Our appreciation of experiences and the world around us changes with time. The way I approach life differs now from when I was a teenager or newly-married 20-something. The world has changed as well and that makes for a double whammy.

I have to admit I am a grown-up, even though I mostly try my best not to be. As such, I take notice of and appreciate certain things more than I did when I was younger, partly because I’ve changed and partly because they hadn’t been invented yet. There are just some actions and experiences you appreciate when you are a grown-up as compared to when you are perhaps not so much of one.

A grown-up appreciates a morning kitchen where the sink and dishwasher are empty, the countertops are free of pizza pans, fry pans or takeout boxes, and the floor is clear of crumbs and blueberry smoothie dribbles from the night before.

A “not so much of a grown-up” appreciates late night feeding frenzies; making an omelet or cooking pizza or, better yet, ordering one after all the regular grown-ups have gone to bed; finishing it all off with a blueberry smoothie; being responsible and putting the dishes in the sink, rinsing them off can certainly wait until the morning; going to bed with a full stomach. Now there’s something a person can appreciate.

Grown-up: Finding the car still at least half-filled with gas, radio tuned to your favorite station, no fast-food wrappers littered on the floor and your seat in its most comfortable position with none of the rearview mirrors having been adjusted since you last drove.

Not so much of a grown-up: Mom left her keys in the car.

Grown-up: Finding your phone charger right where you left it, in the spot where you leave it every day, with your phone plugged in and charging.

Not so much: Dad’s phone is at 70%. He won’t mind if I borrow his charger and then deny it later.

Grown-up: Deriving pleasure from making your bed immediately upon arising in the early hours of the morning. It brings order and tranquility to your life and day. You pull the top sheet taunt and tight so it will be smooth and sleek when you slip under come bedtime at 10 p.m.

Not so much: Make the bed? I’m only going to mess it up later and a top sheet gets in the way. I leave mine crumpled in a heap on the floor at the foot of my bed. All I need is a comforter and a couple of pillows to collapse onto when I come to bed in the wee hours of the morning after I’ve eaten an omelet and half a pepperoni pizza.

Grown-up: Clutter free living brings joy, as does cleaning up after my messes in a timely manner, before they even think of becoming clutter.

Not so much: Why throw away aluminum cans one at a time? It’s a waste of valuable energy. I let them build up on my bedroom floor until I can’t find a safe pathway to my bed. Then I get rid of them all at once. It’s much more efficient that way.

Grown-up: A responsible person creates a voice mail recording, listens to voice mail, leaves voice mail and even answers voice mail.

Not so much: Who’s got time for voice mail?

Grown-up: I have to go to the bank.

Not so much: Who needs the bank? I’ve got my phone.

Grown-up: The mail is here.

Not so much: Who needs mail? I’ve got my phone.

Grown-up: Let’s all play a board game.

Not so much: Who needs bored games? I’ve got my phone.

Grown-up: I wash, dry and fold a load of laundry, all on the same day.

Not so much: Who needs clean clothes? I’ve got my phone.

Grown-up: Brought to joy by a phone with 100% charge.

Not so much: Brought to joy by a phone with 100% charge.

OK, so perhaps we can agree on at least one thing and like that song about “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” maybe it’s one thing we’ve got.

I’ll take it. Because despite differences in behavior between me and the not so much grown-ups in my life, I sort of love them. I really love them and differences can be interesting. At the very least they’re not boring.

Maybe I should check into that banking from my phone thing after all.



Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. More columns are available at the Slices of Life page on Facebook.