Adulthood 101

Adulthood 101

Yesterday I had the epiphany that I’m still much like a child: given to indulging my impulses at the expense of long-term well-being, still in-the-dark about a lot of basic household processes, and not shaping my own development as a human being responsibly.

The trick might be self-parenting my inner child.

Adopting Myself

Now that I’m the proud parent of my inner child, I’ve got to think about what I want for him. Naturally, I want him to develop into an upstanding, happy, and confident human being. This is what I know about him so far:

  • He’s about 14, likes spaceships and cats.
  • He doesn’t really like sports because he’s not good at them.
  • He has some anxiety about being “good” at things.
  • He’s good at observing how things connect together.
  • He’s shy, but likes writing and using his imagination.

As an adult, there are certain things that I need to provide for us:

  • Financial security to avoid unpleasant shocks and discomfort.
  • Quality time, growing and learning together.
  • A model for what adulthood is, so he learns this through osmosis as he grows older. Adulthood isn’t all responsibility without reward.
  • A program of general fitness, health, and mental stimulation.
  • An environment in which self-discovery can safely occur.
  • Physical security.
  • Stability.
  • Emotional support.
  • Community connectivity.

To be able to do all that, I need to:

  • Focus on my business prospects
  • Manage my time, so I can spend quality time with my inner child
  • Use myself as an example for how to be a happy adult
  • Demonstrate the fundamentals of living and playing responsibly
  • Demonstrate cause and effect of our choices
  • Be dilligent in tracking the critical signs of a healthy household: cash flow, health & fitness, having good things to eat, stability of household services, and insurance against future crisis.
  • Be pro-active in anticipating cause and effect

When I woke up this morning at a relatively early 730AM, I put myself into self-parenting mode and immediately got my ass out of bed, showered, and put on some actual work clothes. I even combed my hair; my stylist would be thrilled, as she says that one should ALWAYS look good. In my case, that just means looking slightly less rumpled, but that’s still an improvement.

I cooked breakfast, because I knew that it’s an essential part of the day. I took out some meat for cooking lunch, thought about what vegetables would be good to have for dinner. I also knew that providing regular breakfast creates a routine, and routines are good for establishing a sense of security and home, forming a comfortable base from which one can explore. So I (we?) ate breakfast, wished each other a good day, and then I got myself downstairs to the office to work. Blogging is work too, you know! :-) Later this evening, we’ll probably draw some spaceships and do some chores, maybe shoot some hoops. I’ll make a list that describes the whole idea of “balancing the checkbook” so we both know what’s expected.

Does it Work?

This was a surprisingly fulfilling morning. I have a lot of things I need to take care of now, because I’m nowhere near having any of those items on the list in a secure place. But it’s a fascinating exercise…particularly of my imagination :-) We’ll see how long this lasts…I’ll be running it for at least this week.


  1. Dave Belson 18 years ago

    This is so awsome that you wrote this down to share with the world. It is both honest and funny, thank you for sharing. And good luck, being a parent is hard work!


  2. Mari M. 18 years ago

    Awesome!  Especially the things you know about the inner child – 14, likes cats!  I agree with D.Belson – both honest and funny!

    I love routine, and I love it when I do routine myself – like regular sleep, regular exercise, and regular breakfast.  It feels like you’re being good to your body, and then your body and mind will in turn be good to you.  Because it’ll feel good to them to be good.  Fun post.

  3. Josh DiMauro 18 years ago

    Heh… This is simultaneously funny and too close to the heart.

    Tomorrow, I’ll be bringing my inner child to a real workplace, where he can learn to interact with others. He gets a locker and everything. :)

  4. Liz I 18 years ago

    Oh thank you, David. I’m a girl geek going through the same process right now of trying to get BALANCE—fluidity, flexibility, flow—between imagination and responsibility. I want to be creative and innovative but also healthy and grounded. And yeah, my inner child would love to hang out with yours (of course, she’d be too shy to ever say so.) It is so helpful that you’re sharing this.