The Price of Growing Up

I never thought about dying when I was younger. I don’t mean just when I was a kid, because what kid walks around consumed with death. I mean even as a young adult in my 20’s I felt pretty darn invincible. Again, you might think that’s no big deal, but let me go ahead and clue you in on the fact that in my 20’s I was a Marine Infantryman patrolling the streets of Iraq. And yet still, I wasn’t worried about dying despite death chasing me at every crowded street. But now that I am all “grown up”, it is a conversation I have to have with myself. And it sucks.

But now that I am all “grown up”, it is a conversation I have to have with myself. And it sucks.

Actually, there’s a lot about being a grown up that pretty much sucks in general. Can’t we all just go ahead and admit that? I don’t want to back to being a kid, but the freedom I felt in my early 20’s has yet to be rivaled by any grown up experience. In my 20’s if I had a troublesome boss, I would have told them to suck it as I stormed self-righteously off toward greener pastures.

However, in my late 30’s with a wife, 3 kids, and a mortgage, I tell that boss, “Yes sir, I’ll jump right on it.” Then I walk away and grizzle. I bought life insurance a few years ago for the first time. Finally convinced of my own mortality, I wanted my kids to be taken care of in the event of my passing. Before them, I didn’t like the idea of someone getting paid at my death and it just seemed silly. And honestly, it kind of seemed like an incentive for people to kill me. But sigh, I guess these are the grown up things we do.

Finally convinced of my own mortality, I wanted my kids to be taken care of in the event of my passing.

My parents are still alive, but they have reached the age and physical health where I am finally starting to realize that their time is truly limited. I naively watched my parents handle matters at the passing of my grandparents, but as I look around the room now, it is just myself and one brother to take care of it for them. And I don’t mind telling the world my brother is a not exactly the smart sibling. Sigh, it looks like it is just me.

Thus, handling the affairs of my parents will fall on my shoulders and while I might not be stupid, I am pretty ignorant. Truthfully if one were to pass today, I would have nothing but the internet to guide me. Then when I consider the all the online accounts my mom has I become overwhelmed. I shudder to consider how many cute kitten email lists my mom has subscribed to and who has her personal information on the internet.

When you combine that with the truly overwhelming emotion I will feel at their passing, I throw my hands up in the air and claim one last time, growing up sucks. But alas, it is true. If immortality is the hallmark of youth, then it appears inevitability marks the later seasons of our life. Well, at least one beauty of getting older is the competence that comes from paying life tuition. I believe it was John Wayne who said, “Life is hard, but it’s harder when you are stupid.”

I believe it was John Wayne who said, “Life is hard, but it’s harder when you are stupid.”

That won’t be me, John Wayne. It might be my brother, but not me. (Sorry, bro.) So I am taking this bull by the horns and I’ll enjoy this season of life with my parents. Because the last gift of getting older is gratitude. I’m choosing to take advantage of good tools to handle these affairs and then be thankful for every day I have left. Then, who knows? Maybe growing up won’t be so bad after all.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Jeff Edwards is an awesome blogger, better known for writing “A blog about stuff” called Unprecedented Mediocrity. He happens to also be a fan of Estate Map, which happens to be a cool tool to start estate conversations with loved ones (like his Mom & Dad).

photo credit: https://goo.gl/wdTgid