How To Adult

Being a member of the new generation of mostly-independent adults, I believe that I have discerned some valuable tips about adulting, which I will now endeavor to pass on to others attempting to join this elite group. Warning: results of attempted adoption of these techniques may vary in levels of success. (I’m still working on most of the ones under “Housecleaning”.)


- Before you put those pants in the laundry and think, “I’m sure my pockets are empty,” stop for a moment. Do you know where your phone is right now? Your USB? Your 3DS cartridges? Do you remember exactly where you last saw them? Are you sure? It may not be worth the risk. Check your pockets.

- You don’t really need to sort laundry these days. Just chuck everything in on Cold, and it will be fine. Do not use bleach except in emergencies.


- If your mother is coming to visit, it’s probably time to fold that pile of clean clothes that’s been sitting in the corner all week. You know that sigh she does. Yes, that one.


- Pets: if it has fur, the fur will get everywhere. Sweep and dust once in a while, and be sure your roommate doesn’t have allergies before moving in. 

- If your bathroom is the one that guests will mostly likely use, do not leave undergarments on the floor because you were lazy after your last shower. 

- Take out the garbage BEFORE it starts to smell. Also preferably before tissues are piling out of your bedroom trash can like a nasty little Mt. Everest.

- You are not living in a haunted house, but spiders do not understand this and will try to introduce that atmosphere into your corners. A long-handled broom will solve both of these problems.


- If you have a roommate or housemate of some kind, take turns doing the dishes. Do not quibble over whose turn it is or whose dishes they are. Come to a general understanding that the person who didn’t do the dishes will be the one who puts them away once they are done drying. If the other person has a busy work schedule that week, do the dishes twice; this will increase household morale.  

- Differing work schedules is not a bad thing. There is less time to decide that you find the other person annoying, and it’s like a friend coming over when you actually get to sit down and have a movie and ice cream binge. 

- But don’t be that roommate with the loud sleep schedule who wakes up their roommate at all hours of the night, seriously.

- Ask your roommate before bringing friends or significant others to the house unannounced. It’s their house, too, and also the place where they shower under the illusion that no strangers are waiting out in the living room.

- Do nice things for no other reason than to be nice. It will come back to you. 


- A pizza slicer is a worthwhile investment and will soon prove invaluable.

- Try to eat salads once in a while. They taste delicious with croutons and your favorite dressing. But avoid that one kind of lettuce, you know, with the hard white chunky bits? Those are gross. 

- Seedless red grapes are freaking fantastic, especially the ones we’ve been getting at Meijers this Summer, good gravy those are the best snack food ever.

- Don’t eat your roommate’s food without their permission, or they may eat your food without your permission.

General Health

- If you have to get up early, go to sleep earlier. If you have to go to sleep later, make sure you are able to get some sleep the next day. If part of this equation is missing for an extended period, you will begin to regret your life choices.

- Screens are fantastic inventions, but if you spend twelve hours a day staring at one, you have a problem. Do something to shake up your routine, like going outside, reading a book, or staring at a point ten feet or more away from your face so you can remember what depth perception is.

- Take your allergy medicine, especially if not doing so causing you to spit like a bad Western saloon villain.

- Brush your teeth, brush your hair, and wear deodorant every day. Also, shower before your hair starts to itch. This simple equation will do remarkable things for your feelings of self-worth.

- If you are spending 100% of your time sitting on your butt, don’t complain about how you don’t understand why you don’t weigh the same as you did on the track team in high school.

Going To The Doctor

- Insurance doesn’t seem important to a perfectly healthy young adult such as yourself, until you have a startling reaction to an unknown chemical in your first apartment and have to go to the emergency room for a severe case of hives. 

- If the doctor does not know what is causing your problem, he or she may try to subtly imply that you were silly to worry about it in the first place. Be polite just in case they are right, but remember it in case they try to bill you $400 for a test it turns out you didn’t need.

- Ask every question you can possibly think of. Don’t assume the doctor will tell you what you need to know. They may assume you know it already.

- That blood test costs way more than you think.

Free Time And Social Interaction

- It’s important to have hobbies, but be aware of red flags. Are you always by yourself? Are you obsessed with it every hour of the day? Does no one talk to you anymore because it has consumed your very soul? You may need to expand your interests.

- It is remarkably refreshing to go outside of the house once in a while and just travel somewhere you don’t normally. Even the library is exciting if you spend all day in at the office. Variety is the spice of life, and eternal routine is the unflavored tofu.

- Compliment people. Compliment strangers. The secret truth is that everyone, everywhere, is secretly hoping people think they look good today. Fulfill their dreams and you’ll both feel better about yourselves!

- Treat everyone you meet like a valuable human being. You might eventually realize that it’s true.

(sigh) It's that day again

That day every few weeks when I pull up the Ignore page and start blocking out social-justice folks whose logic is sufficiently impaired that they no longer catch their own tautologies.

(Due to way too much writing for Spock in my time, I have a sort of virtual Vulcan logic assessor that lives in the back of my head. When the classic errors in logic are committed, I can sort of hear it growling in Nimoy’s voice, “Ensign, please retire from public admonition until you learn to think without emotion becoming so engaged that it blinds you to your own fallacies.” And there’s another indicator that engages as well, more a function of a McCoy than a Spock: “I’d trust this schoolin’ a whole lot more if it didn’t smell so damn righteous.”)

ETA: unquestionably many of these folks are dealing with genuine issues that need addressed! That is not at issue; never has been. What is at issue is that the way some of these folks deal with their subjects sometimes does the subjects little honor, and (at worst) threatens to put off those who might otherwise willingly learn more and do better. Anger? Sure, it’s routinely completely understandable! I’ve got some of that too, and it drives some of my best writing (that being my most effective method for changing the world). But when trying to show people how to understand the issues underlying the anger? Then the anger goes in the box and stays there till I’ve finished making my case. That’s where the logic takes center stage and gets the work done. …And that said: I’m over sixty. I’ve had a while to learn this sort of management, and it doesn’t come overnight. But it really has its uses.

Can cleaning house be creative?

I say yes!  And here’s how.


I put on an outfit that makes me want to primp and smile—not cringe and frown—when I catch my reflection.

Something to ease me into the role of loving, gorgeous home goddess for the day!


I refuse to do boring dredge work!  I like my day of cleaning to have meaning and purpose.

I make it a Feng Shui ritual to de-clutter and cleanse, to sweep away anxiety, resentments and other stale and yucky things I want out of my life. I prepare my home to receive joy, prosperity, inspiration, and all the wonderful things that I want for me and my loved ones.

I make it a Zen practice in good form and right attitude.  My every move, each gesture, is a meditation on graceful movement and mindfulness.


I put on an endless playlist of beautiful music (KCRW’s eclectic stream) to lift my spirits and immerse myself in a heartwarming environment.

I indulge in sumptuous, gorgeous home products that fill the air with wholesome, fragrant goodness.