Adulting: How to Become a Grown Up Without Stopping Being You

It’s not always easy becoming grown up. Sure, there are some people who seem to be permanently old even when they’re still taking lessons at school. But most of us would prefer to stay young and that usually means not being too adult too often.

There’s a fine line here.

Being too childish too often can backfire.

But being permanently serious means you’ll probably miss out on quite a bit of fun.

Fortunately, adulting can be fun as well. Not every single adult is serious all the time (honest).

Play up to your inner subversive

Things like stripy socks – maybe ones that are only striped in the parts that are inside your shoes, where the only person who knows they’re not plain and boring is you – can be one way to be subversive and allow your inner child to come to the fore.

Dress down days allow everyone to be a bit subversive in their outward appearance so that can allow you to become more adult most of the week but let your playful side show. It makes a change from those loud ties and those weird Christmas sweaters.

Schedule in some break time

Your job may be serious – even flipping burgers gives you the duty not to give people food poisoning – but that doesn’t mean you have to be serious in your time off as well.

You can get into this adulting “thing” at work but still have plenty of time to do other things.

A hobby can be a good excuse here. Whilst riding a mountain bike or climbing up a rock would probably be frowned on at work, it’s perfectly acceptable as a hobby. With the advantage that you’ll be mixing with similarly minded people and (hopefully) relaxing with them as well.

We’re well past the “man or woman of the house” stage and those kind of roles are getting much more flexible.

And just to prove that you’re never too old to start a new hobby, check out this 101 year old who recently did a skydive. I don’t think anyone would accuse him of taking adulting too seriously.

Play up your eccentricities

Eccentrics tend to be forgiven their eccentricities – we excuse their sometimes odd behaviour and shrug it off whilst they get to enjoy themselves and have fun.

There’s nothing that says you have to stop having fun as you grow older. In fact, having fun almost certainly keeps your body and mind younger as well. So it’s win-win.

Sure, there’s probaby a time and a place to be eccentric and a few times and places where it would be frowned on. But you’re hopefully old enough to know the sometimes subtle differences involved in that.

Whether it’s wearing a monocle instead of glasses to read by, proudly using an old-style phone rather than a more modern “smart” phone, using a paper map or even pen and paper. It doesn’t matter – so long as it’s not holding you back unduly (and there used to be competitions between people who could do complex calculations in their head versus people using calculators) then go for it.

The Pareto Principle – often called the 80/20 rule – applies to most things and there’s nothing at all wrong with being adult for around 80% of the time but letting your inner child loose for the rest.

Your awareness of how you’re coming across to the outside world might get heightened in the process but that’s fine.

Break the (often self imposed) rules every now and then

So many of the rules we adhere to in life are ones we’ve imposed on ourselves.

Maybe because we think that’s what other people want us to do.

Maybe because we’ve just watched other people around us grow older and get more serious.

Whatever the reason, there’s an excellent chance that the rules we’ve imposed on ourselves as we get older and supposedly wiser are works of fiction more often than not.

Letting your hair down – without mimicking the trendy vicar from television shows – can be therapeutic and can release a lot of pent-up problems in a quick, easy and safe way. Far better than bottling things up and causing your body to stress out about them,

Hypnotise yourself

Yup.

Hypnosis can give you the permission you need to practice adulting when you need to but let your inner child thrive at other times.

It’s a great way to get over the issues involved with growing up – whether they’re fear based or whether they’re tied to other thoughts in your head.

You can test it out for yourself by downloading a short track and playing it to yourself once or twice (or more if you notice yourself slipping back into your old, boring, ways too often).