Who’s the Boss?
The impetus for this piece of common sense stemmed from one little girl’s epic tantrum over not getting her way inside Target. It was a full on five year old girl hysterical fit. Of course her mother (who is amazing by the way and my dear friend), did what any self-respecting modern mama would do after corralling this screaming child into the car, she videotaped it. We watched and laughed over and over again. My favorite part was when she screamed, “YOU are NOT the boss of me! I have ZERO BOSSES!!!” I loved it so much it that I find myself repeating her often: “I have ZERO BOSSES!” The real truth though, is that I do have one boss, me. I am the boss of my life. And you are the boss of yours.
OMG! Adulting is hard!
It is hard work to give a shit about yourself. Being a fully functioning adult requires a commitment to nurturing all aspects of your life. You must read and constantly learn to maintain your mind. You must exercise to maintain the functions of your body. In addition, you have to listen to your body and not ignore when there are warning signs. You must seek joy and love to maintain your spirit. You have to manage stress. You have to discern people and situations that are good for you and not good for you. You have to learn how to be a good citizen of your community and of this planet. You must cultivate friendships and relationships with others. You are expected to travel to the world beyond your own small enclave wherever it may be. Not only is it important to be financially independent, but you should also know how to manage your money. You have to know how to manage a house and your household. It’s all hard work that never ends.
Why Can’t We be Kids Again?
All of these tasks combined can be overwhelming which is why most adults will admit that being a grown up can be awful sometimes. How many of us would gladly go back to simpler days when we were kids with no responsibilities or concerns and no one expected us to have all the answers or any answers at all? The brutal truth is that we can’t go back. The only remedy is to accept that we will never get everything right and gracefully allow ourselves the space to fail without becoming failures.
What kind of boss are you?
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what kind of boss you will be. Will you micromanage every detail? Will you delegate responsibilities or tackle tasks on your own? Will you ignore responsibilities in the hope that someone else will come along and rescue you? Will you acknowledge when you need a break and take one? How will you measure your success? Money? Status? Joy? Health? Will you compare yourself to other people? What do you have to achieve to know that you’re doing okay? Self-evaluation is critical to being a successful adult. You have to be able to look at yourself with an honest eye and know when you’re on the right track or royally screwing up.
You’re the Captain Now
First of all, when you fully accept that you are the boss of your own life, then you will accept that everything is your responsibility. Not eating healthy enough? Fix it. Not spending enough time with your loved ones? Fix it. Bathroom faucet is leaking? Fix it (or, call someone who can; it’s okay to delegate tasks you don’t know how to do). The buck starts and stops with you. Secondly, the greatest bosses aren’t the ones who have all the answers. Instead, they are the ones who have the forethought and humility to allow the people who do have better expertise space to flourish. Allow yourself the space and opportunity to grow the things you are good at or want to become good at and have enough humility to delegate the things you aren’t good at or simply don’t want to do.
There will always be people who seem as if they have everything in their life handled. Real talk, some of those people are faking it for appearances’ sake. Eventually you will see the cracks in that facade. Ignore them. However, the ones who are genuinely managing their lives with grace and integrity should be the people you gravitate towards. Learn from them. Learn how they manage their time. Learn how they fit it all in the same twenty-four hours you have. Don’t be so hard on yourself for not having it all figured out early.
What’s it all for?
Finally, let’s talk compensation. If you’re truly a boss, you must compensate yourself. Don’t be afraid to reward your good behavior. Did you keep your promises to yourself this week? Compensate yourself with something that brings you happiness. It doesn’t have to be a material thing. It could be an hour of silent meditation, reading a good book, a special meal, coffee with a friend, or simply a guilt-free nap! You deserve to be rewarded when you do good. Does this mean you deserve punishment when you don’t? No. The moments when you fail are the precise moments when you must practice being the kindest to yourself. You have to reassure yourself that a failure is a temporary condition. And when you climb out of it, reward yourself because you’re the boss and you can do whatever the hell you want!