Wednesday, November 29, 2006


What does it mean to be an "adult"?

When do you know you are an adult?

How does an adult think, feel, and behave? Should thoughts and/or feelings have an influence on one's behavior as an adult?

I've been hearing the phrase "I'm an adult now" quite a bit lately, as you can imagine. Gone are the days of looking up to me, of admiring me, of treating me with kindness and respect. And it hurts.

Adulthood does not have anything to do with chronological age. It has everything to do with the knowledge that decisions are based on reasoning rather than feelings. I'm not saying that a person totally dismiss feelings out of the decision making process, but you do need to step back from them and be objective before running full-steam-ahead into a situation.

Adulthood implies freedom, but along with that freedom comes a ton of responsibility in many areas - the responsibility for your behavior and how it affects other people's feelings and how they view you as a person, the responsibility for developing your character, the responsibility that your individual wants are not the most important thing in the whole world (in other words, it's important to put other people first before yourself), the responsibility to be grateful for all the gifts God has given to you and never take them for granted, the responsbililty to be humble in all of your interactions with others and with God, the responsibility to say "I'm sorry" and "I forgive" when needed, and the responsibility to listen to God's voice and what HE wants you to do rather than what YOu want to do both in your life and with your life.

I know I fail in my responsibilities as an adult. Nobody is perfect - so it's a good thing that God invented forgiveness and redemption. But I also know that I can't live my life without God's help, or without help or guidance from others who have walked this path. If I tried to do it alone, or if I thought I knew everything there was to know about life - then I would be a lonely fool.


At 10:52 AM, Blogger Kevin said...

Adult = "grown to maturity."

Maturity = "the state of being fully developed."

Arguably, you're only "fully developed" when you've learned to discipline and integrate your emotions and intellect through the use sound judgment, which, in turn, requires not only training, but, for most of us, experience.

Adulthood is not a chronological state, it's a state of being. Some people live a long time and never achieve it, but only a rare person attains it without living a long time. She doesn't get it, and, not being mature, she doesn't get it that she doesn't get it. Then again, neither did I at her age. Did you?

At 11:20 AM, Blogger HeyJules said...

Hmmm...I can't imagine where you could be hearing that phrase come from?

And you're takes more to be an adult than chronological age but, then again, you can't get there without going through it and at that age you DO think you know it all. At least I did!

So try to remember while your feelings are being hurt that every other kid said that same thing to every other mom and eventually every other kid had to go back and ask for mom's forgiveness for what they said or did.

What goes around comes around. You'll get yours. :-)

At 1:58 PM, Blogger Humble Beginnings said...

I'm glad you feel like you fail sometimes.. cause I'm only 32 and somedays I wonder how I survived been a teenager. Which only makes me question... how on earth do the teenagers survive?

Oh, adults like us help them...!?!?

I swear, God is laughing at us.

At 3:52 PM, Blogger JodiTucker said...

Excellent wisdom from I Valerie 1:1--1:28!!
Seriously, good stuff to ponder and the comments, too. Most days I might qualigy as adult, but I still like to swing on the swings and go down the slide at recess.

At 4:08 PM, Blogger My Kid's Mom said...

Kevin - But, of course I did! LOL!
Seriously, I totally agree with what you are saying - but I did not include the points you made in this post for many reasons.

Jules - Yup,most kids do say those things to their parent(s). What hurts in this instance is how drastically the relationship has changed over the course of months - so it has taken me by surprise, and quite frankly, I am a bit alarmed as I never expected this. I'm a patient person, though - and I love her to pieces - so I realize that it will work itself out in the end.

HB - I'm 52, and I'm shocked I've made it this far. There's still that little kid in me who wonders what I'll be when I grow up. Adolescence is far more complicated and stressful in many ways than when I was a teenager in the late '60's and early '70's. However, I lost my mom whne I was 14, so I matured a lot quicker than most, and was lost for a lot longer than many.

Jodi - Thanks - perhaps I should write an advice column! Yeah, I'm right out there slinging the snowballs, too!

At 11:48 PM, Blogger Nettie said...

I'm 21 now so I can do what I want? I dunno, I've just been saying that a lot lately...

At 8:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Valerie,

I've fallen behind in my blog visits and wanted to stop by with a hug and hello, and see how you're doing. As a mother of three (all adults now, of course:-) I know what you mean. Being an adult legally and possessing maturity aren't necessarily synonymous, either:-) Ah, motherhood! It continues to challenge me, even with three, ages 31, 26, 24.

Blessings & hugs to you,

At 9:50 AM, Blogger TC said...

Being a mom isn't easy, is it?

I think you should write an advice column!

At 12:57 PM, Blogger Overwhelmed! said...

Excellent post! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts.

At 3:41 PM, Blogger ukok said...

I sometimes wish I was back living with my parents again...this adulthood isn't always all it's cracked up to be...with it comes such responsibility! It's amazing that we often can't wait to be old enough to leave home..but before too long we're hit with the bills, the duties of earning, the family follow and completes the equation but also bring with them more demands, more responsibility.

Ah, to be young again......

(((hug))) Thanks SO much for your kind and supportive comments in recent days, I've really appreciated them, my friend.


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