Being a grown-up kind of sucks

We had a long grown-up kind of weekend.  I’m still working to shake the general Dread (with a capital D) I feel about life in general; perhaps posting about it will help.

(Does anyone else find blogging — with an audience in mind — to be a good way to work through things you haven’t figured out? I think this is why many of my blog posts sound like really great advice — because I’m trying to figure out what to tell myself.  That said, it doesn’t mean I follow that advice!)

First, about the buying of baby things: it is not at all because I feel any sort of desire to shop, but rather because I’m being honest about the stress I feel when I have to buy things.  I’d like to spread it out over time rather than try to do everything at once.  For example, I think I know what kind of crib I’d like (well, maybe) after doing some web surfing while feeling yucky on Sunday (three beers, people, and I felt like crap all morning) but I’d rather buy one used or on sale.  Plus, I want to paint it.  So, theoretically, I could buy the thing and store it someplace, casually and slowly building up a stash o’ stuff without feeling all the stress at once.  The theory is similar to furnishing your house slowly, over time, with only things you love.

My husband and I want to do everything we can to prevent this baby-making and baby-having thing from being stressful.  For me, the triggers are money and pressure to do things all at once.  For him, they are too much planning and me being stressed.  So, perhaps buying things over time — and researching just a bit at a time rather than over time — will help us hit that goal.

Next, we continue to talk about selling our houses.  Yes, both of them.  Except we go in circles.  Should we sell that one or this one?  How long would we need to get this one marketable?  How long will it take us to finish that one?  Should we move into that one to sell this one?  But then wouldn’t we be back in the situation we’re in now, except “this” and “that” are switched?

Thinking about moving out of this house is incredibly saddening for me.  I have plans!  And they’re unfinished! I mean, yes, we got married here, but I thought we’d have a bonfire at least once, and a summer party on the back deck, and host visitors in the (super cool and 100% not creepy) basement, and refinish that darned ugly kitchen.  I feel like we haven’t even really started improving this place – and I’d be very sad to leave it until we finished.  I thought I’d be here forever (no, seriously, I did).  I thought I’d raise my kids here.  I thought I was done with moving boxes! So we talk and then I withdraw into sadness while I work through it.

I keep waiting to get to there, the place where we can enjoy life and do fun things and really live, but instead I’m always here, still planning on how to get there. I once read a line about houses being indicative of the person within.  We’re living in an unfinished house.

Also, I’m reminded that I really suck at transitions.  While I was living in NYC, an executive at my company suggested I consider a job in Engineering – but I’d have to move to Chicago.  I cried when I told my then-husband, who (despite being the one who really loved NYC) suggested we consider it.  “But I thought I’d live here forever!” I wailed.  Yea, that’s totally me, wanting to settle in for a good, long while.  And that’s also me, moving every couple of years.

So this is a transition and (per my usual MO) I’m fighting it.  I know it’s a total waste of time (“railing against the inevitable flux of life” I once read) but I still do it.  I want to stay on this street with these neighbors and not ever have anyone go away, as they all seem to do.

Change.  Plththththth!

At about five minutes to the end of this episode of “Fresh Air” on NPR, the guy talks about how perhaps the general feeling of malaise people feel is because they don’t have challenges and difficulties to give them a sense of purpose.  (I think.  I’m paraphrasing from memory, something I’m really bad at.  Do listen to the episode if you want the real story.)  That’s where we are, my husband and I, feeling a general sense of malaise because the challenges and difficulties we face feel like they have no purpose.

On the bright side, I married someone who has a much better work ethic than I, probably the only reason we’re not playing hooky today.

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10 thoughts on “Being a grown-up kind of sucks

  1. “…perhaps the general feeling of malaise people feel is because they don’t have challenges and difficulties to give them a sense of purpose.”

    I believe this 100%. The way I say it is, the busier I am, the more I get done. Because if I have a big challenge to face, some kind of mountain to climb, I feel like I’m actually doing something worthwhile. If I’m just going through the motions and getting by, I’d rather be sleeping.

  2. Oh Lady. Totally with you. Are we there yet?? I want to make plans in life, but until I get a new job- we aren’t there yet. And even then- it might mean we are in limbo for a couple of years while the Mr. finishes his MBA and I just sit and think about having a baby and buying a house – but not doing anything about it. Yuck.

  3. Heh, my siblings and I talk about this often. My sister is highly retrospective and sometimes dwells on the past (its events, its expectations, its rosier image) whereas my brother is very very future oriented and always actively propelling his emotional state, toward the future. I tend to hunker down (emotionally) in the present. Works for me, but it means that on life altering emotional stuff, II don’t do the “slowly in advance” method that sounds like it works so well for you! Too bad too, maybe after four years of living in my place it would actually be cohesively furnished and decorated if I did!

  4. Yes, yes, yes! I hate change, no matter what type of change, big or small, good or bad. And being a grown up really sucks when you have to spend money on things like two sets of tires, new mattresses, etc and I think to myself, when will all of this translate into the life I want? Or maybe I should just stop focusing on the life I want and want the life I have? I don’t know.

  5. “I keep waiting to get to there, the place where we can enjoy life and do fun things and really live, but instead I’m always here, still planning on how to get there.” – Amen. I feel like this a lot these days. I’m always thinking about the future and waiting for it to get here. Its frustrating and I’m just hoping that the wait will be worth it, although sometimes I’m not sure what we are waiting for. ~Jamie

  6. I hate and love change. I get antsy at work and feel like I need to change jobs every few years. I found that the solution was to get a job where a I travel but then they are changing that and I feel like I need a new job. I don’t spur of the moment change but I like spur of the moment problem solving at work. I like having to think outside of the box but in my home life I like everything to fit neatly into the box.

    Of course, as my home life is settling, I feel like my work life is up in the air and I don’t like it. Being an aduly does suck!

  7. We’re also trying to decide when to have a baby and with interest rates so low buying a house has suddenly become possible. Now the questin is where and it scares me because this house and the neighborhood it’s in coud really affect the lives of our future children. ACk. Too much to think about, no wonder I have a headache.

  8. I’m currently changing jobs and moving at the same time, and its very overwhelming.
    its irritating to me that the things that are supposed to be most exciting, are also those things that are most stressful.
    i think i read somewhere about the most stressful life changes that people go through, and moving and changing jobs are two of the top ones – and i’m doing them both at the same time.
    being a grownup really does suck. i thought i would be in one place and finally get to truly enjoy things. but its all about the journey, not the destination. sometimes i forget that.
    but it is really hard to live in the moment when the moment is overwhelming!

  9. That’s one of my biggest problems in life, trying to get ‘there’. My husband get frustrated that I’m constantly trying to get there and plan for there and dreaming about being there and how nice it will be. In reality, I’m missing here. Right here and now is never going to happen again. Why can’t I be happy with how things are now and let there be there when I get there? Too many there’s and here’s in that paragraph, hopefully my point got across.

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