I have always been extremely organized. As a small child, I did my homework without being asked. I studied my spelling words each night to be ready for the Friday spelling test. I took very good care of my toys. My dolls were lined up in a row waiting for my attention. Every board game contained the correct number of pieces and cards that it came with in pristine condition.
In middle and high school, I set my own alarm clock and got ready for school. I knew what time I had to leave to walk to the bus stop. I never lost a mitten or a winter hat or an umbrella. I was that organized, responsible kid. In college, I didn’t need any help juggling my class assignments, term papers or part-time jobs. Being organized just came naturally to me.
Organization and life skills are now being taught to young people (millennials) who have somehow only made it through high school and college with the help of their parents and smartphones. “Adulting” classes have sprung up around the country teaching everything from how to sew on a button to how to understand art, make scrambled eggs, balance a checkbook, do laundry, make conversation, and handle conflict resolution with words.
Personally, I know several millennials and they seem like level-headed, responsible young people who can organize their schedules and show up for work or class on time. But the very basic skills that many of us learned from our parents or grandparents when we were growing up seem to be missing from an entire generation.
When I moved into my first apartment after college, I was excited to buy all of the handy kitchen gadgets that I remembered from my family’s kitchen. I bought measuring spoons, wooden spoons, a set of pots and pans in different sizes, baking pans, cookie sheets, a lemon zester, a cheese grater, can openers, colander, whisk and vegetable peeler. I was all set.
Apparently, many twenty-somethings do not cook. They order food on phone apps or grab fast food almost every night of the week. One article stated that young people living on their own or with roommates do not even own a can opener or a sewing kit. Experts say that one third of young people between the ages of 18 and 34 have not mastered basic life skills because they still live at home with their parents.
Just in time for graduation season, a new “I Adulted!” calendar is available on Amazon to make any organizationally challenged person stay on task. This 16-month wall calendar (to use from September 2019 to December 2020) comes complete with 100 fun, colorful stickers to make even the most disorganized slacker feel accomplished and proud. Imagine how good you will feel after using a sticker that says, “I took a shower today!” or “I ate a salad” or “I emptied the litter box!”
Helpful reminders to act responsibly include stickers for “I didn’t tell my boss off!” and “I didn’t post a nasty comment!” and “I put my phone away!” For those who need encouragement to think about others, stickers include “I remembered a new person’s name” and “I shop locally” and “I donated to charity!”
This sticker calendar may be a cute gag gift for high school seniors to bring to college dorms or college graduates going out into the world. Actually, I know a few grown-ups who could use these brightly colored stickers to keep smiling through the day!
Kim Kovach is a big fan of calendars, lists and post-it notes! Sign up for Kim’s adult creative writing classes this summer in Pound Ridge, Ridgefield and Norwalk. kimkovachwrites.com.