Thursday, March 24, 2005

Things to do before I am 30....

IT’S 15 months and 10 days until I reach the big 3-0. While that is admittedly a decent enough distance away, and in the words of my dear daddy I could well be dead and buried by then, I have started to evaluate my contribution to the planet so far and wonder if I’ve achieved all that I would have hoped to by this milestone.

When I was still just a bit of a wain at about 16, myself and one of my best friends sat and talked about what the future would hold. Somewhere, scribbled on the back of an old Thornhill homework diary are the thoughts she had for my future.

There she scribbled that by 30 I would be married to a man called Ian (well himself’s middle name is Ian, so not far off), dress in glamorous power suits with a figure to envy (erm, nope! Unless tracksuit bottoms are the latest style in power suit and plus sizes are suddenly enviable), have the requisite 2.4 children (again, nope as the 1.0 child that I have is enough to keep me on my toes) and have a glowing mane of blonde hair (roots desperately needing done as we speak).

She guessed I would be a stylish columnist and while I don’t want to take away from what I write here on this page, it is unfortunately not the biggest part of my working week, as so much else has to take priority in a busy newsroom. I’m hardly Carrie Bradshaw, but then I’ve always had a serious problem with her character anyway. Being able to afford all those expensive shoes on the money from just one column a week? Give me a break! I struggle to afford the latest looks in Barratts!

For myself I guessed that I would have come a little further than I have now. I would have imagined in my idealistic youth that I would have got my Doctorate in Philosophy by now, and maybe even had my first novel published to undoubted critical acclaim.

When it comes to a doctorate, a pathological fear of learning which was instilled in me while studying for my Masters Degree was enough to put me off that notion for life; and when it comes to my writing, the furthest I’ve gotten is a couple of exceptionally dodgy poems published in local anthologies when I was about 17. Teenage angst doth not make for good poetry, and while I still have the books hidden away somewhere I would rather pull out my own eye balls, smear them in marmite and eat them than show them to anyone else. My reputation may not be fantabulous, but I see no need to destroy it altogether.

So I’m throwing away the old homework diary, and my friend’s premonitions, and starting to think realistically about what I can achieve in next 15 months and 10 days.

Much as the plan was to have 2.4 children by then, I really don’t think 1.4 children are going to materialise between now and June of next year. I’m having too much fun with number one to jeopardise it just yet with the whole projectile vomiting/ morning sickness/ psychopathic hormonal freak scenario again.

I doubt muchly my boss is going to start paying me a small fortune just to write this column so that I can spend the rest of my life swanning around with my glamorous friends in nice shoes; so it’s up to me to set slightly different goals for the months to come.

I had thought at one stage that doing something truly wild would be the best way to ring in a new decade. I considered bungee jumping, but was afraid that the shadow of my ass falling from a great height could result in a solar eclipse which could have catastrophic effects on the world’s eco-structure.

I considered a belly button piercing, my sister-in-law had hers pierced following baby number two. She doesn’t show it off in anyway, it’s just there to remind her that she is not a frumpy over 30 mummy. But, the problem I have is that I don’t think I’ve seen my belly button in about six months. It is there somewhere, among the spare tyres but I could well need an expedition of intrepid explorers to find it before the body piercing lady gets to work.

Similarly, a tattoo was on my mind. But as a dear friend subsequently told me she would rather give birth again without any pain-relief than endure the agony of a tattoo, I’ve decided against it.

Instead I’ll aim for what I can do. For example last week I took a leap of faith and made my first radio appearance, talking on the Mark Patterson show about Mothers Day. With not a Valium nor a glass of Sauvignon Blanc to calm my wee nerves, I stuttered and muttered my way through a panel discussion. It left me a shaking wreck, but hey it was something new, something different and something to strike off the list of things to do before I’m 30! I may even do it again (if they ask me!).

And even if they don’t, I have enough to be going on with. I have to make an appointment to have my mousy hair restored to its dyed-blonde glory and promise faithfully that I will maintain it.

I will try my best to obtain a figure that at least some people can envy and while the poetry remains a part of me I’d rather not remember, I’ll try to start the old Microsoft Word whirring the evening and start writing something in the vain hope it will make me famous, or at least infamous.

And if all else fails, I’ll simply plan the biggest party imaginable for next June and blot the whole thing out with a bottle of finest Champagne!


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