now feel as though they’ll be a welcome break. We will see young family members in a play. We will eat, drink, and fight with each other because of all the stress. We will spend time outside, among friends. I will second guess everything I say, and will loathe myself for losing my temper at least once.

But there won’t be a powerpoint presentations about it.

Probably.

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So finally, my gratitude comes from the things that matter. If only I can adult long enough to get the reward of all our efforts. I’m holding out hope that, if I don’t have a major breakdown in the next couple of weeks, we might have a really lovely November and December around here.

How about you? Dreading the holidays? Excited about November and December? Both?

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6 thoughts on “‘Tis the Season for Adulting

  1. You poor thing. I’m sending you some virtual sympathy. Sounds like you need more female friends that you can bitch to, and lots of wine. Hang in there – I hope you find some enjoyment during the holidays. I like your blog by the way.

    • My cadre of friends are fierce, flawless, and relentlessly supportive. Heck, I even called one and asked if she could come over to listen to me kvetch. And she did. At 10pm on a school night. I love, love, love my support system. Believe me, I couldn’t make it, or enjoy a rich life, without them.

      And thank you for the blog love! It’s almost November, and time to blog in the can’t stop won’t stop manner of the young and child-free.

  2. I’m looking forward to the holidays – if only for the long vacation time I will get as I use up all my accumulated time before it expires at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s. I’m sorry you are stressed and that grown people act like children. Adulting IS hard and venting about it sometimes blows off enough steam that you feel a little better. Enough to keep on keeping on for the time being, until it’s all sane again.

    • You’re exactly right…sometimes the venting is enough to get me through to the next phase. I’m glad you’re forced to use that vacation time…mandatory days off are the best days off!

  3. hi! i’ve been a single parent since my children were infants and although their father is coming online, I am responsible for them most of the time. I’m not sure how helpful or realistic this would be for you, but I’ve found that hiring someone to help me a couple evenings a week – to play with the kids while I clean up the kitchen, or do laundry while I hang out with the kids – is a huge help, mentally and physically. The key is to hire people you like, so its also an emotional relief for you. I also find that it helps, weirdly, to have friends come over for dinner once every couple of weeks or so. I order in and its pretty chaotic, but having them in the mix somehow makes the evening better rather than more stressful. but ha, yes, adulting is hard. I’ve just finished the seventh straight week of ~50 hour work weeks, and even when the work is meaningful its a grueling schedule. I hope you can get or give yourself a few hours off.

    • Hey, there. I also find that having people over—single friends, child-free couples, families—increases chaos but really feels like we’re more grounded as a family. The village thing is hard to manage, but it really does refill our sense of connection and gratitude. Thanks for the reminder!

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