Being a grown up is hard work. It really, really is….
Being self employed is hard work – there’s no doubt about it. But being a grown up when someone does something that effectively makes their work life better at the cost of yours – knowing full well what they are doing, well, I take it much more personally now I run several businesses. And it’s hard to not chuck your toys out of the pram and go after them, or shame them publicly – because there are lots of ways to do it these days. No, I just have to get on with it, be a grown up and pray for Karma to bite them on the bum at some point. or that they buy some ice cream and it’s not as nice as they’d like it to be.
Being a wife is hard work. I’m sure it’s harder for my husband to be married to me than it is for me. In fact I quite certain of that. But it doesn’t stop it being REALLY HARD to be a grown up and to be married to someone. Right now, neither Lovely Bloke or I look like the young, attractive, wrinkle free, non eye baggy people we used to. And we have pressures – we’re coming to the end of the financial year and we’re both working really hard – him to control the costs and me to bring as much money in as possible. So I think yes, it’s fair to say that we are arguing and bickering and just annoying each other more than we usually do.
With the Previous Applicant (yes, my dad referred to him as the Current Applicant for several years…) I used to literally walk out of the house to get some space when we argued, but now, that’s not an option. I don’t mean literally, I mean emotionally – because I’m a grown up and I’ve got to stay and sort things out. And try to not scream blue murder because it will upset the boys. I find it so hard to argue with someone who I love so much, like a grown up – without hissing hurtful words, without dragging up previous perceived misdemeanours at the drop of a hat, (when 5 minutes before I couldn’t remember to bring a pile of washing downstairs because my memory is so shot…) and without letting it spiral out of control from the topic at hand. I just want to put it out there, that yes, it’s really hard to be a grown up and be married. Even though I chose to be, and want to be and would turn down Daniel Craig himself to be with Lovely Bloke. Seriously I would. I can’t imagine my life any other way. So how come I can’t be a better grown up and be a better wife to my Lovely Bloke??
And finally, as a friend. By God, it’s hard to have friendships as a grown up. Social nuance, expectations, my PMT – their PMT, social etiquette and not knowing whether it’s really ok to tell someone else’s kids off when they are sat underneath your dining table telling you that the food you’ve prepared for them is “yucky”… Honestly, I find the older I get, the more tricky it is to make new friends. And I panic so much when I upset one of them – by being a know it all, or making myself feel better about something by making a sarcastic line, or just by judging them for doing things different to myself.
I panic when AKT reels off her social schedule for the weekend – thinking that she’ll find someone better to be friends with than me. I know. It’s silly. But I do. I panic when Mother R and I don’t see each other for weeks at a time. And then resort to “it’s your fault” text messages to each other for why we’ve not caught up. I do. It’s hard to make time to be a good friend and to do friends things as a grown up when there’s so much else competing for our attention and space in our minds. And that’s why, when people make mistakes – and good grief – I’ve made a few in my time, I wish people could be a bit more, well you know, be a bit more understanding about it.
Because at some point, it’s going to be them that gets something wrong. And if they’ve been self righteous about other stuff that’s gone before, they can’t very well expect other people to be gracious when they’ve been so high on their high horse that they’ve needed an oxygen mask.
I’ll share this because I know I was a complete pillock about it, but I think it’s good to be honest. Especially because it came up in a secret group that I’m part of on Facebook, in the last week. Friendships change. The people we hang out with change. And the point where that’s evolving and happening and is part of being a process of – well, it’s hard. Something happened last year, which I wasn’t invited to and I was confused and hurt when all the photos turned up on Facebook from it. But instead of being heartbroken about it for weeks like I would have been previously, I actually felt like I’d turned a corner in this friendship with other women thing – I cried to AKT and KR, and they both said well, you should spend that money you would have spent doing that, with us and also, to belt up because that’s what life is – people change, they make decisions and the include and don’t include different people. And they were right.
And then, karma made it all not just alright. But better than I could have imagined it would be. Two weeks or so later, someone who I’d met through work actually sat me down, and said “can we be friends” – she literally asked me, shall we be friends. I could have actually cried. In fact, I probably did. And although I don’t see her as often as I’d like to, I think that we’ll be friends for decades to come – laughing at each other, commiserating over our mutual failures to sufficiently juggle everything in our lives and at the world in general.
That’s not to say that I’ve got the friendship thing nailed. Not at all. But I have bit more perspective on it. It’s evolving. In fact, being a grown up is not a final destination. For me right now, it’s about accepting that it’s an ongoing adventure – self employment, being a wife and having friendships – all as a grown up.
You’ll note that I’ve not even mentioned being a mummy here. Because that’s a whole series of blog posts in their own right !!!
So if you’re doing well in any one of more of your jobs in being employed / keeping the home fires burning OR being a wife OR being good at the friendship thing, have a house point !! Pinpoint what you are doing well, and strive to keep it up.
And if you’re not doing well in any one or more OR ALL OF THEM (!!!) don’t panic. Truth be told, there are flashes and moments in our lives where we think we’ve managed it as a grown up. But the rest of the time, I think we’re all just trying to to remember how to do it again, because it seems like something that’s near on impossible to achieve…
I’m writing this with love from me to you as a working woman, a wife, a daughter, sister, friend and mummy who is doing her best to be all things to all people as a grown up, and learning to accept that even though it’s a nigh on impossible task, it’s still worth the effort to keep trying….
PS. Feel free to share some wise words, commiserate or tell me that my head is up my *&^% on this one. I don’t mind if you think it is :) Because like I said, I’m still working it out xx