Time to Grow Up

If you are in a particularly sensitive hormonal place today, which is perfectly acceptable and understood in this community, now may be the time to stop reading because ladies, I’ve got news for you: it’s time to grow up.

Whether you’re approaching 20, 30, 40 or 50, if you have a job, if you have or have had a marriage, if you have a family, if you’ve voted, if you have a mortgage, if you have a credit card, if you own a car, a computer, or a smart phone, it’s no longer about you! You are part of an familial, corporate, local, national, and global society and you are in part responsible for its outcome.

As you can see, my message isn’t directed at one demographic alone. We are all adults now. No one else is making decision for us. However, we all have a past and people behind us that make us who we are. We are all obligated to care for each other, support each other and look out for the good of those who formed us and those around us who continue to do so.

Whether you believe in God or not, humans exist with a purpose. As one of my fellow mommy bloggers put it over at A Concrete Way of Love, I want to do more than survive, I want to thrive. In light of this I propose the following 3 points:

  • Don’t whine about your job, your health, your husband, or politics. Feel free to have open, honest discussions, but whining and attacking is not allowed. Moreover, let’s talk about your hopes, your dreams, and the great blessings of your life. Speak kindly, but hold yourself and others accountable to the fundamental issues of the dignity of all human life, including the dignity of those you don’t agree with.
  • You need to dress appropriately and teach your children of all ages to do the same. You are not their friend, you are their loved one and as an adult you owe it to them to respect yourself and teach them to respect themselves and the people who look at them.
  • You are uniquely gifted and there is no excuse for not nurturing and sharing your gifts. If you are materially blessed, there is no good reason for purchasing the newest model when the old model is only a year old and there are people in every community that can’t feed their children. If you are blessed with time, there is no good excuse for watching reality television or checking Facebook for the 4th time today when there are teachers with overcrowded classrooms who need aids, non-profits that need mailings stuffed (which can be done from home in many cases), and prayer causes that reach far beyond your front door.

I’m not pointing any fingers at anyone in this community or in my own community. I’m simply noting a challenge for persons, particularly women and especially myself, to take ourselves a bit more seriously as adults and witnesses for the people around us.  I’m not saying we need to trade happiness, enjoyment, or fancy free for the shackles of a puritanical domestic life, but I am insisting that we step it up. The Christian life we choose daily is not one of ease or pleasantries. Christ called his followers to many virtues: faith, hope, and love (charity) but also temperance, prudence, fortitude and justice.

If you’re of the persuasion of regular Confession, I encourage you to use these virtues as an examination of conscience. If you’re someone who prefers reflection in a journal, I encourage you to give yourself a spiritual/practical health check with these virtues. If you’re part of a mommy group, bible study, or conversational workplace, I invite you to ask others what they think of those words and how they are living them.

This quote from the American Catholic website sums it up quite nicely, “We enjoy the most comfort-oriented life in human history. We eat too much, drink too much, use a million gadgets, fill our eyes and ears with everything imaginable. Commerce thrives on creating useless needs on which to spend our money. It seems that when we have become most like slaves, there is the greatest talk of “freedom.” Are we willing to discipline ourselves in such an atmosphere?”

If that isn’t enough, try this quote attributed to Gandhi, “The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles.”

What are you working on this week to “grow up” and make yourself and your witness more Christ-like?

Amberly Boerschinger is a speaker, blogger and writer. She is married to a fabulously patient man and has two active preschoolers who are looking forward to the Green Bay Packer’s football season. She also works in communications for a local parish. You can read more of her work at Woman at the Inkwell.


Comments

  1. Good timing! It is easy to fall into a place of self pity when things aren’t going my way and even in my forties, I can still throw a pretty good tantrum. Thanks for reminding me that I can start my day with an attitude of service asking what I can bring to the day rather than what I can take from it.

  2. Great post. I think that complaining can become a bad habit, a conversation filler for some people. When I hear the moms I work with complain about how little time they have, I think back to earlier times, when all day, every day, the number use of time was for just in staying alive. We are very fortunate and need to reflect on that from time to time.

  3. Wow! Like! (And ooh, squirming!)

  4. Mt attitude. Not the positive one I try to share with the outside world, but the more private one that my family is affected by. To be truly and consistently loving and grateful is a journey I am undertaking.

  5. Wow, this post must be directed at someone besides me. My life has been really tough this year. I’ve experienced new health issues personally that have challenged me beyond what I could have imagined along with the day to day responsibilities of being a wife, mother, employee and volunteer and yet through it all my first and foremost response has been to Thank God for all the Blessings that I do have in life. Many things have not gone according to my plans but I know that God’s plan is Great and he will walk with me through the biggest challenges. You don’t know what people are dealing with though and I’m sure people have it much worse than I do. Would you tell a woman who was just diagnosed with cancer to stop whinning about her health? I’d say she has a right to feel bad and sad and worry about her family and how being diagnosed will affect all the people in her life.

    Also, dressing appropriately does not mean you have to dress frumpy. You can still have style and dress appropriately for your age. Too may Moms put their kids first and buy them nice clothes and don’t bother to make sure they take care of themselves. I don’t have a large wardrobe or spend a lot of money on myself but my clothes fit and they are not from the 1980′s.

    I think the tone of your post was meant to attract attention to the message, but I personally read it as telling me how I’m not doing good enough and since you don’t know me, you couldn’t possibly know that I really don’t need you to tell me how to be a better Catholic, Wife, Mother, Employee, or Volunteer.

  6. GREAT post! I was nodding and agreeing all the way through. In fact, I wrote a short post today on my own blog telling people to come read your post: http://amy-tinyblessings.blogspot.com/2012/09/go-read-this-time-to-grow-up.html

    I don’t think you pointed this at anyone in particular, and I don’t think you advocated dressing frumpy or telling anyone how they personally need to improve. I think the tone was just right- we all need to be responsible for our choices and make positive contributions to the world around us. I could choose to whine a lot about some legitimate problems in my life (health and job) and nobody would think anything of it… but I try not to. That doesn’t help me. What helps me is looking for things I can do, whether it’s laying on the couch praying when I feel bad, or going out and physically getting things done when I feel good.

    As I said, great post.