I’ve been resisting it. I wasn’t ready. For a long time, I’ve felt like a 19 year old trapped in the body of a 30-something. But recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that *whispers* I think I’m actually a grown up now. Here’s why:
1. I have conversations about wall paint shades and brands with no hint of irony. I find myself asking friends: “Is Annie Sloan better than Farrow & Ball?” and tearing pages from homes magazines and scribbling notes on them. I used to think wall paint was as dull as…. well, watching paint dry. Now, my heart rate quickens when I see THE PERFECT SHADE and when friends post photos like THIS on Instagram, my attention is not on the lovely dress, but on the tester patches on the wall.
2. I’m not interested in celebrity gossip. I used to be obsessed with celeb news. Properly obsessed. The Mail Online sidebar of shame was my drug of choice and I’d have a daily pre-breakfast fix, and then another one on the commute to work. If there was any breaking Kardashian-shaped news, I’d be all over it. This was partly due to my job on a women’s mag, and the need to stay on top of showbiz gossip, but it was more than that – I actually craved it.
Now, when I’m reading Grazia, I’ll actually skip past the celeb news pages. I’m not interested in what a source close to a star says (let’s be honest, it’s either someone accepting cash to reveal their friend’s secrets or it’s the celebrity’s agent trying to get their client some press – both options leave me a bit cold.) I’d much rather read actual news about the world and the (non famous) people in it. Listen to me, I’m so mature.
3. I enjoy going for a run. This has taken me by total surprise in the last few weeks. Having spent my 20s forcing my ass into a gym, or out for a run, I now get running and find myself wanting to go out for a little jog at least 3 times a week. (No one says “I’m going jogging” any more do they? They should definitely bring back that brilliant 80s term, along with pastel pink towelling sweat bands and Mr Motivator.)
4. I’m a “school mum”. This might be stating the obvious, but it feels a bit like the years of looking after a baby, wrangling with a toddler and hanging out with a pre-schooler are all leading up to graduating to the next level of motherhood: the school years. Being a school mum has a certain status to it – we have survived for five years, we made it in one piece.
The school gate generally gets a bad rep, with tales of competitive mums, cliques and judgemental glances. But it’s not always like that – the school mums at our school are lovely, supportive and most importantly of all, they introduced me to the fact that our local pub does bottles of prosecco for £8. I mean, if that’s not the start of some meaningful lifelong friendships, I don’t know what is.
5. I listen to Radio 4. Now, I used to think listening to Radio 2 was a sign I was getting old, and I guess when I was in my early 30s and growing tired of Radio 1, it was. But I’ve recently hopped on the Intelligent Conversation Express (Destination: Old age) by listening to Radio 4 more often. It started gradually, first a little dabble with Woman’s Hour before trying the Today show and Desert Island Discs. The Radio 4 website even has highlights – short clips of interesting programmes – so you can dip in and out, without listening to whole shows.
I’m embracing it. Why fight it? My name is Alison Perry, and I’m a grown up. So I suppose I really should stop eating crisp sandwiches for dinner, when Mr P is out for the evening…