This past week the new book by author Kelly Williams Brown, of the adultingblog, was released to a good amount of hype. Brown was up until recently a writer for the Oregon Statesman Journal, but probably quit when she got the advance for her book because that's the adult thing to do. No, I actually know nothing about her life and she seems like a lovely person. Brown's book, Adulting: How to Become A Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, is ,more or less, a guide to how to be an adult.
Despite the fact that Brown is in her 20s, she has done quite a number of adult-like things such as writing for a newspaper and then writing a book, so perhaps she deserves the accolades and the right to give out advice.
As someone who is not in her 20s and considers herself an adult, despite eating gum for breakfast today and not having written a book on how to be a grown-up, I thought that I should give Adulting a read to relate back to you. Since all of you reading are most likely grown-ups yourselves.
The book is actually quite handy. It covers lots of bases from cleaning to cooking to work to being happy with your life, all things that young people should be made aware of. While there are almost too many of these pieces of small wisdom, the book is a quick read and something you can go back to when in need of consultation.
Of the 468 steps, here are ten that stuck out to me, for better or worse.
Step 26: Get a nice, actual bed This seems so logical, but in reality purchasing a bed in your twenties is a huge ordeal. First, beds are expensive and they seem like a novelty because sleep in general is often an afterthought (Oh, shoot, I forgot to sleep last night). I personally spent my 20s on a futon mattress on the floor. I started dating my husband because of the very fact that he had a genuine bed and something that I later found out was called a "duvet." Buying a bed is good advice.
Step 147: Don't talk about how great this job will be for you, talk about how great you are for the job
I once interviewed a kid (he was about 20), and his first question to me was whether there were half-days in the summer, to which I replied that there were on Fridays, to which he said, "Awesome. My friends like to start the party early." He was not hired.
Step 53: (related to moving) If an item holds something in your apartment, it should hold something during the move I mostly agree with this except for things like bookshelves and cabinets, which should be completely empty when you are moving. Have you ever tried to move a bookshelf with books in it? Bad idea. And here is something else you really shouldn't put stuff in when you are moving, as I can attest from experience: a fish bowl that has a fish in it.
Step 115: Send a thank-you note This is excellent advice. Saying thank you is becoming a lost art and it should never be treated as an option. Always say thank you. And if I can add to this step: Teach your kids to send thank-you notes because I will totally stop buying them gifts if they don't say thank you soon.
Step 37: Get a toilet plunger
If you're reading this thinking, "That's a good idea," I ask you two questions: How old are you? And what do you do when your toilet gets clogged? I have an old family remedy that involves hangers, but it's way too nasty to relay here.Step 93: Do not RSVP "maybe"
I must agree with Brown on this one from the perspective of the party-thrower. When people don't commit to attending your soiree, it's frustrating and makes life complicated; how much food should you buy, will you need gluten-free options, do you have to board your dog? There are a million reasons why RSVPing on time and with a proper response is the right and courteous thing to do. But...perhaps Ms. Brown has never been in what I like to call the "my couch just called to say thatJustified
Season Two is On Demand and it would be fine if I sit on it in my pajamas and eat peanut butter on a spoon and not feel bad about myself until the morning" situation. Because that's what adults do, little missy.
Step 94: Err on the side of attending events even if maybe you don't totally feel like it Please see my response to Step 93
Step 65: If you have the cash, these things make life easier
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The things Brown thinks will make your life less difficult if you can afford them are "a handheld juicer, a rolling pin and a handheld grater." I must disagree with all three of these. I have a rolling pin and I have used it less than once (I took it out of the drawer in an attempt to use it, but gave up when I realized it wasn't electric). These three items are expendable, especially if you only have a little extra cash in your pocket. There is one item, if I may suggest, that every twentysomething should save up for and that's an electronic rice cooker. Sounds extravagant, does it? Well, it's not (you can find one for $20) and you can cook just about any stew-like concoction you can dream of that involves very cheap food items like rice and frozen peas and canned beans. Voilà, dinner is served.
Step 121: It's probably not about you So true. Many years ago, this idea was trademarked as "don't sweat the small stuff," and despite the fact that it now sounds a bit more narcissistic because of the trajectory of our society, the same notion rings true. Don't make yourself crazy over every little detail. When someone doesn't e-mail you back in five minutes, maybe it's because he or she has a life and doesn't sit in front of his computer all day the way you do. When you say something silly in a room full of people, don't spend the rest of the night beating yourself up; they probably don't remember who you are anyway. This is something that takes most of us our entire lives to learn, but sadly, it's true. It's not all about you because it's probably all about me.
Step 256: Don't put tacos in your purse I have to disagree.