there are times in life when the tables turn. i'm usually surprised by them, because i think they hit me unawares, like a two-by-four labeled "adulthood" has miraculously appeared and smacked me in the kisser.
those times, not so fun.
however, i think there are times when you get to use the two-by-four labeled "adulthood" as a bridge between where someone else is and where they want to be.
(maybe i've exhausted this two-by-four metaphor. let's move on.)
i'll be the first to admit that, sometimes, adulthood royally sucks. it's hard, demanding work. things don't just miraculously happen anymore. your socks aren't clean...unless you clean them. your dishes...well, they keep piling up. desperate for some salad? publix is right down the road, and adulthood is the key to the car that will haul your tired, pregnant butt to that store to buy it yourself. money doesn't grow on trees (amen, whoever came up with that line, and if it does, hook me up with that forest, if you know what i'm talking about). jobs are hard, even when you love them. you get up with a list of things to do in your head and you go to bed with a list that may be a bit different but isn't any less long.
it's hard is all i'm saying.
but it's punctuated with great joy. that hard work reaps so many rewards, but so many of them are intangible. the easy ones come from the more concrete rewards. there's such a great deal of satisfaction in looking at a home that, while not spotless, is full of love. cooking a meal for your family can be infinitely rewarding, even if it did take hours and lead to more dishes. sometimes it's really nice, come payday, to see a fiscal exclamation point to how hard you work.
but i think the truly great joys come in the truly subtle ways in which Heavenly Father rewards us for our efforts. paying off a credit card alleviates a burden, sure, but it also comes with such a feeling of awe at the wonders (and blessings) of provident living--and of being obedient to the Lord's prophet. finally owning a car that you've been paying off for years--and that you paid off early because of smart payment schedules--is really a great feeling.
but what's even better than that is when you are able to look at yourself, as an adult, and begin to give back to those who helped you get there. when, as an adult, you're suddenly able to be a strength and support to your own parents, who loved you and supported you (and still do) through all of your faults, flaws, and foibles. when that two-by-four (sorry, back to that) becomes a lever by which you are able to elevate yourself to the person you always wanted to be--smart, kind, wise, and willing to help however you can.
i don't want to get into a lot of details, but right now, i feel like i am able to do this for people that i love, respect, honor, and admire. they are the people who i would drop everything for no matter the reason. they are the people i am grateful that i will get to be with for forever. they work hard, every day, to be good people, and they need some support.
so i will drop everything. because that's what families do. and because that's what they've done, and continue to do, for me. so will go and i will do all that i can and i will suddenly realize that, sometimes, being an adult is awesome. you get to see the sum total of who you have become and, when that sum measures up to something good, realize that you really can do good in the world just by being you.
that's a table turn that i like. that's a table turn that makes me even more grateful for the people who helped me become who i am, and the people who are helping me realize that being a grownup can be a really good thing.