As I sit at my desk at the office it strikes me that I’m not so much being an adult as I am pretending to adult. Sure, I’m meeting my quotas, building beautiful slides in many, many briefing decks, putting a roof over my head, paying the bills, and keeping a number of small creatures alive. It doesn’t feel like that’s all that high of a bar to pass over. Particularly when I’m so often doing some or all of those things on autopilot.
That leaves me wondering how to define the core mission of being a adult. What characteristics define success? If the baseline is pay taxes and stay out of prison it’s straight forward enough. Alternately if the minimum level of entry is being able to provide for and sustain another human life into adulthood, I’m not even racing on the same track. In fact I’ve spent two decades driving at great and reckless speed away from that track. What then are the defining characteristics of adulthood? Is it merely a function of age? Is it behavior? Is it something intangible?
Since my real goal is to mostly maximize the amount of time I get to be home with my nose stuck in a book, or playing with the internet, or otherwise hiding from human interaction the point is largely an academic one. Even so, there are lots of people out there raising reasonably well adjusted children or doing important medical research or keeping a nuclear reactor running smoothly. Maybe any or all of them feel adultier than I do. Just now I’m not feeling any of it.
That’s not saying that I won’t do a fine job keeping up appearances. I’ll go through the motions and get most of them right, but just now I’m having a tough time shaking the feeling that the only major difference between the 1998 model Jeff and the 2016 variant is now I get less sleep, take a few more pills, and don’t need to show ID when I go to the liquor store. Maybe I should just change the definition of successful adulting and declare unilateral victory.
1. Measuring success. In a meeting it was casually mentioned that exceeding the standard wouldn’t be hard at all if we just changed the way the standard was measured. Well sure. As long as no one cares what something actually is, a perfectly acceptable description of it is “not my bathtub.” It’s technically correct but doesn’t tell you a damned thing about what the object actually is or how well it’s performing. The fact that there were a lot of allegedly smart people in the room who all nodded their heads in agreement of this asshattery leaves me so very little doubt about why this country is so utterly jacked up.
2. Walkers. The old woman who walked out from between two parked trucks on a one way street at 5PM without even looking in my direction (i.e. the direction from which traffic was coming) clearly has a death wish. I know this because she flipped me off and then yelled that I almost hit her. I hope I at least taught that wrinkled bitch a few new words. Fortunately for all of us I was more interested in getting home than jumping out of the truck and pummeling the Crypt Keeper with a tire iron.
3. Nest. It’s trying to be helpful. Maybe most people don’t notice the difference a single degree of temperature makes, but I do. Yes, my automated friend, I can feel the difference between 70 and 71. If I wanted 71 that’s the temperature I would have set. I appreciate that you’re doing your level best to save me money while keeping the house reasonably cool, but what I really need you to do is just go to the temperature I told you to go to and stay there until you receive further guidance. I’m fine with compromise, but not when it comes to comfort – and especially not when the cost is about $.37 a month.
One of the great problems of running a blog as a one man show is that sometimes, no matter what’s going on or how many topics are buzzing around in your head, you just don’t feel like writing. Sadly, there’s no one stepping up to stand in the breach so the best you can do is drag the laptop towards you and tap out a post about how much you don’t feel like writing. Yeah, I’m having a hard time wrapping my head around it too… but since there’s now a post where there wasn’t one before, I’m going to just consider the effort a success and move on. Hopefully tomorrow the muse will get off her duff and give me something in the same zip code as inspiration.