Keeping Up with the Jones’: Social Media Edition

As I am scrolling through Facebook and Instagram I see that yet another high school “friend” is engaged. What I really want to post is, “Thanks for sharing your ‘awesome’ news. I’m sure you will be happy. I’m sure I will be excited to go to your wedding-if I’m even invited. But right now, you are just one more person that is ‘winning’ at this game called life.” I can’t put that! That isn’t acceptable. Instead, I comment with the socially expected “Congratulations! I’m so excited for you!” 

I haven’t learned from that mistake yet so I keep scrolling. And what do I find… yet another high school “friend” just had their baby. The first thing I think… why do you post pictures of them right after they are born? They kind of look like an alien! Wait a few hours, let them get cleaned up and then they won’t look that bad! But, I can’t post that. So back to my old standby of the socially expected comment, “Congratulations! I’m so excited for you!” 

When did I become this person? What are these thoughts? I’m not this negative and snarky, am I? Do I really begrudge them their happiness? Did I miss out on the directions to this game called life? Did everyone grow up and forget to tell me?

I’m not where I thought I would be at this point in life. 10 years ago, I was a freshman in college and had grand plans. I was going to meet someone, get married, have children, and be an administrator by the time my 10 year high school reunion rolled around. Well, I met people… just not one to spend the rest of my life with. I have not gotten married. As for children, do I even want kids?!? Administrator… HA! I have my degree and certification, but I can’t seem to get an interview because of a lack of experience. So no, I’m not where I thought I would be 10 years ago. 

People always say that you shouldn’t judge your life by someone else’s. What they don’t tell you… that’s nearly impossible. Especially when their life is posted all over social media. Sure I could delete my accounts, but my FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) starts creeping in and I just can’t seem to click that shiny, red delete button. So I’m back to the square one. How do I stop judging myself based on my “friends” on social media? I would love to say that I have the answer, but I don’t. No matter how many times that I say it doesn’t matter and I shouldn’t care how my life stacks up next to theirs, I just don’t believe it. 

So… if you have the answer, I would love to hear it!

Adulting is Hard

Adulting… why did I want to grow up so fast? Did I think being an adult would be fun all of the time? Staying up late enough to watch the news and talk shows seemed like the coolest thing. Being able to choose what was for dinner and never having to eat nasty peas again seemed like nirvana. Choosing what was on the radio would be awesome. According to Snow White, “Some day my prince will come!” so that should be easy.

Adults would always tell me to enjoy being a kid and to not grow up too fast. Didn’t they know that I just wanted to stay up late and eat cake for breakfast? I just wanted to be old enough that I could do things without needing adult supervision! Like that one time Dad said I couldn’t walk around the edge of the planters at the mall without adult supervision and then wouldn’t tell me where to buy some! 

I’m getting off track. Where was I? Oh yeah… adulting. Being and adult is Hard with a capital H. Forget staying up late enough to watch the news and talk shows afterwards! I’m lucky to stay up until 10:00 during the school year. Why did no one tell me that the news is boring and full of bad stuff? It’s not fun, and in order to understand what the host of the late night shows are talking about you have to-get this- Watch. The. News! 

And why did those “adults” from my childhood fail to mention that, “Yeah- you can choose what you have for dinner, but SURPRISE! You have to make it! And guess what! IF you make it, YOU have to clean it all up!” And why oh why did they never say that no matter how much the recipe says it will make, it is NEVER that amount! It’s like Goldilocks all over again! Too much or too little. You either end up eating leftovers for weeks or there isn’t enough left for lunch the next day. And no, my mom doesn’t make me “try” nasty peas anymore, but apparently you are supposed to eat some kind of vegetable every once in a while or the doctor tells you about needing to make healthier choices. 

And when did doctors get grumpier? When you are little they ask, “What hurts?” or “Where are you feeling yucky?” As an adult they say things like, “What did you do? What’s wrong? You need to do better. Don’t forget to pay your bill!” Where is my princess sticker and cool band-aid? But I digress…

Choosing what is on the radio… It is cool to be in charge of the radio… for like 5 minutes. After that, it is just pressing skip a ton of times until you find that 1 great song to set the mood for the day… and then have to get out of the car and go into work. And don’t forget those times that a TOTALLY inappropriate song gets stuck in your head before having to mold young minds! I can’t count the numbers of times this has happened. It’s not like I can just sing it, hum it, or play it to get the song to go away. There are children in the room! If I’m lucky it might go away by lunch time, if not it will just stay on a loop all day. Sometimes I get a Disney song stuck in my head. At least I can sing it out loud! But then my coworkers look at me like I shouldn’t be in charge of children. Luckily I’ve been working with most of these people long enough they just chalk it up to Jill being Jill.

And back to Disney. I LOVE Disney! I really do, but they weren’t very truthful! Snow White said “Some day my prince will come!” All I have to say to that is, “Where is he? Did he get lost? It’s not that hard to find me. I’m right here!” So okay, maybe Snow White didn’t have the answer. Maybe I need a more modern Disney Princess to look to. Could Rapunzel have the magic answer? Tangled is great, but I’ve yet to find someone like Flynn Rider who will go on an adventure, get arrested, break out of a castle dungeon, and rescue me from the clutches of an evil witch. Maybe my problem is I’ve not been kidnapped! d by an evil witch! Oh well, I’ll just keep hoping that “Someday my prince will come,” but I have higher standards now than when I was younger and not any old prince will do.

And those “adults” I mentioned earlier did warn me about bills. What I never grasped was that I would be the one having to pay them. The only way to do that is with money. The only way to get money is a job And as an adult you have to have a good job if you don’t want to have debt. So no more jobs like in college where you work for a few hours and basically get paid to babysit with a bunch of your friends. You will now need a career that puts that degree to use. It’s a good thing that you decided to get a degree in something you like. Don’t forget though, gone are the days of wearing sweats to work… except when a global pandemic occurs. And that place you live where you work to pay rent… if you make it a wreck by leaving stuff out everywhere, YOU have to clean it up. 
According to one of my students, “An adult is a person who is married and has kids.!” That means I’m not an adult yet… at least to that student. Society thinks I am an adult though. So here is my definition of adulting: Adulting- that time in life that you can’t wait for as a child, but once you get there, you just wish for simpler times.

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