Here we grow again.
I saw someone post about turning 29 soon, and it got me thinking about age. I’m 31 1/2 years old, and hardly act like a mature grown up adult all the time. I bought a house last year, I’ve bought several cars at this point, and I have a sweet home based job where I’m technically allowed to do a LOT of work in my pajamas. But does any of that mean I’ve grown up?
I’m in a place in my life where I am having to address some pretty hard things. Being diagnosed with a mental illness in my early thirties, starting anti-psychotic medicines on Valentine’s Day of this year, and trying to figure out parenting while dealing with both requires an element of growing up. At the same time – I’ve got to embrace the reality that sometimes growing up means letting go on pretensions and misconceptions and just going with the moment. Sometimes the most grown up thing out there is the act of getting on the floor and playing with my kids, or running around the house with them acting like a goof.
Parenting with mental illness is not easy. But it doesn’t have to be hard either.
There is a greater than 50% chance that one of my two daughters will have bipolar as well. That scene from Forrest Gump, where he asks Jenny “Is he smart or is he … like me,” always comes to mind. It’s a fear of mine – one that I deal with daily. Will my kids have issues like I do because of me? The most important choice I can make on a day to day basis is to love them and be the best dad, and the best father I can be.
I see growing up as doing the things I listed above – buying the house, the car, getting the cush job etc. I see growing old as being the cranky old man who just doesn’t live a happy fulfilled life.
Growing up doesn’t have to mean growing old does it?