If someone would have told me that aged 40, I would be writing a blog post on how you can tell you’re actually not a fully-fledged, perfectly formed, been-there-got-the-tee grown-up, I would panic.
Surely by know I should have it all figured out?
I’ve ticked some of the big boxes. Books, books, books. Work, work, work. Kid, kid, and phew … kid. I worry about global warming and have abolished palm oil Nutella. I drink green smoothies, workout and read books about preventing Alzheimers.
But doubt lingers. Is this enough to qualify to the upper echelons of human beans worthiness (sorry, I obviously meant human beings but I’m clearly experiencing a Roald Dahl epidemic* #GoodMum)?
Life expectancy is on the rise, as is the collapse of the social security system (more on this later – all very grown up). With extra decades on our hands we’re in a never-seen-before privileged position to reinvent ourselves. But it also means we need to re-think the classic milestones that have defined who we are – regardless of density of grey hairs that insist on screaming at you first thing in the morning:
“You’re not getting any younger, babes.”
To which, I reply : root-tint, a***ole.
Despite biological evidence that time does not stand still, I’d say there’s a strong argument to be made as to my own adult-ness or lack of it.
Don’t believe me?
See below for 11 clear tell-tale signs of a maturity-challenged over 35 year-old (!):
- I don’t wear matching underwear.
- My hair is a mess. Can’t remember the last time I went for a blow dry. Unless I’m going for a root tint (see above).
- On point 2., does anyone know the expiry date on hair spray? I’m quite sure the can doesn’t self-destruct though.
- I steal chocolate from my children. Mini-fudge is my kryptonite.
- I Don’t know how to read the gas meter. I’m not even sure to find it. But I’m pretty sure every house comes with one, right**?
- I don’t own a pet. Except for a lonely goldfish, which technically belongs to the kids. Of which I have three, but yes I realise they do not qualify as pets.
- I have no idea how much I need to save per month not to starve in old age. Has anyone written a post on this? No, wait – I don’t think I’m actually ready.
- My wardrobe looks less like my mum’s and more like my 9 year old. She’s very mature for her age though.
- I have no interest in creating “my own traditions”. Let’s do it differently every time. Unless it’s pancakes on a Saturday morning #CarbsForever.
- I don’t have a career plan. Mostly I do stuff I like/ am good at and hope for the best.
- I giggle. A lot. Sometimes at people I don’t know. Which can be rather embarrassing and totally un-adult-like. And lots of fun.
When in doubt (which is pretty much the theme of today’s story), I find it comforting to reach out to my collection of favourite quotes. This one by Maya Angelou feels spot on today:
“Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.”
Good news: I’ve recently come across a word that perfectly encapsulates my current state of mind. It has its own hashtag and is reported to be first in line for Oxford English Dictionary new entries (ok, I’ve just made this up – very grown up).
There. Fits like a glove.
Anyone else out there with me? Say yes, please!
*If you’ve read the Big Friendly Giant you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about…
** I have, since writing this story, finally uncovered the secret location of the gas and electricity meters. But before I had to google “what does a gas meter look like”.