# adulting # be like the ant

Let's Talk About Adulting | Teatime with Jennifer

While walking through Home Goods this summer, I came across this canvas print that says "I Can't Adult Today".

While I think that this canvas is meant to be a light-hearted joke, I couldn't help but think that many people today actually do have a hard time tending to adult responsibilities. This generation has turned the word adult into a verb: adulting. And they sure are having a hard time doing it! What does this mean for our future and for our children's generation? I hope you join me for today's Teatime with Jennifer video, as we sip a cup of tea and wonder at the marvel of adulting.

Mentioned in today's video:
Blimey Cow No, You are Not Adulting
Gotta Love Millennials video
This is how college students used to dress via Town and Country.


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Comment of the Week
Christina Writes, "Your fall and winter clothes are so beautiful and chic! I just ordered my last two core items and one extra which I think should do it! There was one dress I wanted but my size is now gone but I'm excited about my order and how freeing it feels to be done! Two questions... I have a beautiful black maxi dress that I love with sandals but feel lost on how to transition it to cool weather. What type of boots will you wear with your maxi? I'm wondering if ankle boots will look ok? I feel like my riding boots will be too bulky under it. Also, my biggest trouble with completing a 10 item wardrobe is quickly finding things that I like the fit of. I order and return so much and shopping in a store would be nice but I'm a mom of almost 8 so just don't want to spend free time in a mall. Do you always find what you like right away? I'm sick of the ongoing orders and returns."

Hi Christina, Thank you! With a maxi dress, you can definitely wear ankle boots or if it's still warm weather, ballet flats. Riding boots might be too bulky under it. You won't know until you try. I also understand your plight with not wanting to spend a long time on shopping. I am in the same boat right now. This year I needed to quickly order my wardrobe before my trip, which is why I ordered my clothes online, and I'm very happy with all of my choices. As you continue the ten-item wardrobe, you become really good at knowing what will work for you and what won't. Please keep us updated!

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend. I pray everyone affected by the hurricanes are on the road to recovery. I will see you on Monday. Until then...

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Gypsy Liz & Co. said...

In defense of millennials, I believe there are a fair number of Gen X people out there who are equally baffled by adulting.

Due to my husband's job, our family moves every 3 years to places all over the country and sometimes the world. While this has been incredibly challenging, I believe it's been good for us as individuals as well as for our marriage because we have had to grow and adapt to all kinds of challenges and cultures. We spend a fair amount of time doing things we may not enjoy but are necessary. We have to depend on each other to figure thing out. This forces one to "adult" like nothing else. :-)

On the other hand, I've noticed that people we know our age who have stayed in our hometown, or who otherwise have resisted growth and change, tend to have a harder time with "adulting." Sometimes it's because well-meaning parents who live nearby are too quick to rescue them when they have a problem, sometimes it's because they didn't have strong career goals and just kind of went with what was easiest, and a lot of it stems from these "distractions" you speak of--gaming culture, too much TV, and too much time on social media.

Everyone has times of exhaustion and may need a day to rest. But a general laziness about life--an aversion to "adulting"--I agree. That's something new, and I'm not sure what the answer is, except to model "adulting" in our own lives in such a way that it doesn't seem as bleak as the Peter Pans of our society might imagine.

Lillian said...

As one of your millennial readers, I'm a little bit disappointed by this commentary. But I think I might have some insight on this joke. "Adulting" has become a tongue in cheek verb to make light of the criticism we're constantly facing about our "failure to grow up", as it is defined by buying a house, saving for retirement, getting married, and having children (most of which contribute to our consumerist economy, which is arguably why anyone cares). But we're doing these things later in life because of our collective financial situation matched to our career prospects, not because we can't get out of our sweatpants and off Netflix or refuse to work for minimum wage. I can agree that today's society in general might be less formal than the past, but these trends in formality are consistent across generations alive right now. The unique challenge millennials face is that many of us have crippled our financial situation for the first part of our adult life by making a poor investment: college has become so expensive that the payout will likely never exceed what was invested the way it did for our parents. As a result, loan payments are taking the place of house and car purchases, and even basic things like health insurance - essentially our very ability to have the means of managing our own households to begin with. We can't afford to be in the jobs available to us right away without extending our reliance on our parents or other family. Even those bigger jobs we are supposed to be aiming for as an eventual goal are being replaced by freelanced and contracted work that doesn't require the company to provide benefits. It's easier to turn that bleak outlook into a joke about how "adulting" is hard, especially because many of our generational critics are just seeking their own validation.

Anonymous said...

I blame the parents for dropping the ball here. "Childhood" is a relatively recent invention. Once upon a time, children were given chores to do to help out around the house. They were not given everything they wanted right away. In some countries, children are still brought up in this manner. But here in America, it seems that children rule the roost, andare no longer required to do chores, and are given every little thing they desire the moment they express a desire for it. They deem instant gratification the norm, and this explains their overuse of credit cards contributing to the debt they already take on just by going to college, buying a car, and finding a living space. The millennials have learned this helplessness from their parents. Parents no longer teach their kids how to cook, or do a load of laundry, or change the oil in their car, or put up a shelf, or even to budget their money. Parents no longer do those things themselves, so how can they pass it on? Cooking and cleaning have become jobs that are "beneath them". They have "better things to do". (Although they always seem to find time to watch TV or surf the 'net.) These mundane tasks are considered "immigrant work" (Yes, I have heard it described that way). Even taking care of their own children is something they hire out. If children are indeed our future, then our future looks pretty bleak.

Amy K said...

I have to say I agree with some of these other comments. I have a difficult time with the general "millennial-bashing" commentary.

I think there are plenty of people in earlier generations that have felt or acted in the same way. Gen X has been criticized as the slacker generation - isn't that the same sentiment as "I can't adult today?"

If you don't mind me asking, do you share your age? While the range varies quite a bit, some sources list millennials as anyone born from 1977 - 1994.

Still enjoy the blog, but thought I should add to the discussion.

Mrs LJ said...

Lillian's comment above is very well-said and I think she hits the nail on the head. I'm the top end of the millennial cohort and was lucky to finish college and get a good job with good opportunities before the recession hit 10 years ago. I really feel for younger people who have essentially been sold a lie: that taking out tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of dollars in debt at a young age (without any guarantee of future means to repay it) is a good investment in their future. Realizing at 22 that you may have made a costly mistake with huge implications - one that was encouraged by your own parents and most of society - IS hard.

That said, the poster is moronic and insipid, why would you hang that in your home? Might as well hang one that says "I'm an idiot"

Fiona said...

I'm in my late 40s and "adulting" IS hard, especially for women with children, who bear most of the responsibility for running a household while (usually) working full-time.

Regardless, I find this post very disappointing, and not in keeping with your so-called "classy" philosophy. It smacks of finger-pointing, and quite frankly, we need less division in this world.

Millennials DO have it quite hard--harder than Gen Xs, in my opinion. I paid my own way through a four-year college by working part-time. That's currently impossible to do. The job market is tough, and racism and sexism seem worse than ever (or at least, they're bubbling up to be more visible).

On the verge of unsubscribing. Do better than this.

Lillian said...

Mrs. LJ your comment made me laugh - I totally agree that the canvas is ridiculously tacky.
Jennifer, I love your blog. I hope you don't take my dissent as anything other than just another perspective. Despite any hardship we face as a generation - and the criticism for how we're handling it - I still believe (like you) we should be striving to be our best on a daily basis.

Kait said...

This disparaging attitude towards millennials is not chic! Keep in mind millennials go all the way up to 35 years old by most definitions and have plenty of adult responsibilities which we manage daily. We are doing our best despite the economic circumstances. We're here following your blog and trying to do better because our boomer parents may not have set a good example of how to "adult" very well and now we are trying to figure it out for ourselves. A little more compassion and positivity would go a long way.

mandyjacks said...

I'm so surprised to see the bit of backlash you are receiving. I think your point would have been better made if you hadn't specifically mentioned millennials. I'd hate to be one and constantly hear the negativity. Having said that, I totally agree with your message on this one. Work ethic is something I pray my husband and I are instilling in our children. I truly believe it could really set them a part from their peers as they head out into the world.

Maureen said...

Amen, sister. Great video; I couldn't agree more. Every time I hear or see "adulting," I cringe.

Your photos of Portugal are gorgeous! I hope you're enjoying every minute.

DD said...

I don't understand why anyone thinks "adulting" (ick, last time I use that abomination) was EVER easy. Everyone thinks they have it harder than anyone else ever did. Guess again. This baby boomer graduated from college and landed a first professional job that didn't come close to funding a lower middle class life. I was so excited to be on my own, independent, an adult that I left my parents' home, moved to a different city, lived in one room, rode the bus or walked, considered a magazine or movie a huge treat. I was proud and thrilled to be standing on my own two feet. Being an adult isn't about having children or buying real estate. It's about being self sufficient and responsible. In fact, I believe until you can take care of yourself, you don't deserve to have children or own a home. If you think your parents had an easy time with young adulthood, you never got the full story. At 64 my life looks pretty good but I started with nothing and worked my backside off for 40+ years. My friend the doctor started his adulthood as a bicycle messenger working for tips. My generation had its share of whiners and slackers. Gen Xers, Yers, whatever's, aren't so special...no worse or better off than anyone who came before.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hello ladies,

As always, I appreciate your input. I state very clearly in the video that I am talking about all generations, specifically millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers. For some reason the millennials are taking this commentary especially hard! I believe the artwork is made for the millennial market, which is what I suggest in the video. While this video is mainly preaching to the choir, I wanted to share my insight on the "I can't adult today" mentality. Many people get offended by my opinions lately and please know that we are all entitled to our own opinions. This is my platform where I respectfully convey what I am noting in society. Every generation deals with hardships. I think about my grandparents who lived and fought in WWll. We can look to their generation to see how they coped and "got things done" under such duress. My grandmother raised four kids alone for years while my grandfather fought as a fighter pilot in the war. I admire their resolve and determination and lack of excuse-making with how they got on with their responsibilities. I think we can all look to that generation for inspiration. God bless you all and thank you for weighing in in the comments section! ~Jennifer

Ladylike said...

I appreciate your thought-provoking post. I'm not going to focus on the one word. Let's focus on the larger issues. The following is what "I can't adult today" means to me. I would never buy anything with this slogan on it, but it doesn't offend me, as it's saying "Today," not every day. I am an adult now, but it took me some years to arrive at this point. You and other authors helped me to stop dressing like potluck at the laundromat and to de-clutter my home, among many other things. The result is I woke up at 5 am this morning, fed the dogs and let them out, showered, dressed carefully, put on my make-up, prepared my daughter's breakfast and lunch, encouraged her, as she felt tired and tearful, prepared my own breakfast and ate it, drove my daughter one hour to her school, went to the bank, the post office, the grocery store, called the contractor, drove to the doctor's office, returned home, prepared a snack for my children and their dinner, made any beds that didn't get made this morning, fed the dogs again. Tonight, I will go to my son's back to school night. You get the idea. Ultimately, I do all of these things because they fill me with self-esteem, which is the fuel that keeps the ball rolling; these activities are also appreciated by others. Nonetheless, the following is a quote from a text message I sent to my husband recently. "Sometimes taking care of our family feels like a privilege, and sometimes it feels like a sacrifice I can barely manage." I'd had a bad day because there was a long heatwave and heavy smoke in the air, and I'd really wanted to go to the beach (where the air is cooler and clearer), but my kids didn't want to; so we didn't go. Big mistake. Then my husband wanted one more thing from me, to go to his client's party in the heat. I told him I didn't want to go. In fact, I completely lost it. This is what happens when we overextend ourselves, So, I believe there is a delicate balance between self-care and caring for others. In fact, caring for ourselves is part of our adult responsibilities. If some person needs to acknowledge that they feel the need to regain their balance, I think that's okay.
Warm best,


Nicole Bridgehouse said...

I agree with this comment, some children aren't being taught these life lessons from their parents. I think that some parents are so rushed these days that they think it is easier and faster to do the chores themselves instead of having the patience to go at their child's pace. We need to instil in our children the benefit of routines when it comes to homemaking and garden care.

Jacquelyn Swaoger said...

Lillian, I couldn't have stated it any more eloquently than what you've written; thank you. I too am a millennial reader of The Daily Connoisseur and felt conflicted with this video. As a follower of this blog, I share with Jennifer a love of etiquette, a minimalist mindset, and even a romanticization of eras gone by; however, I'm disappointed in this video. While I believe it was done with good intention, it just feels like one more jab in a long list of those who misunderstand, misrepresent, and even mock our generation without fully grasping the economic realities that millennials face and how it's shaped our lifestyles and development.

We can and should look for inspiration in past generations on how to live a less-casual and more refined life, but we cannot be unrealistic or averse to any change. There were many, if not more dire, problems during earlier generations, such as racism, sexism, and other various limitations, that millennials have forge ahead on, improved upon, and fight tirelessly everyday to eradicate. For once I would like to see an older generation give credit to millennials for their bold stance on acceptance, social justice, and innovation rather than just dragging our generation through the mud because we like avocado toast, Whole Foods, and social media.

Amanda said...


I believe many of these millennials' defensive responses to your video only further affirms the truth of your commentary! I am a millennial and could not agree more. Thank you so much for this video! I believe the statistics speak for themselves. As a millennial who is married with three children, I am one of very few. I have so few friends from college who are married, let alone parents. And it goes beyond choices regarding family planning- you mentioned extended adolescence and I think that is the crux of the issue. Delaying/avoiding taking on responsibility, avoiding jobs that aren't glamorous, etc. Of course these things are not true of ALL millennials, but looking over the latest research and demographic studies would indicate that, yes, in fact my generation does have a problem taking on the most basic "adulting" of generations before us (low rate of marriage, low birth rate, etc.)

Personally, I have found studying the theology of vocation to be so helpful in giving meaning to my most mundane daily tasks.

Thank you again for this video! I am a millennial who could not agree more.



Sandy said...

It was a great video. I loved the article from Town and Country.

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Wellyboots said...

I'm sorry u have received quite a bit of negative feedback Jennifer. Unfortunately we live in times where many are unreasonable and want to be their own authority. Some adults don't want to take advice or humbly consider an opinion contrary to their own. What is "bad is good" and what is "good is bad"!(Is 5:20)
As a God fearing person I know you will appreciate 2 Tim 3:1-5 which describes our times today "down to a tee"!
Don't give up on your blog. I appreciate what you were trying to get across and many today are either not coping with their busy lives, don't value your message OR are simply lazy. That is why your information is inspiring to so many who want things to be better than what is commonly accepted!

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hi Amanda, I agree with your statement that some of the comments affirm the point of the message! I love your story and think your observations on family life are very poignant.

Wellyboots, those words are a balm to me. Thank you!

Tracy said...

Hi Jennifer. I commented on your YouTube video, and came back here to read a bit further. As I watched your video I was nodding and "amen-ing" my way through it. Therefore, I was very surprised to find such a firm backlash to your video and blog.

I am parenting baby adults and this attitude, that is meant to be funny, is just feeling like really hard parenting work. Perhaps even more challenging that toddlers and teens. I shouldn't be actively parenting 20 and 21 year old's. I know this, because by that age I had moved out of home, married and built a house. My husband and I just muddled our way through learning to be adults, together, without really considering that it was hard. We were just doing what we needed to do as adults. Meanwhile, one of my baby adult daughters has bought into this idea that adulting is hard. I have raised my children to be responsible and resilient and competent and capable. Instead of knowing this about herself, I am in a position to be explicitly teaching her that adult responsibilities are not "hard". I am having to remind her she is entirely equipped and capable, and that her attitude alone is making her life hard. I am forced to hold a firm line where she is required to step up, rather than just letting her slide into a "I can't be bothered, so I won't" kind of life.

Jennifer, thank you for the way you always respectfully and gently share your thoughts and commentary about what you observe. You are such a positive example of how we can discuss an issue, and even disagree, with grace, self-control, gentleness and kindness.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Hi Tracy, Your honesty is refreshing! Thank you for sharing your perspective as a parent.

Anonymous said...

I am not at all surprised by the backlash, as we have become a very whiny and weak society. I thought the video was catchy and funny and did have a bit of exaggerated truth in it. This combo = a parody.

I will say that there are definitely some sharp Millennials out there, for sure! However, I have definitely seen my fair share that fit the video to a 'T'. Like the 22 year old I recently heard say "Why would I want to move out on my own into a little apartment when my parent's house is so nice!" And the 26 and 32 year old ladies I work with who have NEVER lived on their own, and have plenty of money to spend on the most ridiculous things.

It seems, these days, that it is a badge of honor to be 'young' and to never grow up. And while there are definitely exceptions to this, most people in previous generations couldn't wait to be grown up and out on their own. To be independent in all ways. Nowadays it's hard to get older teens and 20-somethings to even get their driver's license!

Someone earlier made a good point, I thought, about how much things cost, and the amount of debt for college, cars, etc... And I quite agree. But here's the thing. To borrow a slogan from my generation, "Just say no!" Going into debt us a choice, it wasn't forced on you. Be willing to live in a 1 room apartment in the not-so-great part of town, and drive a clunker. That's what I did. It's what most of us used to do because we didn't feel we were owed the same lifestyle our parents worked their whole lives for.

Em said...

Hi Jennifer,

I am a long time reader of your blog and of your books. Thank you so much for your insight and inspiration.

I am a member of the younger generation as well; however, I do not define myself with just one word. I agree with your statement in this video.

I have older parents, from the baby-boomer generation. My parents worked "blue collar" jobs all their life. They were and still are very hard working. I don't believe I ever heard them make the complaint that they couldn't do something on a particular day. Occasionally, they would have rough days at work, but that didn't mean they wouldn't go back or that they would limit themselves after they returned home.

My father was a truck driver, retired now, who dressed for work. He would wear slacks, buttoned down shirts, and shined shoes while driving. My mother would wash, fold, and iron his clothes each week and pack them for him. He never wore a wrinkled piece of clothing.

My mother was a school cafeteria worker and she always dressed with respect for her job as well. They were never too busy to complete house work, teach me life lessons, or help me with my homework. I know I benefited from their example.

I was taught early in life that everyone has a job to do that benefits society in some way. No one person is beneath a job and everyone deserves respect. I started out working at McDonald's, and I have work my way through various jobs, and now have my dream job. I have learned a great deal from my previous experience and hold on to those good and bad learning opportunities. Those learning opportunities were very valuable and I wouldn't be who I am without them.

About dressing appropriately, I do believe it's a matter of respect. I recently attended both a wedding and a funeral. At each event I saw people wearing jeans. At the wedding I saw someone wearing yoga/workout wear. I was personally upset by this because I don't think those people were showing proper respect for not only themselves, but for the events, as well.

I'm trying to remember to be the change I wish to see in the world.

Again, thank you for the inspiration that I think many of us need and benefit from.

- Emily

Ewa said...

Hi Jen,

I agree with you on 'adulting'. I'm 37, married, a working mom, and most of my university friends simply ceased to contact me after I had a child (I'm quite sure it was them, not me). They fall into two categories - either unmarried academics or married academics with no intention of ever having kids. Some of the latter don't even wear wedding bands, because wedding bands are 'uncool'. I guess they find my life simply boring.

Re: clothes: I work at school, and few of us dress properly. One of our students recently got to Oxford, and when he got a letter specifying Oxford dress code, he contacted me - a female - to explain it to him. Which, to my mind, proves he had no role model among male teachers.

What you're doing is necessary. Looking forward to more videos!

Margaret said...

Thank you for your post Jennifer - whether it's generational or simply a sign of the times I often wonder. I do find many of my peers (mid-30's +) unable to handle the "hard-stuff" such as a SAHM who's husband arrives home from work later than 6pm, or heaven forbid travels, yet they feel the necessity to spend mornings at the gym, grabbing coffee with girlfriends or getting manicures while their little ones are at pre-school. Their houses are in disarray and some even have husbands who prepare supper when they do arrive home from work. There seems to be an expectation of living lavishly that I can't seem to understand. As a parent, my husband and I are trying to intentionally establish a strong work ethic in our children though sometimes I am so discouraged by the "norm". Thank you for so gracefully sharing your opinion and giving some food for thought to the community :)

Megan said...

Hi Jennifer!

I completely agree with your opinion on this one. What I've noticed in particular is the amount of services people of any age hire out now instead of doing them themselves. You get cleaning services, lawncare, nannies, groceries delivered, meal services delivered with the ingredients chopped for you!, personal trainers, etc. , yet you have time to browse social media for hours!! But wait, since you were sitting on your bottom for hours, you now have to work out and then don't have time to chop those veggies. Good thing you have that meal delivery service. If anything, the issue is one of work ethic and respect for yourself and your children. Don't you want to teach your kids how to cook, how to clean up after themselves, how to care for their homes, how to dress, so they know how to care for themselves in the future? I think it's such a disservice to our children to show them that you can hire others to do the work for you. It completely suppresses their desire and need for independence, as well as the adult's. It's so important to have basic life skills and pass them on.

Christina said...

Thus is such a great topic to cover and so true! There are definitely people who act as if they can't cope with life, or @adult." (Yuck, I hate even typing that word.) Also, thank you for answering my questions in my comment from your last post- so kind of you! My items arrived and 1 is perfect, one too big and one too small but exchanges have been ordered! I'm excited about my 10-item wardrobe.

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C Espinosa said...

Dear Jennifer,

Thank you for this video. All the responses have resonated with me. They are all true to a large degree.

I'm glad other readers pointed out the very real challenges young adults face today, too. Even if one is among the more responsible who like the idea of embracing adulthood and are sincerely trying, it's an uphill battle in this culture. If you're "too responsible" or "too proper" and don't embrace the prevailing culture, there's consistent ridicule waiting from perhaps well meaning but more often simply immature peers.
I've always strived to be my own version of Madame Chic in a winsome way, but the cultural resistance you are describing is very real.

Same in the romance realm. Finding someone immature to marry is easy, but that makes very few people embrace adulthood permanently. I think that for those who are working to find a spouse who shares their values and are adults, it's better to wait than be in the wrong relationship just so people you barely know think you're an adult. I think if most of us women kept our standards high and embraced being adults, men would step up, too.

Getting back to the topic, your video was a reminder for me to not allow myself to slip into the culture of comfort. It's not an easy message to hear all the time, but we need it. I can identify with all the reasons millenials are struggling, and I choose to be an adult. Thank you for reminding me that's a solid choice.

Looking forward to more content and congrats on the wardrobe course! Learning and practicing the ten item concept since reading your first book has been a huge help!

Kind regards,

MelissaNJ said...

Dear Jennifer,

What a great conversation topic. I, too, saw an "I Can't Adult Today" message on a mug at Charming Charlie's this summer. I thought it was funny, but, as you note, a sign of something more meaningful and troubling.

I can't remember whom to credit with this insight, but awhile back I had read that children today no longer long to grow up because there is no mystery left to adulthood. They are privy to information that previous generations were not until much later, either intentionally by well meaning parents or accidentally by media exposure.

Also, the perks - you might say incentives? - of adulthood are already given to children. I couldn't wait to grow up! I could set my own bedtime, watch what I wanted to on TV, wear grown up styles of clothing, not have to share a room with my sister. I could go to an R rated movie and dine in those fancy restaurants adults actually took the time to go to with other adults! I could finally learn about all of the things that you were told "you'll understand when you're older."

One more thought. The parents of the millenial generation are the first to be known as "helicopter parents," whose lives completely and utterly revolve around their children, often in an unhealthy way. This generation has grown up watching adults revolve their lives around them, the child! Their notion of being an adult is spending every evening playing taxi driver and every weekend at the sporting field, criticizing other adults in their child's life for every slight infraction or perceived injustice. Why would they want to grow up and lose being the center of attention?

Thank you for reading this and I would so love to know your thoughts! Congratulations on all of your recent life changes, and please keep up the excellent work. Reading your books and blog, watching your videos - you and your message are so refreshing and inspiring!


inspirsession said...

From a millennial linguistic perspective, to comprehend this poster truthfully involves understanding the new meaning of the word "can't" as well. After all, we are also responsible for the phrase "I just can't" which usually aligns more closely with "I really don't want to" or "I feel uneqipped to handle" rather than purely "I won't." Of course we can. And we will. But in the moment we would really rather not!

I think that's a feeling shared (and modeled!) across generations. My baby boomer mom always kept a perfect house when we were growing up. But as the technology necessitated by her new business has overtaken her spare time, her attitude toward chores has definitely changed to one of resentment. In turn, that makes me more resentful of my own house keeping.

What I'm taking away from this is that we could all afford to adopt a different perspective on adulthood, and view our lifetime responsibilities with a professional attitude, as opposed to a despairing one. That's something which could be beneficial for multiple generations, as I think Jennifer herself suggested.

karen said...

Dare I say it Jennifer? Those who are disappointed, offended, not going to follow you anymore because you expressed an opinion they disagree with-right there is a prime example of not being an adult! It's such a part of culture today, we must all think one way or our feelings are hurt and we're parting ways, or getting into arguments on Facebook. I participate in a ladies Bible study, and the women are young and old, rich and poor, many different races from different kinds of churches. and we all express our thoughts freely! We don't always agree, but that's fine-nobody takes it personally, because we are all adults.

Jess said...

I completely agree with Amanda who said that millenials complaining about being termed this way are in fact showing us that they fall into this category. It seems that millenials love to talk about the recession and how it affected them, but at 36, I can be either a millenial or a Gen Xer, and I cannot believe how a large majority of millenials my age and a little bit younger complain and don't act like adults. Just because the economy is bad, that is not an excuse to entitlement. In fact, I would think it would make someone buckle up and try harder, but that is not what we've seen from this generation. We busted our butts to make it through the recession and now are doing well. I am so tired of people complaining whenever they feel offended, as if somehow we need to not ever say anything that might offend someone; Also something that seems to have come out of the millenial movement. It's ridiculous and someday we may just become a completely bland, neutral society where we can't say anything at the risk of offending.

Laura Gail said...

I would like to chime in here as a 40 yr old sahm with 3 (ages 1, 5, 7). I found this video to be very inspiring, thought provoking and even convicting. Ha! It was definitely good food for thought for all of us no matter the age and I think we could all use the reminder to "embrace your lot in life."

Also, my husband is 6 yrs younger than me and he has his masters and was valedictorian of his high school and a presidential scholar. He graduated right at the start of the recession and couldn't find a job in his field. He worked for 3+ years waiting tables at Red Lobster to put food in the table for us and our newborn at the time. It was grueling, humbling and not at all what he thought he would be doing in life. But he did it and he did it with a great attitude. Now, he's a software analyst and those days are behind us but the lessons we learned are not. Humility sticks with you and is a good reminder to be grateful for every opportunity you have in life. Thanks for the post, Jennifer!

Jacquelyn Swaoger said...

I came back to see if there were anymore comments and wow! This really blew up! For the record (as if someone was keeping one - ha!), I personally have no intentions of unsubscribing from this lovely blog. I still highly respect you Jennifer and am grateful for the inspiration your videos provide me with. Honestly, you're like the refined older sister I never had! That being said, opinions go both ways. It's perfectly acceptable and healthy to disagree on some topics and does not make one defensive, immature, or unwilling to learn and grow. People come from all walks of life and their realities may be far different from others. This is how we develop empathy and perspective-taking; two things that are incredibly chic, in my humble opinion. Hopefully, we can all learn from the different views expressed here and hold ourselves to a higher standard of grace, class, and refinement when tactfully dissenting to a statement we do not agree with.

boat people said...

"We don't always agree.... but nobody takes it personally because we are all adults."

I do love this.
Also, whomever commented on offense being a sign of the times. A truer word was never spoken!

AWT said...

I'm a married millennial who owns a home, has a demanding career as a lawyer, saves for retirement, pays my bills on time and in full, maintains a clean and comfortable home, cooks and feeds myself healthy and nutritious foods, I get dressed in legitimate clothing every day, and do all of the things that are ordinarily expected of adults. And although I generally agree with the sentiment of the video, I found it profoundly offensive to use "millennial" as a shorthand for incompetent adults for a few reasons. First, it's a gross generalization and oversimplification that, in my experience, simply isn't true. My experience of being an adult is not unique among my friends or classmates. Second, I can think of many people across generations that fit this profile. I know you mentioned other generations briefly, but you definitely focused more on the millennial, and given the millennial specific videos linked, it's hard not to feel like you're taking a pot shot at millennials. Third, this video, and the ideas conveyed could have existed without referring to any generation at all. The points you make are valid for anyone who struggles to continually and consistently meet their adult responsibilities, and relying on "millennial" as a shorthand for incompetent adult only distracted from the points you were making. Although I don't disagree with your opinions here, I felt that you were attacking millennials in particular and, in my opinion, unjustly and unnecessarily singling out this one group was in poor taste. It is because you are ordinarily so classy about these type of things that it was even more striking that you were not here.

KB said...
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serenity said...


How strongly adulting is related to commitment on a marriage,in your opinion ?

Lena Dunn said...
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Lena Dunn said...

For the people speaking about being offended about the millennial thing. I really think focusing on this one idea misses the point. Whether millennial bore more of the focus or not, is not the main point. Being easily offended is easy. Looking past something and acknowledging a truth is hard. Many people today of all ages, which Jennifer stated, have a hard time coping with adult responsibilities. That is a fact. That should be the real takeaway of the video as well as what we can do to step up.

Amy said...

Oh, I don't know. I agree with you for the most part, but I was amused because I thought the same thing about you when you posted a video expressing a total inability to deal with a flat tire - at the time all I could think was "What adult woman doesn't call AAA or know how to change a tire?"

I suppose we all have adult skills we can improve upon. (and I hope you got a AAA membership).

Alba Scott said...

I first came to this blog because of the 10 item wardrobe. I thought it inspiring and the idea resonated with me. I think Jennifer does a great work with it.

Now, this video... So full of generalizations and stereotypes. Millennials, people with messy homes, people who do not dress appropriately, young people who do not want to work... Wow. Life is so complex, daily struggles, past and present relationships, good and bad days at work, concerns about kids and health, and so much.

Some of your advice is good, you look exemplar in every video, but don't go around judging and defining people by the little you see of them. We all have our opinions about how others should act or be. But it really does not matter.

You will inspire people by the way you live, not by what you say or think about the way others live.

Keep the good work.

Kait said...
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Zulejka said...

I'm 32 and I had my first child at 26, and sooo many of my friends quit all contact with me, too! And not even gradually! Mostly unmarried academics, as well.

Zulejka said...

So on point!

Zulejka said...

I agree with you, it was not as classy as usually.

Someone's Mom said...

I know this post is a couple of months old but I saw this article from Christine Byrne, Features Editor, in an email from Self that really resonated. I appreciated your post and wanted to share this with you. I couldn't find an article on the magazine's site so here is the quote (bolding is my own):

"In my opinion, being an adult is pretty great. Plenty of people reminisce about their carefree college days—waxing poetic (or not so poetic, in the case of most people's college days) about the lack of responsibility and abundance of freedom. I'm not one of those people.

"Since college, I've been able to dive deeper into my interests—namely food, health, and fitness—and turn them into a career. I've figured out a work-life balance that makes me happy, and I've established a really solid network of friends from all walks of life. Adulting is all about making choices, then reaping their rewards and learning from their consequences. Don't get me wrong, adulthood isn't easy; grown up things like having a child, buying a house, or starting a business bring tons of responsibility, and mean that your choices suddenly extend far beyond yourself. But, watching your choices slowly add up to something is pretty darn satisfying. The autonomy to build your own life is worth the responsibility that comes with it."