I was making myself take a rest day in order to ensure that the ache in my Achilles tendon doesn’t make a reappearance, and while rustling up some baked five spice tofu kebabs with ginger and tahini noodles , listening to Radio 4, and deciding which hot yoga class to go to, I realised that when my mum was my age, I was 15.
A whole lot of things had happened in our lives and to me, she was most definitely to be considered ‘a grown-up’. My brother was 11, my sister 7, and she had just gone back to school in order to get the right credits for University in Canada. Sure that was a little strange at first, but I was really (am really) proud of her and it was a strange few years anyway so seemed to fit in quite well. I got my DRIVING LICENCE when I was 15. For the State, I was practically a grown up myself.
Hand on heart, I don’t think I could be responsible for three children, a dog (2 dogs and some cats!), a home, AND myself. I mean, I can’t even get a date now without all those other responsibilities, how on earth is it done?!
How do you feed everyone?
Where do they all go?
I spend more than half my pay on rent, and I cannot pass the tests set by the Battersea Dogs and Cats home to adopt a cat. If I think about buying a house it usually comes at the end of ‘if I win the lottery’, or perhaps ‘if I get kidnapped and it turns out I have great insurance’ or something along those lines.
There are wonderful people around this world who are my friends and manage to do this. I salute them. I stand in awe, and am amazingly grateful that they are my friends, but I sometimes worry that I have somehow screwed up, and that soon we will have nothing in common any more. That scares me.
Things that make me feel ‘grown-up’ (or just old) are nowhere near as actually responsible…
When someone comes to visit and I think ‘I’ll prepare the guest room’.
When everyone gets the ‘youth’ discount except me. Although to be fair, sometimes they also give it to me…maybe to be polite.
When someone at work refers to me as young, and I know that they are wrong.
When I spend the day cooking so that I will have lunches to take to work all week.
When the thing that most bothers me in a week is whether the cleaner will come on a Monday or a Tuesday. I don’t like not knowing as I am evidently way too set in my ways.
When I look at pictures from any point in the past or present.
When I think about going hiking with the Ramblers. I don’t know why.
When I realise that I have no idea who any of the new musicians are. Or when I call them ‘the new musicians’.
When I realise that I was alive for all but one of the Star Wars saga.
When I sign up for a race that has age groups. And select my age.
When I sign up for anything or fill out any form that asks for age.
The list goes on. But it is a silly list.
Don’t get me wrong, I have some amazing role models and am looking forward to this year, and the next 40/50 to come. I am just not quite sure what comes next, or even what I truly want to come next.
But then I ask myself ‘what would you not have done?’ (forget ‘what would you have done differently?’, life isn’t practice, and there are no do-overs but obviously if you could, there are so many details that one could fix that is an endless mindgame that it is not worth playing). The question becomes ‘what would I be willing to remove from my life? Which experiences, which scars, and possibly which friends?’.
Truly, none of them. So not ‘no regrets‘, more ‘I’m sorry for any mistakes, but wouldn’t give up any of it‘. I love you all so much and every single day, even the bad ones, I am supremely conscious of the amazing people in my life, and the fantastic experiences I have had, and intend to keep having.
*There are many more people out there who are in my thoughts and heart. Some photos are in boxes waiting to be with me, and I have to go to bed now because there is a 6:30 yoga class with my name on it!