I turned forty-five at the weekend, and it was all I could do, to keep the ball of abject terror down, and not run through the streets screaming like a banshee, “I’m not ready!! I need more time!” I was seriously close to a real-life, bona fide panic attack.
The Ten Commandments of Adult Life are not that hard, but I appear to have failed on all but one of the counts….
1. Thou shalt actually by all the powers of science, grow older annually. Thankfully for me, this is unavoidable, otherwise I might not have achieved this either. I have therefore fulfilled (at the very least), this rule of adulting. Although this is my least favourite of all the commandments, I can tick that particular box. #Winning
2. Thou shalt find a suitable partner, thou shalt settle down, and thou shalt (above all else), call that partner your best friend. Like, forever….. I did do all of that, during the entirety of my twenties – met, lived with, got engaged to, had long-distance relationship with, married. It wasn’t all that. Got divorced.
3. Thou shalt be a master of steady jobness. I have worked in shops (shoe/wedding/fashion), hotels and cafes and The ASDA. I studied journalism at Uni, during which time I worked on a couple of magazines and at a video production company…. I stuffed envelopes and manned the reception desk at a PR company with Simone Nylander from Grange Hill, for the year immediately after I graduated. I worked in corporate events in London and public events in Liverpool, for four and nine years respectively. I got made redundant in 2011, retrained to teach English as a second language and buggered off to Barcelona. I fully expect to become a unicorn trainer, or a special operative within the next ten years. #Winning
4. Buy a house, and spend all your life making constant improvements. I moved North to buy a house in 2002. The primary purpose of which, was to re-sell quickly, to pay off a big debt. What I found was, that the big debt all but doubled because of the house, and the big debt became a bigger debt. I was hiding in a house with no lights or heating on and the volume turned down on the TV, for the three months it was on the market, to avoid being pummelled by the men in black suits, who called around about twice a week at random times. Tricksy men in black suits. Every cloud and all that; I lost a load of weight due to the stress. #Winning
Houses are expensive and overrated. Rent. (Unless you want to lose weight)
5. Thou art woman, therefore thou shalt bear fruit (children, to you and me). Well we all know, according to society at large, where I went wrong with that. NEXT.
6. Bank holiday trips to IKEA – see point four.
7. Thou shalt hold and attend civilised couples dinner-parties in your lovely houses with conservatories and gardens. At which you will talk about how many miles to the gallon, cost of the weekly shop, child prodigy-ness and potentially moving, so your postcode is correct for the best school….. I make interesting meals for one, and invite the girls round/get invited to the girls’ occasionally to talk about unsolicited d*ck pics and the sad state of dating in your thirties and forties. #Winning
8. Essential possessions as indication of success. I have a small television with a 23″ screen. That’s it. #Winning
9. Thou should start worrying about the ‘future’ at about aged sixteen. Thou shalt realise when in employment, that a state pension is worth shit, and immediately start paying into a work pension. Thou shalt realise that a combination of state pension and work pension, will not be sufficient for a truly comfortable future; and in your thirties will take out a private pension.
I have none of the above, except the state pension. I have spent any money I’ve ever had on travel. I will die working. #Winning
10. Thou shalt be responsible for more than one’s own life. I had a bonkers dog once, a gazillion years ago, and had to leave him with the ex-husband when we parted company. Despite the enormous amount of love I had for the daft boxer, it was a bit of a relief that my ex had the house with the garden, and I lived in a shared shoe-box. In Liverpool I had a goldfish, who survived five years in my care (no mean feat), and I successfully kept a lemon tree and jasmine alive last summer. But then they died. I’m best alone and only in charge of my own survival. I have managed not to die yet. #Winning
Thinking about these adult rules to live by, I thoroughly shake all you successful adults vigorously by the hand, and grin at you like an idiot while doing so. I’m congratulating you all, every single one of you because I don’t know how you do it, I honestly don’t. It’s not easy to succeed at adulting, according to the above – I am absolute proof of that, and for that reason we should enthusiastically celebrate all who manage to stay alive and achieve the commandments, as they rightly deserve.
This middle-aged PANK is in complete awe of you and double high-fives you.
Many, many heartfelt congratulations. Xx
<Counts out shrapnel from piggy bank, to buy a can of baked beans to stick on the hob for tea. Looks forward to donning Wonder Woman pyjamas and switching on catch-up of The Voice>