My Secrets of Adulthood — each one changed my life, once I figured it out.


Every Wednesday is Tip Day.
This Wednesday: Secrets of Adulthood.

What have I learned, with time and experience? Not much, I fear.

Here are my Secrets of Adulthood. Although these items may not seem particularly profound, each one was a revelation when I finally figured it out:

The days are long, but the years are short.

Someplace, keep an empty shelf.

Turning the computer on and off a few times often fixes a glitch.

It’s okay to ask for help.

You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you LIKE to do.

Happiness doesn’t always make you feel happy.

What you do EVERY DAY matters more than what you do ONCE IN A WHILE.

You don’t have to be good at everything.

Soap and water removes most stains.

It’s important to be nice to EVERYONE.

You know as much as most people.

Over-the-counter medicines are very effective.

Eat better, eat less, exercise more.

What’s fun for other people may not be fun for you — and vice versa.

People actually prefer that you buy wedding gifts off their registry.

Houseplants and photo albums are a lot of trouble.

If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.

No deposit, no return.

Other posts you might be interested in . . .

  • J Cauchy

    It’s not what you know, it’s *when* you know it.

  • http://www.clearblogs.com/shadesofmauve Mel

    My friend sent me some of your ideas on being happy and we both agree there is a lot of common sense to them! I think I’ll definately remember about the house plants :) This is a great blog and I’m glad my friend introduced me to it. Thank you! Mel

  • DW

    Thanks for your blog. It is very inspirational.
    I especially liked this secret, “Turning the computer on and off a few times often fixes a glitch.”
    If more people did this I bet there would be a lot of happy IT people. ;-)

  • DW

    Thanks for your blog. It is very inspirational.
    I especially liked this secret, “Turning the computer on and off a few times often fixes a glitch.”
    If more people did this I bet there would be a lot of happy IT people. ;-)

  • Michelle I

    I loooove Tip Day! All your blogs are awesome and this one is no exception. I agree with all of them.
    Here’s another one that has helped me out in adulthood–“It’s better/easier to admit when I don’t know the answer to something.” For some reason, most of my life I have thought that it was better to provide some sort of answer when asked a question.
    For example, my Big Man might ask “Is there a Brooks Brothers store in such and such mall?” Whether I know for sure or not, my previous response would’ve been like, “I think so b/c I think I remember seeing a sign that says such and such…” Wrong! He would much prefer that I say, “I don’t know.” What a relief! I don’t have to know everything. Simply admitting that I don’t know takes the onus off me and avoids the risk of getting it wrong, which would piss him off a lot if he went to that mall and didn’t find the store there. Anyway, that’s my big adult revelation and a liberating one at that.
    Thanks for always having such useful info on your blog!

  • http://www.michaelmelcher.blogspot.com Michael

    My favorite:
    “Buy whatever you want in the grocery store. It’s always cheaper than going out to eat.”
    And it’s TRUE!

  • JW

    These are all great. Michelle I, your tip is spot on! And that example you give is classic.
    One of my personal faves is, “Don’t expect things to be different unless you do things differently.” When I find myself on the verge of launching into a rant or getting stressed, I remind myself of this truth.

  • Cara

    This one particularly resonates with me: “You can choose what you do; you can’t choose what you LIKE to do.” After beating myself up for over a decade for not having the willpower and mental discipline to like the career my parents dictate that I should have, I finally admitted that positive thinking will never make a size 13 foot fit into a size 5 shoe.

  • Joseph

    Here’s a rule I learned the hard way: If one acts in a manner that is inconsistent with one’s nature, one will fail.

  • http://chrisyeh.blogspot.com Chris Yeh

    Remember always Lincoln’s favorite phrase:
    This too shall pass.
    Makes a lot of sense, whether your on top, on the bottom, or somewhere in between.

  • http://profile.typekey.com/akm28/ TasterSpoon

    I said this to somebody else recently, but this realization changed *my* life:
    I’d rather regret doing something than regret *not* doing something.

  • http://www.massachusettsdream.blogspot.com MassDreams

    These are great to read, especially on a Friday morning. One tip I would add that I try to live by is (and this is especially good for those in their 20’s just starting out as “adults”) don’t try to hard to be an adult. Don’t worry about having a “perfect” home that looks like an adult home. Don’t worry about having every dish done every morning before you go to work. And it’s ok to still do crazy, silly things because you are never too old for those.

  • caoin

    My mom said, “You’re washable.”
    My dad said, “Too much of anything is bad for you.”

  • Ed

    “Pithy, clever comments are a pain in the ass.”

  • LS

    I have been beating myself up for not succeeding in some difficult projects, but this line is totally inspiring me to work harder: “If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.” Thank you!

  • Just me

    Boy! What’s Ed’s problem??

  • http://www.aspiringspirit.com Aspiring Spirit

    Here is another tip that I try to stick to even though it is sometimes hard for me to do so: “Do not postpone today’s work until tomorrow”.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/kellymerrill Kelly Cummings

    Amen to “People actually prefer that you buy wedding gifts off their registry.”! I don’t know how many friends I’ve heard say that they weren’t buying off the registry because none of the gifts left seemed fun to them. If the couple specifically asks for something they probably want it. I’d much rather help them finish out their place settings than give a gift that they’ll remember as one they didn’t ask for!

    • Calíope

      Doesn’t “off” means something that is not on the list? I’m confused here..

  • Sunil Chandra

    Great compilation…The Secrets of Adulthood…What a wonderful expression. I too have figured out many for myself in the process life until now; I call them “Life’s Little Tools”. Some of them are same as in the list here. Some others mentioned here need further work by me till I truly figure them out. Thanks for the same as they are going to be my food for thought for the next few months…

    And then Joseph comes out with a gem,”If one acts in a manner that is inconsistent with one’s nature, one will fail”. How very TRUE. If one can act or behave in synch with one’s nature, many of the “the sectrets”… or “Life’s Little Tools”.. will become redundant.

    Similarly, MassDreams says,”don’t try too hard to be an adult”. I totally believe in this. More or less the same message In my words is, “Don’t be childish as an adult but always remain childlike”.

    Sunil Chandra

  • Calíope

    + The heart is the boss, listen to yours