In the news this week, a 30-year old man moves out of his parent’s house after they took him to court. He had lived there for eight years with no signs of ever leaving. He said that there were never any expectations of him to pay rent, contribute to the household, or even clean. A report came out in December 2016 saying there are more millennials living with parents, relatives, grandparents, or step parents now than living on their own. There’s upwards of 40% of young adults living at home. It’s time for men to grow up. On the flip side, there are people like me who have thought they were adult since I was fourteen years old. I say this not to brag because I feel the intensity of not being able to slow down, be kind to myself, and enjoy the simpler things in life. Things just tend to be serious with me all the time. When is it time to be an adult and time to be a kid? In this show, we discuss both sides of the equation.
This show was inspired by a CNN report I heard about by parents who sued in court to get their 30-year-old son out of their house. He had lived there for eight years. He had not contributed and there were no signs of him ever leaving. They said, “Time to go, time to get out. Time to hit the road.” They gave him five notices and when didn’t listen, they actually took them to court and the judge agreed, which is amazing to me. Being so far from my reality is that it would take that to motivate a guy to get out of his house. Then I come from this bias point of view and that’s what the show is about. On the flip side, this experience I had with my oldest stepdaughter, how to engage with the kid-like nature of myself and a big life lesson I learned in relationship to her then I’m grateful for.
141: Time To Be A Kid: Knowing When To Grow Up
I hope everyone’s in the right place. Take care of themselves wherever you are at this point, I hope life is amazing for you and you are facing all the things you want to face. This show is one called Time to Be an Adult, Time To Be A Kid. It was inspired by this event that happened. I’m reading a CNN report about a guy in Rochester, New York named Michael Rotondo who was living with his parents for the last eight years. Then in February, they sent them a notice saying, “Son, it’s time to move out. It’s time to go.” He didn’t do anything with it. They said, “You haven’t done anything. You haven’t contributed to the household. You’re 30 years old. It’s time to go.” He refused. Then they sent him four more notices over the next couple of months and just said, “No, I’m not going to go.” Then finally they took him to court. This couple, Christina and Mark Rotondo said, “We’re taking you to court. We’re going to get you ejected.” There’s evicted and ejected. Those are two different legal terms in the States. I don’t know the difference but ejected has more of a spring kicking yourself out of the car sort of thing.
They took him to court and he represented himself and said, “There’s a common law.” The judge was like, “Nope, you’ve got to go.” His parents sued a kid to get him to move out, which was interesting to think about that that happens. I was wondering the angst that he must feel to have your own parents want to kick you out of house and the angst of the parents and how horrible that must have felt and the destruction of their relationship just because this guy didn’t want to grow up to be an adult. He doesn’t have a job. He’s not looking for a job and to live in his parent’s house. I was like, “I have energy and attitude around this. I can feel my angst around this thinking this guy’s a pathetic loser.” Why don’t you do a little more research and look into it? Then I found a CBS report that’s about Young adults living with their parents hits a 75-year high. There are more people, more millennials living with parents or relatives or grandparents or stepparents now than living with a couple with someone else, like living on their own. There’s this high percentage and it’s upwards of 40% of young adults living at home. I was like, “That’s incredible. Four out of ten kids living with their parents still?” They haven’t hit the Michael-Rotondo-I’m-going-to-get-ejected level. There is this occurrence and it’s increasing.
A few research in 2014 came up with a similar number, basically 32.1%. The CBS report based on a real estate company called Trulia, came up with close to 40% of the highest since after World War II when the country was in a bit of a mayhem. The report goes a little deeper and talks about the reason is that millennials are facing this perfect storm of challenges of low wages, student debt, rents are rising across the board, and the lack of startup hubs, which I thought was interesting. Whereas the job unemployment rate just came out as the lowest in history at 3.8%. The wages have decreased over the last ten years. They looked at the medium income now is around $60,000 for a kid. Ten years ago, it was $63,000, so not a huge difference. The point was that even though unemployment is low, wages haven’t increased as price of living has increased significantly. Then I was like, “There is a physical and monetary reason. There’s some evidence behind this that’s happening for people.”
I was going into my own history and thinking about how I felt about this. What came across this was I grew up privileged. There’s no other way to put it. I grew up in the upper middle class. I don’t have any student debt, I never had any student debts. I got scholarships and my parents paid for the rest. I walked into my adult life after college and grad school at 24 years old with not that burden on my back, which I know a lot of friends out there and a lot of colleagues out there walked in with incredible amount of student debt, $20,000, $25,000, $50,000, $100,000 in student debt. With interests, that can just kill you. If your take home income is going towards these higher rents and living expenses, just trying to invest in and save to pay off the student debts crippling, which has me thinking like, “What is the use of going to college these days?” It’s incredible to think about that.
I’d never had to face this challenge of the question. I try to get on my parent’s house as soon as possible. There was never even a question or a notion that I want to go back to my parents’ house, something a news report called the boomerang generation where kids are going out in the world and boomeranging back into and the inability to start their lives. This question is like, “Even if I had student debt, me as a person, would I even be able to not be scrappy enough?” My sole belief around making money is anyone can make money. If you have enough drive, enough energy, enough confidence, then there’s no reason you can’t start your life and be outside of it. Then again, that’s just from my perspective, my very limited, privileged perspective where I had all these things handed to me in my life that most people haven’t, which I’m totally grateful for.
What do people do? How do people get out of that stuck-ness they feel in terms of, “I can’t get out of this hole than I’m in?” This guy in Rochester, Michael Rotondo, that’s an extreme case of the worst-case scenario and this malaise and lack of energy that I see a lot are from men. I did an interview on Robert Manni’s Show, Guy’s Guide To Being A Guy and we talked about this energy of men giving up, letting go of the possibility of success, the possibility of being successful, all these things that we do to limit ourselves. I can never give up. That’s the thing, it’s not in my system to give up, but there are a lot of people who do give up. As I was writing my high horse about being an adult and working since I was fourteen and bootstrapping myself but also having this good fortune on the other side, then I’ve thought about the flip side of what it’s like, “Maybe it’s time to be a kid.”
This brings up another personal story that happened. I came home from work and I’m co-parenting two kids, a seven-year old and a nine-year old. The older kid wanted to eat inappropriately at the table. Not Miss Manners, things that would not be allowed in a restaurant, which the older kid just wanted to do with her pasta. She wanted to eat in a way that was upsetting. It was Morgan, myself, Morgan’s mom, the two kids and I was disturbed by it. I could tell them Morgan’s mom was disturbed by it. We said, “You can’t eat like that,” and she refused. I don’t know if you know how to handle kids, I’m just learning. I grew up in a world with discipline. If I would have acted that way at a table and I didn’t listen to my parents’ direction, I would’ve been slapped. To disrespect my parents like that would’ve been a no-no, but we don’t have that in our household and the daughter just rebelled against it.
She wants to eat pasta and instead of sitting at the table eating appropriately, she took her plate up and it went into another room to eat inappropriately, which I took bluntly as a ‘fuck you’ to me. That’s how I took it. I took it as a lot of disrespect, like it was a power trip and a power play. I was talking to Morgan about it and she’s like, “She’s just a kid. She just wants to be a kid. That’s who she wants to be in the world.” She’s finding her way to do that that doesn’t bring down your ire. I felt that her leaving was a way to build resentment, but the point was I saw in myself how old I’ve been my entire life, how I have been, on some level, mature and adult my entire life. Then I was just thinking about where is it in my adult-life, at 48 years old, holding all this responsibility that I let myself be a kid and to let loose and to relax and not be so serious?
Two ends of the extreme. There are adults out there acting like children and there are these young adults and even older adults who can take some time to find that kid-like nature inside of me. I don’t laugh a lot. I smile a lot but I’m not one to laugh a lot. Morgan’s one of them. You could say little things and she breaks into a smile and she’s got a cute little giggle. That’s not me. There’s some part of me that doesn’t want to relax enough to let out that soft giggle kid-like fashion inside of me. I can feel the limitation of it. I can feel how it stops me from living all of life. How often do we do this? How often do we not let these parts of ourselves out just because we have a feeling of inappropriate or it’s not in our system or there’s some part of us that doesn’t want to feel free?
These two different sides are on my mind as I do the show of how to find the time to be an adult and time to be a kid. In my own my own thoughts around it, there’s an importance to have both poles and to find the balance and to find the mastery and knowing when to choose one and when to choose the other. It’s not an easy task because I find myself pretty much all during my day from waking up until I go to bed in terms of thinking, in terms of production, in terms of thinking about, “How do I take care of this to-do list and how do I ensure that there’s enough money in savings and how do I ensure that there’s enough cashflow to pay the rent and my clients, how do I ensure to take care of them?” One client is starting to close up their package with me, how do I ensure that there’s a next client, how do lead generation? How I increase the show and how do I get guest coachees to come back on the show? How do I increase the range of it and be on downloads? There’s the book. How do I make sure that keeps on going in this new website?
There are a lot of thoughts in my head every single day on so many different topics. When is there time to let go and just relax? I do steal away way moments during the day in between phone calls or in between clients. I’m listening to Stephen King’s new novel on my Audible when I’m walking or driving. It’s my way to get away. I like the detective novels and I like Stephen King novels. I like the fiction. There are times where I do turn my brain off from this adult must-do search and reach and strive for. Most of my time, 95% of my waking time and I’m sure a percentage of my sleeping time, is in that adult productive mode. How do I just calm the fuck up, just relax to find this joyful kid side of me?
Morgan and I talked about taking some time off and going to Jamaica to a couples retreat and sitting on a beach with white sand and blue oceans and alcohol and relaxation of sleeping. I could feel my system seize with this lack of responsibility that I don’t know how to do. I don’t truly know how to be free to relax and let out that part of myself just to chill out because I’m much more comfortable in this adult generated productive way of striving and just to slow down is alien to me. This has been like my entire life. I’m not very good at taking vacations and not very good at slowing down. On weekends, it feels like there’s a day of total sleep and maybe watch some movies and chilling out. By the next day, my mind is active and creating, like I got my little notebook out and I’m scribbling little ideas in my notebook or I’m pulling my laptop out to check the email or do one more video or one more blog. It’s just the cycle. The cycle of creation and not be willing just to go into that involuntary letting go.
It takes a medicine journeys or having that part of my brain turn off for me or using an external substance to slow me down just to take a walk on the beach or just to sit in my own quiet nature so I can just relax. On some level, maybe that’s the thing, it’s a time for me to learn how to relax and to be a kid. I’m going to tell the older daughter that she can eat like that at the table if that’s what she truly wants. To give her permission to be a kid in front of us and not for me to impose the limitations of adulthood on her just because I don’t feel comfortable in that kid-like nature. It enables myself to relax. Why else have children if not to go on the ride of what it means to be a kid? Kids are pain in the ass. Why else have children if you can’t enjoy the kid in you allow yourself to come out?
It’s been a pretty intense life lesson in terms of seeing that part of myself. To find the balance between adult and kid is the mastery. To my friend, Michael, in Rochester, New York looking for a job, looking for an apartment, this is the greatest gift your parents are giving to you. The older daughter’s eating inappropriately at the table might be the greatest gifts you can give to me. It’s finding the other side of who you are and inviting and allowing that part of yourself to come out and be seen and to see where the judgment you have that stop you from allowing these parts of yourself, the balance part and the integrated in the full humanity of few you are allow that part of you to come out. Then you have choice rather than some just some rigid decisions of, “This is who I think I should be or this is who I’ll ever be to not let it limit you.
To all the millennials out there reading about this perfect storm of challenges and student deb. If you’re in that age group, when you feel stuck and feel trapped in this box, here’s my main thing, is to not allow yourself to remain in that box and start to think outside that box. Even though I’ve had this privileged upbringing, there were times where I had created my world where there wasn’t a lot of money. There’s one story when things were so tight that I had a certain amount of money for the weekends that I raised from running a group like, $100, $110 to eat for me and a friend and to get along. I was sitting at this Burrito shop in Venice, California and I was thinking, “If I get the extra meat in the Burrito, the extra $2 of extra chicken, that will keep me satiated for a couple more hours.”
I was thinking in these terms of how do you get scrappy? How do you start to extend what you have? You can do more with what you have if you’re willing to get inventive, if you’re willing to think outside the box, if you’re willing to take a chance and a risk. That’s a life skill that you can start now. I’m not saying move out of your house tomorrow but start to look at what are the possibilities. Group housing, living with roommates, living in community. There are ways where you can take your cost of living and if you are willing to get creative, you can stretch money and expand money but it takes that first step of saying, “This is impossible. I’m stuck. I’m hamstrung by all this student debt. I can never get out of this.”
For me, personally, setting goals around money is what drives me. I lost a lot of money in LA Mother. Then I said to myself, “I’m going to make the money back. I’m going to get it back.” I’m making them money back of what I lost in that business. That some of the money is going to expenses and some of that money’s going back into reinvention. I’ve proven to myself that if I set the goal, if I set a smart goal, a goal that’s reachable, they’re challenging and scary. If you set the goals and you believe in it, then even if you don’t hit that specific goal, your life’s going to expand.
This is the Tuff Love lesson of the day. The worst thing you can do for yourself is to believe in your own limitations. We are dynamic, amazing, infinite beings and our ability to create and conceptualize and to get scrappy and to not waste time with that extra YouTube video or that extra Netflix show, your ability to say, “I’m going to create this.” Is the mastery. For all you over-stressed adults out there like me, it’s okay to do the flip side. Watch that extra YouTube video or watch the extra Netflix show to find that balance between the two. Hope that you’re going to find your next step to go more towards being an adult or more towards being a kid. We’re going to put energy into getting coachees back on the show. I’m going to do that but think outside the box as possible. There are all these things happening in the hopper and I’m just excited what’s going to happen next.
Thank you so much for listening. If you’re so inclined, please leave a review. Subscribe via your favorite podcast app. That helps with the downloads. I’m trying to build my numbers back up. If you love the show, tell a friend, tell someone who needs a little Tuff Love. I love you. Thanks so much for my regulars coming on the show.
- CNN report – Michael Rotondo
- Young adults living with their parents hits a 75-year high – CBS Report
- Robert Manni’s Show – Rob Kandell’s
- Guy’s Guide To Being A Guy