So, in a few days I celebrate my 35th birthday. It's not one of the biggest birthdays, but it's a handy midway point between 30 and 40 to sit and reflect on my life and the things I haven't yet achieved. If you'd asked my 25-year-old self what I'd be like in ten years' time I probably would have had a fair stab at describing my actual life - house in the suburbs, couple of kids, some kind of job -but the devil is in the detail, and there are so many things that I'd hoped to be doing by now that I'm just not. So, I give you 35 grown up and sensible things I thought I'd be doing at 35:
1. I thought I'd have invested in some decent make-up by now instead of using blunt eyeliners
2. I thought I'd be using decent make-up remover instead of water and toilet roll
3 I thought I'd be separating my whites and darks in the wash.
4. I thought I'd have a special place in my handbag for my keys and not have to go through the emptying-it-all-out charade on the doorstep every day. But no, it still takes as long to find them as it did a decade ago but no I have a couple of kids commentating as I dump huge piles of stuff onto the garden wall. And they often need a wee.
5. I thought I'd choose shoes for practical reasons
6. I thought I'd understand mortgages
7. I thought I'd have a skincare routine.
8. I thought I'd understand the American Electoral system
9. I thought I'd clean the car regularly
10. And the house
11. And the kids
12. I thought I'd have clean clothes put away in drawers and I wouldn't just snatch clothes from the drier, willing them to dry as I walk to work.
13. I thought I'd know what I wanted to be when I grew up
14. I thought I'd use shoecare
15. I thought I'd descale the kettle more often
16. I thought I'd like the kind of films that win Oscars
17. I thought I'd dismiss all modern music as either tuneless or derivative (Oh wait, I do do this one)
18. I thought I'd be able to drink coffee without a shedload of sugar in it.
19. I thought I'd know how to cook a roast dinner
20. I thought I'd throw away tights that had holes in them, instead of keeping them "just in case"
21. I thought I'd learn how to garden
22. I thought I'd eat my 5-a-day,every day
23. I thought I'd separate my recycling properly and wash it out, instead of just flinging it from afar and hoping for the best
24. I thought I'd like olives
25. I thought I'd be able to shave without cutting myself
26. I thought if I didn't learn to shave properly, I'd at least have reconciled myself to waxing
27. I thought I might be over my dentist phobia by now
28. I thought I'd be able to throw away old handbags as soon as the handles broke and wouldn't have a cupboard full of old handbags, which are themselves full of old receipts and fluffy chewing gum.
29. I thought I'd remember my reusable bags every time I went to Tesco. Dagnam, if the 5p bag charge hasn't made me do it, what will?
30. I thought I'd stop liking Monster Munch and Space Invaders
31. I thought I'd clean the bathroom with something other than baby wipes
32. I thought I'd be responsible when choosing baby names, and not give my son a middle name he won in a bet
33. I thought I'd drink wine that wasn't prefixed by "house"
34. I thought I'd change all our bed sheets every week and not just when a child is sick on them
35. I thought I'd give out all our Christmas Thank You Letters before Easter.
So, that's a lot of things to work on before I consider myself a Proper Grown Up. Ah well, still 5 more years before 40....
This post first appeared on London With a Toddler