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How Do You Tackle the Chores of Adulthood?

Because those things you're not doing are eating you up inside

After spending nearly all of August in a flurry of vacations, APW staff vacations, and other assorted travel (please don’t ask me why you need a vacation from vacation when you get home), we decided to spend the long Labor Day weekend at home. Labor Day weekend is a particularly delightful time to be at home in the Bay Area, since mixing Burning Man with a long weekend means near-empty streets and stores. But the real reason that we decided to spend Labor Day weekend at home is because APW was about to embark on the theme of Growing Up for the month of September. I felt like I could not, in good conscience, be the Editor-in-Chief of said site, while my own affairs felt totally out of order. So, I made a saner sounding case, and suggested to David that we stay home and catch up—and not just on laundry.

I’ve found that the chores of adulthood pile up in the daily merry-go-round of work, parenting, making dinner, and you know, sleeping. And every three to six months they develop enough of a critical mass that I’m convinced that no responsible adult would ever let things get so out of control. So this weekend we sat down and figured out a list to work on. Over the course of the weekend, I relearned that if I spend a tenth of the time I spend worrying about How Irresponsible We Are actually accomplishing tasks, everything would be done, with time left over for me to have an Old Fashioned.

As we dive into September, we’re starting with an opportunity to share our scary lists of tasks we’ve been putting off. In that spirit, this is what we spent the weekend working on:

  • Make final decisions on our wills, so they can be (finally) drawn up.
  • Filling the glasses prescription that I have coming to me, before the calendar year is up. (I don’t know why this always takes me forever.)
  • Make the front yard look like our house is, in fact, inhabited.
  • Figure out a plan to maintain state of said yard.
  • Re-up our earthquake kit (ten gallons of water, purchased).
  • Bolt that final bookcase to the wall already.
  • Take a serious look at the state of our finances, and figure out a way to actually keep ourselves on budget.
  • (And we haven’t even gotten to figuring out better plans to make sure we both exercise regularly.)

Today’s open thread is for asking for advice (What tools are you using to get your finances in order? What do you have in your earthquake kit?), sharing your fears (My panic about money is always overwhelming, regardless of how much or how little we have of it), or as a forum to make yourself accountable. At the end of the month we’ll revisit the chores of adulthood, and share what we accomplished (or didn’t), and what we learned.

September always has a sense of possibility and focus. It’s not the holidays yet, and there is still plenty of time before the end of the year to restart those New Years resolutions. It’s the time for buying school supplies, for opening up that fresh notebook, and starting a list. And that means it’s the perfect time to get our budgets organized, a new chore plan in place, or buy life insurance.

What ADULT CHORES have you been putting off? What seems so overwhelming that you can’t possibly manage it without encouragement? What do you want to be held accountable for doing? How do you jumpstart yourself into action?

Also: managing money as a married couple, why wills are not just for rich people, how to talk about chores as a couple, and how to teach a grown ass adult to do things around the house.

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