Friday, January 06, 2012

Secrets of Adulthood

Sometimes a book keeps coming at you from all different directions. I kept seeing The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin everywhere. I would walk past a shop and see it, I would see it online, I would see it in the newspaper, I would over hear someone talking about it at a cafe. The universe trying to tell me to read it. I scoffed inwardly "I don't read self help books and I certainly don't need help to be happy." Cynical? Yes. 

But yet it still kept jumping out at me. So I popped it on my kindle before we went to Thailand and I started reading it on the plane. I was immediately struck by the authors honesty it is hugely personal but so much of what she said rang true to me. Gretchen makes various commandments and personal truths for herself to keep her on track as she tackles different aspects of her life month by month. The research is comprehensive and explained in an easy to read way and there is a good mix of evidence as well as personal truths. I loved some of the great ideas she has like : don't delay a task that takes less than a minute. I have made this 5 minutes for me and I find if I just- for example put the washing away rather than be annoyed by the basket it really actually makes me feel lighter. 

Probably my favourite part of book are The Secrets of Adulthood. You know those things you work out as you grow up that you can't believe took you so long to "get' which I loved as I often thought about these kind of things, when one would spring up I would immediately think - why didn't I work that out sooner?? What took me so long to work it out?

So I started writing mine down when I thought of them:

here they are:

When cranky assess last food and water intake.

Good food and exercise makes you feel good.

Sometimes it's easier to shut up

Ranting and raving and "venting" make you feel worse not better.

Always be nice to admin people, no matter how difficult that may sometimes be.

It's generally not the fault of the person who answers the phone.

It saves time if you read the instructions.

Friendship is not always forever.

It's nice to be nice.

No one will ever be as consistently excited to see you as your dog.

People who come across as snobby or rude may just be incredibly shy.

If you say the compliment out loud, it will make you both feel good.

Nothing ever turns out as you imagine it in your minds eye. Never ever.

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.*

Being optimistic is a force of 

Question professionals decisions and treatment plans. Ask about evidence. 

Always have a wet weather plan.

The words "sorry" and "but" cancel each other out.

Wanting change means getting actively involved.

Feeling guilty is a choice you make.

People that tell you you are sensitive may have just been incredibly insensitive. 

* this one is obviously not my own but it took me a while to get the concept

What are your secrets of adulthood? I would love to know, I bet you have lots of them.


  1. Thanks! All very true and worth remembering.

  2. That list is spot on.
    I wish I could travel back in time & convince 20 year old me of those facts.

  3. I think my best used secret of adulthood is remembering that not everyone has to like me. Just as I'm not always keen on some people, some people aren't keen on me.
    I need to use the rule of doing things now instead of waiting or putting it off. My washing sits there way too long too!

  4. Love love love this!!!! I have the book too, I just have not read it yet..... It's going on my pile of must reads. :)

  5. Secrets of Adulthood eh?

    *Common sense is not very common.

    *Don't wait to stumble across joy, make it yourself.

    *The laundry will always be there for you.

    *Do not ever talk about religion with my mother.

    *Buy a good pair of puddle jumpers, and jump!

    *Always have snacks.

    Just off the top of my head.

  6. I think you could probably devote a blog just to this!
    My one is( a bit cynical but true)
    "when a parent dies watch the fireworks start amongst the siblings"

  7. So spot on, it really changes your outlook when you realise each of these "wisdoms" as the dinos in Land Before Time would call them :) (its school holidays, we are rewatching EVERYTHING!)

    When people are rude or unpleasant, it might be that something really awful has happened to them that day.

  8. All excellent words of wisdom, and so very true. I wish I could tell my 16-20 year old self these things, but then again, I usually thought I knew best at that age. Some things you just have to learn by experience.

  9. So true, Cath!
    As I read your list, I thought about one of my own... we do sometimes forget the things we've learned and have to relearn them all over again (as hard as that can be)... and doing stupid things even though we "should have known better" is just part of being human...

  10. I have a few that I try to stick to:

    *Live the life you'd like to be remembered for.

    *People change, interests change, friends drift in and out, and that's ok.

    *Life is waaaaay too short to be miserable - you've got to make the most of what you've been given in life.

  11. Um think I might have to get this book.

    I like your list as well. MANY truths. I also liked what others have to say.

    Even when you know these truths it can be so hard to listen to them and act them amoungst the craziness of it all!!!

  12. Perfect, Cath. All so true and just such good advice. x

  13. 'You catch more flies with honey than vinegar.' As told to me by an endlessly patient boss in the bookshop where I worked with an impossibly high ratio of difficult customers. It really works, although it's hard to remember sometimes.

  14. I've heard a quote but I can't remember it- but the gist is, don't waste time trying to imitate/ be like someone you admire, you're much better at being yourself..(and accepting that, and working how to 'do yourself' best!)

  15. Wonderful words of wisdom!

    "People that tell you you are sensitive may have just been incredibly insensitive" - this really made me think and helps a senstive (or perhaps actually completely normal!) lass a lot!



    ps - just discovered your blog via your etsy shop. Great stuff!

  16. Nice list Cath. A lightbulb moment for me in adulthood was suddenly realising, profoundly: OTHER PEOPLE ARE NOT ME. Therefore, my expectation of how they should behave, or how they see the world, are irrelevant at best. I think I'm fairly emotionally imm ature though so I look forward to much more wisdom as I age.


  17. I've discovered that, if you want to, you can block out annoying noises from family, friends, football, etc. Convedrsley, if you don't want to, it will keep on annoying you. Cherrie

  18. People that tell you you are sensitive may have just been incredibly insensitive.

    That! I get called that all the time. Usually by insensitive idiots.


  19. Ooo now these are rather fabulous... what a mind tickler. I'll need to think some on mine but all of these are certainly getting yes yes yeses ;)
    Some thoughts... Does a 'but' really cancel out a 'sorry'..?... not always I think. "I'm sorry I was late but the bus broke down" - I guess the distinction lies in whether there's an excuse or a reason following the 'but'...? Anyway, another great post Cath. Thank you :) Kx

  20. I'm nodding my head as I read your list. So true.

    My lesson of adulthood:
    * be kind to yourself

  21. Oh, am going to have to think it through. I am also a little haunted by that book- sounds like I just need to read it.

    Do like the "sorry" and "but" comment. I can learn from that one.

  22. Thank you again for the book recc Chooky!
    I really think it has changed my life.
    Great list of secrets too.
    I'm still working on mine. xx

  23. yes, as Kylie exellently pointed out sorry and but are not always bad together. What I meant was sorry and then but like as if they cancel each other out "I'm sorry but you made me do it kind of thing. "

  24. I love your list - Im still not sure Im grown up enough to write one, ha ha.

    Read the Happiness Project book myself about a year ago and now have the urge to re read some it - a couple of chapters bored me a bit (can't remember which ones) but on the whole really enjoyed the book
    Amanda xoxox

  25. I keep reading "...and I certainly don't need help to be happy" as "...and I certainly DON'T NEED TO BE HAPPY." Makes me chuckle.

    I like your secrets of adulthood. The one about being called oversensitive certainly hits home with me.


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