10 Steps to Becoming an Actual Grown-up

1. Wear lipstick. Is lipstick still a thing? I remember breaking out my mom’s tubes of pretty pinks and red and playing with them when I was, oh, 6. Don’t think I’ve touched the stuff since. But I should??

2. Stop thinking of yourself as perpetually 16. (Not to be confused with dressing like I’m still 16; that body ship sailed somewhere around delivery of kid number 1, a fact of which I’m well aware.) Turning 30 felt oddly similar to turning 16. I feel like I’m still the same person inside, but somehow I have a husband, three kids, a house, and a minivan. What?!

3. Use anti-wrinkle cream. The dermatologist gave me samples of this along with the cheery suggestion that I start using it, and I almost fainted on the spot. How is it possible I need to use something that’s only for OLD people (see no.2 above)?

4. Let the 90s go. The 1990s were two full decades ago. TWENTY years. I’ve been in silent denial of this fact, but there it is. It seems impossible we were watching Boy Meets World and blasting Ace of Base on the radio that long ago, but the calendar can’t lie. And it stings a little.

5. Start shopping in grown-up clothing stores. First there were catalogs (Delia’s anyone?), then trips to the mall with friends to stores like American Eagle and Maurices. But now? I’m stuck in some clothing limbo where the only solution is Target, and that’s only because I’m already there 12 times a week for diapers and dog food.

6. Make a will. File this one under “always mean to do it but never quite do.” Once you get past the mortality of it all, it really is a good long-term planning idea.

7. Toss all remaining clothes from high school. Why do I hang on to that 9th grade basketball T-shirt? Or those jeans I haven’t worn since senior year? There is no good answer, and it’s becoming mildly embarrassing.

8. Accept that other (actual) grown-ups can be younger than I am. You make an appointment to see, say, a doctor. Doc walks in, and is most definitely younger than you—maybe even a younger classmate you recognize from school. Are they giving MDs to middle schoolers now? Or you tune into “The Bachelor” and realize most of the contestants are at least 5 years your junior. Suddenly, other people are just as likely to be younger than you than they are to be older—and that’s a tough one to swallow.

9. Floss. Other than the day I go to the dentist, and the three other times I think of it, I mean. Don’t tell me I’m still the only one?!

10. Go to bed before midnight. This one I blame on the kids. How am I supposed to find any “me time” if it’s not at 11pm when no tiny humans are vying for my constant attention? My grandpa used to say every hour of sleep after midnight only counts as half. Come to think of it, maybe that’s why I’m apparently now in need of anti-wrinkle cream.

(Originally published 6/7/15 at https://www.bisonbooties.com/blog/10-steps-grownup/)

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