Growing Up Is Hard To Do

My 4-year old has a flair for the dramatic and has taken to giving speeches, pronouncements of sort. The hairbrush / toothbrush / whatever he can find as a makeshift microphone is no longer working and after a puppy and a fan, this is on his ‘most wanted’ list. One of his recent declarations was “I can’t wait to grow up and be tall like Daddy”. My immediate reaction was “oh no!”. You’re too young to be thinking of adulthood in any shape or form. But he’s a bit of an ‘old soul’, so I shouldn’t be surprised. And like every reaction we have, mine was based on what’s going on in my inner realm.

Does it ever get easier? And if it does, when?

Confession time. On the other side of forty, I’m still grappling with adulting, parenting and all that grown-up stuff.  Does it ever get easier? And if it does, when? From where I sit, there’s a constant flux of the same issues rehashed and then some new ones. I know I’m not the only one. These are the conversations I regularly have with my inner circle. Just had one recently with my sister. It feels as though the additional birthday candle each year brings a concomitant increase in problems and worry. It’s not just your own worries, there’s your spouse or partner’s, then your parents’, and of course, your children’s, your dogs and cats’, the list goes on.

 

When did the budget speech become such a huge issue in my life? More importantly, when did I get so emotionally attached to the performance of inflation? Choosing the right school has become a part-time, no-paying job, and I’m more familiar with the folk at the neighbourhood Spar than the beautifully manicured ladies at my favourite spa. All of a sudden, my life is consumed by more and more things that I’d rather not spend time on, and less time for me.

 

Driving through the streets of Jozi, you’re bound to encounter at least one inhabitant that has made a busy intersection their post for the day, either hoping for a handout or engaging in enterprising trade of anything from a cooldrink to flags or toys. Many times, it’s a woman with one or more small children at her side. Whether it’s a balmy day or one of extreme temperature, standing on the side of the road, at the mercy of distracted, sometimes rude and arrogant, vehicle occupants is not a choice many would make in a hurry. Yet. And this is the biggie. Yet, on the odd occasion, when I’ve been present enough to focus and make eye contact, instead of the routine wave-away many of us have come accustomed to, I’ve been confronted by a happy, smiling face. How is that possible?

Barely time to remember to breathe in; breathe out.

From the confines of my insulated, four-wheeled contraption, that paradoxically gives me the freedom of movement, yet I sometimes find myself locked in a bubble of distraction. Rushing to a meeting, stuck in traffic, fetching the kids, running errands, 101 thoughts on what still needs to be done, what’s for dinner. Barely time to remember to breathe in; breathe out.  A smile is the last thing on one’s mind. Is that what being an adult has reduced me to?

 

It can’t be!

 

I need to find the joy in my life. Each. And. Every. Day. We all need to. Starting with reduced airtime and more playtime. May you find your joy today.