Now that August is almost over, I’m considering lifting the self-imposed media blackout that’s been in force here in WeeGee Land for the past few weeks. I got tired of reading about the ‘migrant crisis’, which, in days gone by might have instead (and indeed more accurately) been described as a ‘humanitarian crisis’. And please don’t get me started on the omnishambles that is the Labour Party leadership contest. As a general rule I consider it my duty as a citizen of planet Earth to keep up to date with the news of the day but there’s something about the news during August in general and this August in particular that makes me want to punch faces…. lots of faces.
Other than a growing sense of unease I don’t have a lot to show for August – it just sort of came and went in a haze of thoughts and ideas. It was my birthday at the start of month and that, I think, has been the most significant thing to happen because there’s something about turning 36 that makes you realise you really are stuck on a slippery slope: destination GROWN UP.
Its funny how it creeps up on you, this being an adult thing. All the way through my twenties I was completely oblivious to the fact that time was passing because it didn’t seem to matter. I suppose, looking back, I enjoyed the time I spent being old enough to know better but young enough to go ahead and do it anyway. Now I find myself confronted by a growing body of evidence that, not only am I not young anymore – at least not in that optimistic, oblivious way I once was – I am actually a proper, bona fide GROWN UP. I mean, I own a gravy boat, it matches my dinner service AND I inhabit a life that necessitates gravy boat ownership. If that doesn’t make me a grown up, I don’t what does.
Of course, there’s humour in realising that you’ve turned into a grown up – mostly I suspect because you have to laugh at yourself if you hope to get by. And so listening to radio four, and acquiring a skincare REGIME, and reading the care labels on clothes before you buy them, and worrying about the dexterity of your joints, and realising that all of your favourite albums are so old that they’re either considered seminal or have been forgotten by everyone save those who share your age and musical persuasion becomes the subject of those knowing ‘in-jokes’ you share with your peers over mid price French wine that you bought by the caseload because it got five stars in the Waitrose Weekend Magazine.
At the same time, being a grown up has been bothering me of late. Its not a vanity thing because getting old is inevitable and I have every intention of doing it completely disgracefully. More I think, it’s about sadness: sadness for the time that has passed and the things I won’t have time to do.
Recently, I’ve been struck by the fact that there are things that, for one reason or another, I will never do again – like spending my wages in a record shop on pay day and then having to borrow my bus fare to work the rest of the month. You know, important stuff like that.
And then I think about how the more time that passes, the less time there is. I’ll always remember realising that even if I’d started reading books the very moment I was born and had never stopped until the day I died that I wouldn’t even have managed to have read all the books that were published in my lifetime, let alone any of the books that had come before. It feels like a heavy realisation to me and I guess it applies to life in general. There just isn’t going to be enough time.
I suppose it occurred to me that I don’t have all the time in the world and that I can’t do it all. Which means, I think, that you have to take the time you have and keep on filling it with as many of the things as you want to. And that is what I’ve worked out in the August that I didn’t watch the news, turned 36 and realised I am a grown up: you can’t do it all, but you will do some of it. You have plenty enough time for some of it and that is just AWESOME enough for anyone.
Meanwhile in other news I was left alone with a television for one night and managed to grow it into a brand new obsession with a certain TV chef. Nothing else to report save that I discovered today that Amazon deliver to the UK on BANK HOLIDAY MONDAY and as a result I am quite happily working my way through the Rick Stein back catalogue as I write.
That’s all from me for today. I hope you’re all fabulous and fantastic and full of awesomeness. Here’s a song to match the title of the post just to tie the whole thing up.
Love you all lots like jelly tots