Apparently, we’re all grown up now.
The insidious slide into middle age seemed to happen without us noticing. Where was the fanfare? When are we supposed to recognise that we are a full functioning adult? At 18? Yeah, right. 21? Nope, not a hope. 25? Still forgetting to pay the bills so that would be a no. 30? Maybe edging towards it. 40? Probably.
When you are a child, being a grown up seems to be as exciting as it gets. No parental rules and as much TV and sweets as you can eat. The reality though is the tender realisation that you are who you are and that just maybe you’re starting to figure this journey called life out.
Here are the 5 ways to know you’re a grown up.
1. Realising that everyone’s winging it.
You might think that everyone has got it all figured out but the reality is that no one really knows what they’re doing. If we’re honest most of us can’t believe we allowed to be adults, never mind chairing meetings, buying houses and attending parents evenings. Being allowed to look after other people’s children sometimes blows our minds.
The reality is that the people who look like they know what they are doing, don’t really. Its just that they’re better at winging it than us. Underneath all that bluster and pompous assertion you can bet that they feel just the same as us. Winging. It.
2. Understanding that sleep is the nector of life.
So underrated, sleep. You realise you’re a grown up when a nap is no longer a chore but a delightful reward.
You no longer consider staying up all night and watching a whole box set back to back as exciting (although obviously we do recognise that is a great achievement) but rather than an endurance test. Sleep is now The Holy Grail.
Other Signs To Know You’re All Grown up
You appreciate your parents.
You prefer silence to music.
You like fish and avocado.
You know you’re got more to learn.
You think about your health.
You love staying in at least one night at the weekend.
You are happy for other people’s success.
You can’t lie in – there is too much to do.
You walk around the house turning the lights off.
A trip to Ikea is a like a day at Disneyland – with the meatballs, of course.
3. Knowing that your tribe is your tribe.
No one likes to be unpopular but you realise that actually you just don’t care who likes you. You want to hang around the people who make you laugh, those who make you comfortable and happy, the people who are your life cheerleaders. You learn that the company of one real friend is a hundred times more valuable than hours with lots of other people.
So although we might secretly want to join the sporty crew, we recognise the reality; we hate exercise and look crap in Lycra (unless its Lulu Lemon of course.)
PS. When you’re wondering if you like someone or not, that means you don’t.
4. Saying No is a positive thing.
We have already touched on this one in 5 Ways to Navigate the No but saying No but sometimes saying NO is the mature thing to do. Losing the FOMO (fear of missing out) and saying NO when you feel it is in your best interests is one of the joys of being all grown up. No, we can’t come out again as we have already been out 3 nights in a row is grown-up, right?
5. Appreciating that Life is short
Your Grandparents weren’t joking when they said they felt exactly the same as they did in their 20’s. As we near 40, we begin to realise that SHIT! we are half way through (if we’re lucky) and we have WAY more to do. They don’t call it a mid-life crisis for nothing.
The good news is that this realisation comes with the blindingly scary truth that life is just too short to live a life of tedium and be filled with regret. Life’s too short to be married to someone you don’t love. Life’s too short to do a job you hate. Life’s too short to bare grudges. Life’s too short to not follow your dreams. Do it now. This IS your life.
So we should be brave. We need to write the book. Travel. Ring our friends (and our Mothers). Book a duvet day. Eat the cake.
Now, where is that cake…….?
“‘You have some queer friends, Dorothy,’ she said.
‘The queerness doesn’t matter, so long as they’re friends,’ was the answer”
L. Frank Baum, The Road to Oz
“And meanwhile time goes about its immemorial work of making everyone look and feel like shit.”
Martin Amis/London Fields 1989
“The Trouble is you think you have time.”
“People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.”
Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist