Once upon a time I whined on the internet about how hard adulting was. I cried to cyber space about paying bills and driving mini vans and lost my mind with excitement over the new grocery store across the street. Yes, those are all realities of adulting, but the truth is everything I complained about in 2015 was really just a mild case of diarrhea. 2016 was the year of explosive shit storm adulting and it made me realize that life is fucking crazy pants and never slowing down. Here’s why:
Your kid gets strep throat 8 times in one year. This hasn’t actually happened to us, but there was that one year dude had 10 ear infections followed by tubes. And that other year we got all the fucking stomach bugs. Or this year when mystery head to toe hives keep appearing. Then last month when the hubs got his second MRI in a year. I thought it was hard when I had to start paying for my own cell phone bill, but then I was introduced to the world of health care bills and my body thought about taking a sick day. Except it didn’t cause $$$.
You get older and stupid shit happens to your body. Apparently when you reach the 30-40-year-old age bracket your skin just decides to stop looking 20 and eat itself. In fact, pretty much anytime you go to the doctor beyond your 20’s you might hear the word abnormal. Even scarier than waiting for lab results on your abnormal nipple discharge is all the knock the wind out of you diagnoses you thought only happened in Terms of Endearment. Adulting might mean you pee your pants sometimes, but it also means cancer or dementia and/or making friends with ICU nurses.
You experience brutal fucking loss. I remember in college when I cried for a straight week after my boyfriend broke up with me. I ate all the ice cream in my pajamas and thought the world was ending. This is funny because back then we didn’t elect reality TV cheetos as CEO’s of the nation. The world was a fucking peach when my biggest loss was a douche bag man child granting me single status. Adulting loss is much more heart wrenching. Infertility. Still birth. Divorce. Custody battles. Humans we love fucking dying. It’s all the not fair shit that no one should ever have to endure. Yet, we do.
And despite all the bullshit, you still have to raise good humans in a fucked up world. Even in the face of racism and sexism and phobias and hatred and stupidity and just all the fucked up things, you still gotta keep your shit together and teach tiny humans not to be assholes. This is the big one. Your legacy. Make it count.
For real tough, sometimes I think about all this sad fucking shit and can’t comprehend how in the hell we keep living. But then my kids laugh. Or we snuggle and eat cookie dough. Or have a dance party. Or my husband looks dead sexy as he plays tea party with his daughter. Or a friend brings me coffee and baked goods. Or I see a shooting star. Or read a good book. Or watch a stranger help another human.
The thing is, out of everything terrible and adulty that happens, something good always follows. Every time. There is light in the dark. Faith in our despair. Redemption for the broken.
Love is still the boss of us.
Someone said that last part. I can’t remember who. Probably Glennon. But the point is, love will always anchor us. Everyone suffers. Some equally, some more than others. Some with all the support, some with none at all. Yet somehow love propels us forward. Even in the darkest of shittiest days, it guides us and grounds us and makes us whole again.
So farewell crazy ass 2016. It’s been full of goodness and shittiness and now we get to do life in a new year. A new crazy. Who knows what another year will bring. We don’t get to see it before it happens. We get to live it. Moment by moment. Through chaos and contentment. Loving each other all the messy, expensive, wonderful and nut bag steps of the way.
(This post originally ran on Mrs. Mombie)
About the author: I’m Alexis, perpetually tired mama to my fuego babes by day and LCSW/doula-in-training by night. I survive on all the sarcasm and caffeine and ramble about motherhood, life and social justice over at Mrs. Mombie. That’s mom + zombie cause negative sleep y’all. The hubs delusionally believes more babies are in our future, but my body is wrecked and I can’t for the life of me do enough kegels to repair the damage. You can find more of my nonsense on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest.