A list of things I dislike about adulthood

I don’t know about you, but I suspect the state of adulthood will not improve soon.

For various reasons, the last few weeks have been difficult for me. Maybe they have been for you too?

But since I have a wife, I will not complain to you. Plus, you didn’t sign up to hear me complain. To a certain degree, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer–she did. I value you spend time with me. Seriously, it means a lot. This blog allows me to recalibrate and ease those pesky tensions of adulthood.

Each week (263 weeks running…) I attempt to write a post of substance. A thoughtful, tender, honest, unpretentious, insightful, and comforting post worthy of your time. Writing to you has helped me find perspective needed to endure and, sometimes, overcome life’s challenges and I hope reading my blog has done the same for you.

But this post is a little different. If you only know me through my writing, you’d may think I’m an eternal optimist. And most of the time I am. But this week I tumbled into the sticky trap of obsessing over and worrying about the things I dislike about adulthood. Things I should have the maturity to let go. Maybe you can relate.

This post began on Friday night, on a dark, secluded every-horror-movie road, when I hit a pothole and my car tire exploded.

While I waited for the AAA guy to come rescue me, I concluded adulthood is not what I thought it was going to be and that I should accept the hard truth of my 11th grade report card.

According to my 11th grade report card, I’m of slightly below-average intelligence.

I was ranked the 173rd, most intelligent kid in a class of 337. If my 11th grade report card is a barometer to measure the atmospheric pressure of adulthood, 172 people are enjoying better weather than me. Yet, on the chilly flip side, adulthood is January in Siberia for 164 poor souls.

Later this month I turn 41 and when I was in 11th grade, I thought of 40 as an intellectual benchmark. By 40, I’d have my Sketchers together. I’d surely have wisdom, confidence, self-esteem, and a swimming pool filled with $20 bills. But the gap between what I think I should know and what I actually know is wider and more jagged than the six-inch slice in my tire the fresh-from-high school looking AAA kid is unbolting from my car.

If you’ve been reading, you know that despite my degenerative health diagnosis, I’m starting over. And starting over at any age is a scary endeavor.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been dealing with the adult stuff 172 kids in my high school class probably deal with gracefully. This stuff has worn my patience, tested my slightly below-average intelligence, and made me question my glass-half-full attitude.

Wearing a royal blue “Class of 2018” sweatshirt, the AAA kid waves and tells me, in the same sternness dad used when you backed out of the driveway the first time, “Drive safe.”

Though I’d prefer to drive with my right hand on the steering wheel and left arm resting on the door like a teenage big shot, I drive home with both hands on the wheel like a responsible adult. Ten and two. I’m uncomfortable. I turn down the radio volume, shift my weight, and stare daggers at the road ahead. There are a lot of things I dislike about adulthood. Maybe you can relate.

I dislike comparing prices of important things I’m supposed to care about but don’t care about like car tires, carpeting, and any type of insurance.

I dislike I complain about potholes.

I dislike adults who act like martyred children.

I dislike white envelops with “Important Tax Information” printed on them.

I dislike sale items that are only for “Price Club Members.”

I dislike I know you read my email, but really dislike that you never responded to my email.

I dislike pretending I’m interested.

I dislike the time I spend reading nutrition labels.

I dislike when people say, “I’m too busy” instead of saying, “I really just don’t care.”

I dislike adults who aren’t parents and begin sentences with “If I was a parent…”

I dislike financially planning for my kid’s future.

I dislike having to decide what to make for dinner.

I dislike that I now have to use the internet to understand 7th grade math.

I dislike I have to keep important paperwork on file.

I dislike when my kids leave a room, and they don’t turn off the lights.

I dislike I spend precious brain power worrying about fickle things like gas prices, traffic, and the weather.

I dislike that I still care about other’s opinions about me.

I dislike when people try to convince me to watch a TV show I have no interest in ever watching.

I dislike when you hustle to the bank to make a simple deposit and the teller attempts to persuade you to refinance your mortgage with their bank’s low rates.

I dislike listening to people’s opinions on mask wearing, vaccinations, and the entire educational enterprise.

I dislike how I did a set of 25 squats, three days ago, and my legs still wobble like newborn legs walking for the first time.

I dislike receiving the “daily average of screen time” notification on my phone.

I dislike that my 11th grade self was so wrong about my 40-year-old self.

I dislike how managing my emotions is my responsibility.

I dislike that at the same time it took me to write this post, three guys armed with crowbars and nail guns deshingled and then reshingled my neighbor’s entire roof.

And I dislike, I dislike so much.

Be well,


If you like this post, you may also like:

A letter to my son about his dreams


Speech Therapy 


I laughed so hard my tooth fell out




Dad, it’s your turn to read


The Get Up

Need some encouragement? Some perspective? This hardworking, almost-handsome, suburban soccer dad can help. Subscribe and, like a pizza, get my posts delivered to your door (your email inbox). No spam. Just posts.


Jay Armstrong is a writer, blogger, speaker, and an award-winning high school English teacher. Despite being diagnosed with a rare neurological disease, that impairs his movement, balance, eyesight, and speech–Jay presses on. He hopes to help you find joy, peace, and meaning in life. For Jay, a good day consists of 5 things:

1. Reading
2. Writing 
3. Exercising
4. Hearing his three children laugh
5. Hugging his wife
(Bonus points for a dinner with his parents and a beer with his friends)

Jay hasn’t had a bad day in quite a long time. 

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