Day Twenty-Five: Handy Things I Have Learned

A.K.A., how to feel like you can adult.

At the ripe old age of 24-almost-25, I am finally, solidly, old enough to be considered an adult. A fledgling adult, but an adult all the same. However, most days I’ve (and many others, apparently) found that instead of feeling like the grownup I am, I feel more like a ten year old who has somehow convinced the world she is grown up.

The good news is, I have stumbled across some things that one can do that not only makes you feel more like a grownup, but makes life a little easier, too. The bad news is that it’s all stuff my parents have been trying to teach me my whole life, so I’ll be getting a very snarky Facebook message later today.

There are a lot if little things I’ve learned, but these are the top six things.

Make Your Bed Every Morning
I know. I know it sounds ridiculous, but honestly, whenever I take that minute or two in the morning to straighten up my sheets and stuff, I feel like I am more equipped to take on the day. There is also something really nice about going to bed that night, when it’s made.

Put Away Your Clean Laundry, Right Away
(Preferably by folding/hanging it up)
It’s probably the most annoying task on the face of the planet, but here are some benefits:
1. You feel more grow up
2. Keeps your clothing organized and wrinkle free (mostly)
3. It’s an excellent time to watch something, or listening to a podcast, or whatever the cool kids are doing these days
4. Keeps your laundry basket/bag/hamper/pocket other-dimensional storage unit clear for dirty clothing, so they in turn do not become your new carpet. (If you don’t hand a designated laundry thing, I suggest getting one. It keeps chairs and corners clear for other stuff you might throw there.)

Know How to Cook
It doesn’t have to be fancy, but knowing how to cook simple, versatile meals has kept my food budget down, and helps me eat healthier. One of the first things I learned to make was just pasta+whatever meat and veggies and sauce I might find in the fridge. I’ve found, too, that as I got comfortable cooking simple meals, the easier it was to move into ‘fancier’ options.

Make a Budget, and Stick to It
This one is not fun, and more me was more of a necessity than a choice. I have a rather limited paycheck, and quite a few fixed monthly bills, so if I don’t regulate my funds carefully, something won’t get paid on time. It means I don’t get to eat out much, or get coffee everyday, or go to the movies as often as I like, but there is a comfort in knowing that I won’t have to worry about where the money for my rent, or utilities, or student loans will come from, when they are due. (I also make sure to allow for ‘free money’ in my budget, so I can get coffee, or go to the movies with friends, or to buy that new book that came out. Just, maybe not all in the same week.)

Do The Dishes
Preferably, hand wash or put in the dishwasher as soon as you are done using them, and empty said dishwasher as soon after its done as possible. I personally struggle with this one the most, BUT it really is a good life practice; keeps things clean and sanitary, and also helps keep your kitchen looking neat. Also, actually having clean utensils and dishes when you want them is nifty.

Do Something You Love, Everyday
Be it reading, or crafting, or watching a show, or exercising, or learning something new; pick a hobby or a passion or an interest, and make time each day (or is time is really at a premium, once or twice a week) to spend time doing it. This is especially key if you find yourself in a job where you feel unfulfilled or unhappy or stuck. It’s not always easy to find that time, but it really does help.

DISCLAIMER: Just ’cause I’ve learned these tips and tricks does not mean I do them on a daily basis (except for budgeting or cooking. I kinda have to those things, no matter what.) I am, generally speaking, an easily distracted person. I also have two modes of stress that can affect my day. There’s the ‘I can’t even think about doing the dishes in the sink without crying, I’ve got that much to do’ and the flip side is ‘I can’t focus on anything until the kitchen is spotless.’

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