Tag Archives: Present

An Adult Child’s Perspective on Christmas

As a kid, Christmas was always a big deal. In fact, everything was a big deal. A good report card, a promotion, birthdays, we celebrated it all. This celebratory style I grew up with followed me into adulthood.

As I’ve gotten older, buying Christmas gifts has become one of my favorite pastimes. It’s a fun feeling of both excitement and joy, when a loved one unveils the perfectly curated gift. Yet, finding the perfect gift for my parents and grandparents always feels like mission impossible. What do you buy for the people who have everything?! Year after year, I’d struggle with Christmas gifts and try so hard to keep up with my parents, who are supreme gift givers. This year, I rethought my approach.

My parents could care less what they opened on Christmas morning. Sure, I asked them and ended up with one bigger gift that was actually something they needed. They want things that money can’t buy – all of their kids in the same place, to cook together and for us kids to spend time with our grandparents. Looking back on this holiday season, that’s exactly what I gave, time.

Each year as I stepped further into adulthood, I tried to conjure up ways to give back what my parents gave to me. At the end of 2018, I can say I’ve stopped trying. There’s no way in the world that I could repay them for all they’ve given me. And are still giving as I sit on the beach in Florida at my mom’s house while my dad and stepmom diligently wait for the call to pick up my car for me. As they say, a parent’s work is never done.

So, my fellow adult children, stop worrying about the perfect gift for your parents. Instead, show up on holidays and birthdays as much as possible, take them to dinner and put your phone down during the meal. I think about my Nana and the many Saturdays I spent with her. Those were some of the best conversations I’ve had and she thoroughly enjoyed hearing my stories and watching me live my life. I sit with my other grandparents now and see the same joy fill their faces merely because I’m spending time with them. Highlight of the holiday season? Taking Grandma to see the Donna Summers musical on Broadway and dancing alongside her to ‘Last Dance.’

Don’t overthink it, my fellow 20’s somethings, who I’m sure are navigating this much like I am. Talk to your parents, grandparents, everyone in your life so you can co-create these memories together. They will sustain you during the longer, harder stretches of your life.

Our Obsession with the Good Old Days

“Maybe these are the moments. Maybe I’ve been missing what it’s about. Been scared of the future, thinking about the past while missing out on now” – Macklemore 

If you type ‘Good Old Days’ into Spotify, you’ll get over a dozen results. Why? Artists have picked up on our obsession with the idea of the “good old days.”

As someone who’s spent the last eight years trying to embrace adulthood, I get it. There are moments when it feels overwhelming. As an adult, there is literally always something…appointments to make, schedules to coordinate, the list continues. And this is without a significant other and kids. OY!

Yes, I’ve longed for my college nights out when I could sleep all day afterwards. I’ve wished my days away, wanting these moments to be something else. Then I’m jolted back to reality when I hear about people my age losing the rest of their days.

I could waste time and energy living in the past or planning for the future. But as Macklemore says in his Good Old Days song, then you’re missing out on now. Maybe it’s about redefining what good old days means in this life phase and each one after. I’d imagine for a new mom snuggling her newborn, that feels just as good (if not better) then celebrating the end of college. Live your life creating those memories that will make you smile when you remember them, not ones that will make you pine for the past.

How you spend your Friday nights might change. Your relationships will certainly evolve. The good news is you get to choose. You decide how to spend these moments. Bring the fearlessness you had at five and the fun you had at 17 to each next step. Don’t change yourself or think you’re too old. Age is a mindset, not a number. You define your moments and create your good old days.

Despite disagreeing with our obsession over the “good old days,” I do like Macklemore and Kesha’s take on it. It’s true, you don’t know the best moments of your life as they’re happening. You won’t ever get another day like it. Perhaps the idea of “good old days” is our reminder to stay in the present and soak it all in. I’d love to hear if this resonates with you!

Motivation Mondays: Coulda Woulda Shoulda

“So many roads, so many detours. So many choices, so many mistakes. As we drive along this road called life, occasionally a gal will find herself a little lost. When that happens, I guess she has to let go of the coulda, shoulda, woulda buckle up, and just keep going. As we speed along this endless road to the destination called ”Who We Hope To Be,” I can’t help but whine, are we there yet?” – Sex & The City

As you may have guessed, I am a huge Sex and the City fan. While the show and its character are fictional, I’ve learned quite a few life lessons from Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbs, Charlotte York and Samantha Jones. From relationship advice to life mantras, the show has provided inspirational quotes and poignant moments that many young woman can identify with. For this week’s Motivation Monday post, I’m sharing one of my favorites with you.

In the episode “Coulda Woulda Shoulda,” each of the leading ladies is at a crossroads in their life. Miranda finds out she is pregnant, Carrie questions a life-changing decision she made twenty years ago while Charlotte struggles to have a baby and Samantha has career issues. Each finds themselves wondering about all the possibilities that could have been if they made different choices. As a young adult and professional, I often find myself second-guessing most decisions I make. I over think and pine over my choices, wondering if I made the right one. Most of the time, I’m more concerned with how my decision will impact my future. There have been times I’ve been so focused on the “what if” that I’ve kept myself awake at night.

You can see Carrie doing the same thing in this episode. She plays through a million scenarios in her head, something I am all to familiar with. As I’ve gotten older, I realized that obsessing over what could have been will only lead to more heartbreak. Within the last year, there have been so many situations that I never could have imagined happening. Some were good, others were terrible but each led me to where I am today; and the place I am at right now is a pretty good one. I am a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, just sometimes you don’t know what that reason is until later on. Instead of worrying about what could have been, we each should celebrate what is happening now. It’s hard to not wonder about all of the “coulda woulda shoulda” moments from the past. But, focusing on the present is the only real way to be happy.

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