Life

10 Things I've Learned as an Adult
Picture of me with a baby to demonstrate that I am, in fact, an adult not a child

I spend a lot… like a lot of time declaring myself to be a functional adult. (Usually while doing something I am trying to convince myself that I am qualified to do, like feed myself healthy meals or look after a baby.) However, now that I am solidly into my 30s… I think the time has come to not just accept that I’m a lot but to start to share the wisdom I’ve collected while making these sweeping declarations. So, without further ado, please enjoy a both serious and unserious list of the 10 things I’ve learned as an adult.

1) It is always faster to just throw together something for breakfast at home.

Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying that it’s not nice to pick up breakfast sometimes. An Egg McMuffin on a road trip? Absolutely!

But it’s not actually faster. When you are pressed for time in the morning, you can always grab a piece of fruit or granola bar, eat something that isn’t normally breakfast food, throw some couscous and hot water into a tupperware and have a sad but filling meal ready in seconds. I fully support getting a Starbucks or Tim Hortons bagel when I want one, but I can no longer fool myself that I am saving time by doing that.

2) Making your bed will always make your bedroom look one million times better.

Several years ago, I wanted to prove to myself that I could build a positive habit and I decided to start with something simple – making my bed, throw pillows and all, every single day for a month, then a year and so on. (I think my impetus was the idea that if something takes less than 5 minutes to do, you should do it right away?)

Anyway – literally an immediate face lift to my room that takes less than 5 minutes.

3) Good quality chocolate actually does taste better than the cheap stuff.

I know, I hate that I’m this person now too.

But it’s true.

4) It literally costs you nothing to be kind.

Another version of this is “don’t yuck someone else’s yum”. If someone tells you that they like something you don’t?There’s no need to be cruel, tease them, tell them all the things that are wrong with that thing. In fact, you could actually even listen to them talk about this thing for a bit because it will probably make them feel good. It costs you nothing.

(There are other variations to this lesson like “asking about people’s day” and “holding the door for other people”, but for me learning how to engage with other people’s interests that I do not share has been such a game changer.)

5) Sometimes a backpack or a fanny pack is 100% better than a purse.

I mean, it helps that they are trendy now too but… seriously. Don’t hurt your back/shoulders for fashion.

This lesson was learned on the first day of my Masters degree when I walked from the hospital campus I work at to the main campus that my summer intensive was taking place on. 20 minute walk, no big deal, right?

Very big deal when you are carrying a laptop in a shoulder tote. I literally bought a backpack that night and I have never regretted it.

6) More people remember and recognize you than you expect.

We all have a bit of social awkwardness in us and, for me, it took the form of always assuming that people wouldn’t remember me when I ran into them on the street/at a play/across a crowded room, etc. More times than you would expect, I was wrong… and then these people who totally did remember me assumed that I was a snob who didn’t want to engage with them. Not great.

Now, to be fair… sometimes people don’t remember me. I changed my hair colour quite dramatically after university and I find that the blonde sometimes still takes people by surprise. But that’s okay, I now smile and wave (or in this age of mask-wearing “crinkle up my eyes and wave”) anyway. The worst thing that can happen is that they don’t remember me and either they think I’m super friendly or they figure out who I am and we have a moment.

7) Sleep masks are a gift from *insert gift-giving reference of choice here*

It’s absolutely okay to be a bit of a delicate flower and want to create an ideal sleeping situation. For a lot of us, utter darkness is part of that and I have become a huge fan of sleep masks to create that darkness. My favourite sleep masks are these because they don’t press or pull on the eyes, and you can often find them at Winners!

8) Three friends is a totally valid number of friends.

This is a bit of an oversimplification and also a reference to a certain time in 2016 when I took on a mantra of “I just need three more friends”. What I’m really saying is that you don’t need a zillion people that you regularly text, a massive group chat to keep track of or go on trips with 12 other people if that’s not what you want.

Fill your life with friendships that fit the size of friendship cup you have. Look for quality – people you can regularly turn to, who still want to hang out with you when you are in the less “fun” stages of your life, and who you can fall into a conversation with like no time has ever passed. It’s okay if that number is different for you than for other people!

9) Backup shoes are a “need to have”, not a “nice to have”.

Seriously. If you don’t bring back up shoes, you’re just going to end up wandering the streets or dancing in bare feet. It doesn’t matter how good you think you are in heels.

10) It’s okay to be a solid mixture of selfish and selfless.

To use another cup analogy – sometimes you have to fill your own cup first to make sure you even have anything left to share. And sometimes your cup is still full of water from the day before, so you can afford to share all your water with someone else.

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but it’s okay to put your own wants and needs first sometimes but not other times. It takes a lot of reflection and self-understanding really know which times are which, but you can put the time in and do it, babe!


So there you have it! 10 things I’ve learned as an adult… actually, I just learned something new this week.

Sometimes a cake is an obligation/task, not a gift.

10 things I've learned as an adult
This is too much cake.

So… there’s 10 things I’ve learned as an adult, plus one secret humblebrag!

Life, Stuff About Me

Solo Valentine's Day - stock image

I keep starting this post and then giggling about the fact that I’ve apparently made my brand “celebrating holidays at home by yourself”. But don’t we all need a little reassurance that other people are in the same boat? The same small boat that isn’t going anywhere. A small boat that is “a solo Valentine’s day”. At home.

Honestly, all jokes aside, I’m not that bothered. I enjoy my own company and think I am a great date for myself. I can’t catch COVID from myself and when I’m in charge, I get to do all the things I love. None of the things I did yesterday were particularly novel or unique. I’m not reinventing self-care here. But does that really matter?

Here’s the thing about Valentine’s Day. Yes, of course I agree that you should show love to your people and to yourself every day. I’m not a sociopath. But our lives are so full and I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a little reminder to stop and take stock. To focus on only one thing. We have so many conflicting and shifting priorities, it’s nice to have someone else tell us what our priority should be fore a little.

I like holidays. (And I like celebrating small things. I’m not great at aesthetic themed events, but little celebrations, I love.) And, quite honestly, I loved my solo Valentine’s Day.

How I Spent Valentine’s Day

I made my favourite savoury oatmeal breakfast. (No pics because it’s definitely not photogenic – spinach, oats, sauteed mushrooms, eggs, cheese and hot sauce.)

I enjoyed a little daytime rose and puzzling. (You may have seen this on my stories.)

Solo Valentine's Day Yoga

I did Yoga with Adriene’s Valentine’s Day practice which was an incredible heart-opener. I love barre to work through things via movement, but yoga helps me connect with myself and where I’m at physically, emotionally, mentally. I feel like I’m finally starting to understand why we did so much yoga during my theatre degree.

Valentine's Day bath

I went real classic self-care by moving by rose to the bath with a candle, a bath bomb and a brand new book from the library. I love complex, thought-provoking literary fiction as much as the next girl. But sometimes you just want a fun fantasy to unwind with.

I also did a sheet mask, but I super did not take a picture of that because y’all know what a sheet mask looks like.

And I followed it up with actually doing my makeup, throwing on a hot pink sweater and enjoying some heart-shaped pizza!

Valentine's Day hair and makeup

Who says you can’t enjoy a day with yourself?

Life

2021 Word of the Year - Reach

Weeeeeell… it’s January 8. Let’s just address the elephant in the room. We are a week into 2021 and I’m just posting my Word of the Year (resolution, recap, whatever) post now.

Did I mean to disappear for two weeks?

I did not.

Is it now too late to post a 2020 recap?

Yeah, it probably is.

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Culture, Life

How I'm Celebrating my Christmas Break Alone Because of Covid

It is December 23, 2020 and yesterday was my last day of work until after New Years. Almost two weeks off! Plus? I am done school for the semester and don’t go back until January 11. (Don’t worry, I am starting up both things hot after the break – the next course I coordinate starts first day back and I literally have my first school zoom on the 11th). On the one hand, this is super exciting. On the other hand, this is the time of Covid and I’ll be spending most of my Christmas break alone.

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Life

How to Organize Your Notes for Learning

Here are some words I never imagined I would write while in my 30s – you guys, it’s midterm season! (Full disclosure – I don’t know that I actually had any midterms when I was doing either of my undergraduate degrees. And I don’t actually have midterms now in my Masters Degree, but I have a paper due soon and it’s basically the same thing.) This has been a weird semester. I know for myself, I feel like my course has just started and yet here I am. Somehow, despite keeping up, I feel like I’m also totally behind. So this weekend, I took some time to sit down, get myself organized, and reflect on what I have learned throughout my 21 years of being a scholar. Learn from my example – and mistakes – and let me present you with what I have learned about how to organize your notes for learning.

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Fitness, Life

If there’s one thing my readers know about me, it’s that I’m an actress. Oh no, wait, that’s not what this post is about… Let’s start over. If there’s one thing my readers know about me, it’s that I love challenges. Challenges are essentially the only way I actually achieve anything in life because I truly thrive on external validation. (Hashtag, maybe not the best quality? Hashtag love yourself?) Anyway, today is a not a deep dive into my psyche, today is a recap of the first week of my most recent challenge – Fit Girls Guide‘s 28 Day Jumpstart.

Challenges are the Only Way I Ever Achieve Anything
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Culture, Life

Erin looking down

I’m the worst at Youtube videos. I never like, I never comment, it takes forever before I remember to subscribe – even if I love every video you post. I’m working really hard at being an engaged viewer. I’m not there yet but, hey, what is life if we aren’t always striving towards something, right? One day I will totally remember to comment on a video.

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Life

LOLOL, guess who didn’t do a final wrapup for their No Spend April challenge?

Classic Erin. New blog series = the flimsiest of plans.

Short version = despite spending an inordinate amount of savings on new couches/chairs, No Spend April went pretty well. I didn’t continue it into May, but I am certainly more mindful of the spending and I am planning (as I do every summer) to have a Frugal!Summer. Maybe this summer it will actually work?

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Life

Week Three

I keep thinking I skipped writing about No-Spend Week Three and I’ve messed up – and then I realize that I’m currently in Week Four and April has just been a bit of a runaway blur. I still have over a week left! I should be less smug about “no-spend”.

The Spends

  • Truth time: I bought a set of chairs and a new couch last week. (Note: Couch was bought on my mom’s HBC credit card so she can get points and I will be reimbursing her when the bill comes due, so not until May.)

This is literally the opposite of “No Spend”.

But hear me out! I’ve been looking for a new living room set since last summer. Despite being a fully functional adult and actually having a pretty cute house, I’ve never actually picked out my own, new furniture and bought it. Right around January, I picked out the chairs I liked at Ikea and the couch/chaise I loved at The Bay. Since then, I’ve just been waiting for a good price and, coincidentally, Ikea had a living room sale and The Bay put their couches on sale for 55% off, which is the best sale I’ve seen since the summer.

So, since this spend was from savings, it’s something that I would have spent a ton more on if I waited until May and it was mindful… I think it fits into the philosophy of “No-Spend April”.

  • This week also contained my pre-selected social outing – it was my friend’s 30th birthday and his girlfriend planned a whole surprise day for him (board game café, beer and chip tasting, Escape Room, Pin Bar). To be honest, I originally wasn’t going to go. I even texted her and was like “Ugggh, it’s No Spend Month!” And then I thought about it. About how I would probably regret it if I missed it, about how I shouldn’t be an anti-social shut in, about how I had budgeted myself one night out this month. And about how, really, life is about moderation and normally I would go out every weekend and have so many self-dates so I was still doing better. So I went and it was so much fun and so good to see my friends.

The No Spends

Groceries were $23 this week and I’m just killing it.

Maybe because I did purchase my new living room set this week (though it won’t be moving in until early June), but this month really isn’t feeling like a No Spend Month anymore. Not in that I’m spending a ton, but I’m just not feeling deprived, which is what I expected. It’s really just about making better choices about what I’m spending my money on and focusing on my goals.

I think I’m going to continue with a No Spend May (I have waaaaay too much stuff in my pantry still that I need to cook through), excluding a shopping day with Claire for my upcoming Vegas trip. I have finally found a roommate that I like, who will be moving in for May, which means a little help on the household expenses, but I don’t want to be going too wild just because of that. Gotta save for the future. Be the ant and not the grasshopper and all that.

The Yoga

I am two days behind on the challenge and I am totally okay with that. I am getting so much better at finding the space in my day and prioritizing my yoga. 30 days to make a habit, right?

Life

No Spend April  - Week Two

Week Two! Coming in late because I spend the weekend in the mountains and now I have hives. Which I suppose is helping me do my no-spend month?? (The hives, I mean, not the mountains. Well, maybe the mountains too.)

The Spends

  • I mean, I guess I spent $12 getting my allergy meds for my hives? But I think Blue Cross is going to ultimately reimburse me for that and also I feel like hives is a medical emergency so it fits in my criteria.
  • As alluded to above, I spent the weekend in the mountains and did spend $28 on Saturday night on drinks for myself and my mom. She bought me dinner that night, drove us out to the mountains (thereby using her gas) and also bought me Macdonald’s to eat in the car so I was feeling guilty that my mom was taking care of me as a 30 year old woman. I had to pull my own weight, at least a little bit!
    • Also, this challenge is all about making better choices with my money and I think I did that. A weekend in the mountains could normally be significantly more expensive!
  • Groceries this week went significantly over the $30 budget at $44 – but I was under budget last week at $20 and I think some of the things I picked up this week will roll into next so I’m not too fussed. As long as I hit around $120 for the month, I’m happy.

The No-Spends

I’m feeling quite pleased with myself still. I definitely think announcing/blogging about the No Spend month has helped, as my friends have been super supportive and suggesting all kinds of fun things we can do for no money. It really is easier to be fun and frugal than I had convinced myself that it would be and I think I can see myself continuing this lifestyle into the future.

I should mention here that I did purchase a Newbie month at HotShop Yoga and Spin – I typically pay quite a bit more in fitness memberships and had placed all of them on hold for the month, then found that I missed the fitness class setting. I count this as a win – I get to try somewhere new and I’m still being fiscally prudent. I’ve just discovered that it’s not reasonable for me to completely cut fitness spending out of my budget, unless my financial situation makes it absolutely necessary.

I also cashed in some Shoppers Optimum points during the bonus points event this past weekend to replace some “essentials” that were running on fumes – hairspray, deodorant, primer potion so my eyelids won’t be forever shimmery. Success!

The Yoga

I continue to love the TRUE challenge – there is nothing like turning off all the lights, lighting a candle and settling in for half an hour on my mat each night. I think once this 30 day challenge is done, I’ll try to create my own daily at home practice by combining various other Yoga with Adriene videos. Maybe I’ll eventually feel comfortable enough to create my own flows!