By Iola Goulton
They grew up under the guidance of their parents, became teenagers, finished high school or college or university, found jobs, got married, had children, and the cycle started again.
But in the last couple of years I’ve noticed a new phenomenon, one that confuses me as much as the rise of the teenager must have confused previous generations.
It’s so common, it’s a hashtag.
I see newspaper articles and blog posts: 19 signs you’re successfully #adulting (some of which I did before I hit thirteen, others I still don’t do). How to recover when you're over #adulting (apparently, the answer is not to go back to bed with coffee, ice cream, and a good book). I see Facebook statuses: I did some good #adulting this week—I got my flu injection without crying.
Here’s the thing: those of us who are old enough that we moved from child to teenager to adult without making a big thing about it … we’re adults.
And we’re over #Adulting too.
Yeah, there are days (today) when we don’t feel like going to work or cleaning the bathroom or doing the dishes or cooking for the family. But we do it, because we’re grownups. Adults. We know there are things which have to be done whether we like it or not.
I suspect that my issue with adulting is that it’s complaining. Often, it’s people complaining about #FirstWorldProblems (yes, another hashtag).
Complaining is being ungrateful instead of grateful.
As Christians we’re called to be grateful. To be thankful. To give thanks in all circumstances. Good and bad. To not complain. As a Christian in a western country, I have (or should have) very little to complain about. I am privileged in comparison to many people:
- I have a house—and it’s not overcrowded
- I have a bed—and I only share it with my husband (and sometimes the cat)
- I have enough to eat each day (more than enough, if you believe my bathroom scales)
- I have enough money to meet my family’s basic needs (and a few not-so-basic needs)
- I have the freedom to choose my own faith
- I have the freedom to choose my own job, where I live, where I shop, what I do with my time … well, mostly. The cat dictates some of where I spend my time.
I have a lot to be thankful for. I have the freedom to make the big choices in my life (although some of those choices have to take my husband and family into account). Being an adult gives me the right and the freedom to make those choices, good or bad. I am in control.
The best choice I can make is to allow God to be in control.
But even that choice is a privilege many people don’t have. So instead of complaining about #Adulting and #FirstWorldProblems, I choose to be grateful for what I have.
Especially for the freedom to choose.
P.S. If you have complaining teenagers … make them watch one or both of these YouTube #FWP videos.
(Okay, so the iPhone references are a little dated. But no less relevant.)
About Iola Goulton
I am a freelance editor specialising in Christian fiction. Visit my website at www.christianediting.co.nzto download a comprehensive list of publishers of Christian fiction.
I also write contemporary Christian romance with a Kiwi twist—find out more at www.iolagoulton.com.
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