Why It’s Important We Keep #Adulting

Why Our Childish Need For Self-Congratulation Should Be Defended


by Grazia |

Writer Lucy Vine, 31, defends our childish need for self-congratulation...

Sometimes I look at my diary, full of work commitments and friend duties and weddings and baby showers and mortgage reminders and tax deadlines and family events, and I feel a bit panicky. It seems adult life has happened to me without my permission, and I don’t know how, because I swear I’m still eight years old, forcing my Barbies to kiss. And that’s why I like the gramatically incorrect verb ‘adulting’ so much.

Adulting is a term the internet, and those who inhabit it, have been using to self-congratulate when they do something deemed ‘grown-up’ by the wider world. Adulting is having vegetables in the fridge (or, indeed, any food – send help). Adulting is changing your sheets. Adulting is having stamps in your purse, but then also not telling everyone you have stamps and insisting they take one because you’re so excited about it, then realising you’ve run out again. Adulting is deciding not to buy those shoes that cost as much as your yearly heating bill. Adulting is paying your heating bill. Adulting is having just one glass of wine at dinner because it is only Monday after all. Adulting is going to bed at 10pm instead of staying up all night to binge-watch Game Of Thrones. Adulting is having a ‘birthday card drawer’.

It’s silly. But it’s important, because I tend to feel like I’m failing at being a grown-up a lot of the time. Other people make it look so easy, while I’m still over here in my pyjamas, wondering how there is chocolate inside – like actually inside – my keyboard. And it’s important, too, because how often do we really give ourselves a pat on the back? How often do we feel pleased with ourselves and ask for credit? Definitely not enough.

But as with so many fun new internet terms, the backlash has already begun. US site Jezebel told us all to ‘act your f**king age’, adding, ‘An award for fulfilling your basic responsibilities as a human is pretty much the most childish thing imaginable.’ Commenters piled in to lay scorn on those of us who still don’t really know how the iron works.

Well, yeah, it’s childish, but what’s wrong with that? Life is often so serious and hard, I think it’s brilliant we still feel like kids. And taking a moment to high-five the internet over a moment of responsibility should be allowed and enjoyed. Let’s celebrate laughing at ourselves and still feeling young and new to the world. And when I do my #adulting this weekend (can you vacuum a computer keyboard?), you will definitely all hear about it.

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