The constant struggle for grown-up-ness

There's a certain age beyond which people rarely think childish behavior is cute or acceptable. There comes a time in everyone's life when they have to pull up the big boy/girl pants/panties and walk/talk like a grown person with sense in their head. I believe this is truth in spite of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. Don't we all know at least one (or ten) people who needed grown fourteen yesterdays ago? We've talked about characteristics of grown-up-ness before. I'm not sure why we think that as we mature, we are suddenly bestowed with wisdom and grace and all manner of maturity… it's work (sometimes hard work) to be a pleasant responsible citizen. Here are a few things I must confess that I still struggle to master:

Patience – Kids are allowed to be impatient. My 3 year old BougieNephew will cut a fool if he's hungry/sleepy/bored and there's no quick fix to these problems in front of him. He will repeat "I hungy. I hungy. I hungy." until someone places food in front of him. For a child it's very cut and dried. I need something now so I yell for it now. I have to secretly laugh when I tell him, "Can you ask me politely?" And while wailing impatience is not the greatest thing to witness from a chile… on a grown assed person foot-stomping and carrying on until you get your way is seriously frowned upon.

I have been cursed with zero patience. I mean none. I've learned to fake it and I've learned some tolerance but honestly, if I said what I actually thought even half of the time… well, let's just say it would be epic. The number of times when I would love to fall out and throw a tantrum with my lip stuck out saying, "I want it now!" well… let's just move on.

My impatience often manifests itself because I hate to wait. Hate. To. Wait. Waiting in lines I wonder where is the process improvement and why would anyone get in line to check out without double checking that they had sufficient payment first? What I say is, "No problem, I don't mind." Waiting in traffic I wonder why people with cars that they know are going to breakdown when the thermostat tops 90 even bother to put their rust buckets out there? But what I say is, "Can I call someone for you?" If someone tells me to be somewhere at 8:00, I call if it's going to be later than 8:05. I give everyone a five minute window. Nowadays with texting and twitter and cell phones, there's no excuse (unless you are sick or dying) not to let someone know if you're running late.

I also find that my patience threshold for rampant ignorance/stupidity/bullshiggity gets lower every year. I used to pray for patience all the time. When no more was forthcoming, I just prayed that I not cut a fool holding onto what little patience I have.

Not giving a damn – I'm getting better at this. It used to be that I was infused with empathy and sympathy for everybody's plights and pitfalls. Now… not as much. But I still haven't mastered the art of flat out not caring what people do, how they think, why they're mad why they don't agree with my impeccable logic or how I'm not one of their favorite people in the world. I just don't get how that's possible (yes, I'm joking). I've definitely developed a thicker skin as far as things people (who know nothing about me) say about me. My book? Well, I'm figuring out that everybody's a critic. And I do mean everybody. But as long as they bought it and read it to criticize… I'm okay with that too.

I actually have Twitter to thank for pumping up my Gibbadamness. (Just made it up) Having random folks call you everything but a child of God makes you develop selective hurt feelings. That tweet bounces off, that one stung a little. That one? Well, blocked. Onto da next. As BougieMom says, "Sometimes you just can't give flipping fig. Life is too short."

Stubbornness – The trick to this one is to disguise it as determination and stick-to-itiveness. Then it's an admirable trait and one that won't drive folks around you crazy. Once I get something in my head, once I back something, once I believe that something is worth my time, I'm all in. Not to the point of blind faith but definitely in a protective, why-don't-you-see-what-I-see kind of way. I could blame it on my inner Capricorn or just admit that I'm a stubborn kind of gal. It takes a minute to get my head turned to the left if I'm already facing right. Which kind of segues into my next one…

Knowing when to give up graciously – Hmm, thinking about this one now, I realize that it's really a combination of the above three issues. Impatience, giving too much of a damn and being too stubborn to back down mix together and evolve into a struggle to be gracious in defeat. This one I fake extraordinarily well. I'm actually fiercely competitive (family of four kids) and quite positive I'm right most of the time. This is why I rule in Scrabble. This is why I was good to let my nieces and nephews win on the Wii until they started talking smack. Then they had to be taught a lesson. (It was for their own good. Don't smack-talk Aunt Chele). Moving on…

So when I lose or have to admit that *gasp* I was wrong, it chafes yet I do it with southern honeyed charm. Doesn't mean I have to like it. Actually, typing this up I can say that I probably hung into some of my relationships and friendships a sconch (ya'll know what a sconch is) too long. Learning to cut my losses and get out while the getting is good is one of those lessons I have to keep learning.

Not sure what prompted this post today maybe just a few things on my mind. So I ask you, Bougieland – are there elements of grown-up-ness you struggle to achieve (and master)? The floor is yours.