We’ve got some ideas…
We all kind of agree that despite the amazing skin elasticity and ability to metabolise alcohol, our 20s were the fucking trenches. So here we are in our 30s, 40s, 50s trying to work out which bits of our personalities to hold on to and which bits to let go of. Who to be, basically. Well maybe we could start with who we’d like to be in a very micro way. What influence we’d like to have on the world with… baby steps. Who shall I be today? Well, you could be the person who:
Doesn’t Fake It For Christmas
At this weird time of a weird year be the person who says: I am thinking about not doing a Christmas tree this year. I am thinking about not wrestling the knackered fake tree out of the cupboard or grappling the aggressively shedding real tree through the door. I am thinking about not finding the box of decorations – each one more triggering than the last because they all represent a moment from Christmases past that makes us want to cry. I am thinking about not spending money on new decorations because the old ones are a bit shit and I always have fewer than I remember. I am thinking about not engaging with social media decoration porn and interiors feeds that make me feel terrible about my house, my Christmas, my family and myself. I am thinking of avoiding the stress that untangling Christmas lights will bring, swiftly followed by worrying about how much the twinkling will cost me in energy. I am thinking of going another way. I am thinking of not faking it this Christmas.” And then you could watch everyone’s shoulders drop in sheer relief as it just might dawn on them that there is no room for competitive festiveness this Christmas. Now is not the time.
Ends Meetings Early
If you have the power, be this person. And not four minutes early. Forty minutes early. The person who never organises meetings after lunch on a Friday. Who makes sure that those meetings are Zooms at worst, emails at best. That person.
Never Compliments People On Losing Weight
Be the person who never admires the fact that someone is taking up less space in the world. Never congratulates them for making themselves smaller. This is no longer okay. We’ve all suffered at the hands of ‘be as small as you can possibly be’ for most of our lives. It has to end. Or we pass it on. And we wouldn’t wish it on our worst enemies.
Starts The Cancelling Conversation
Just a toe in the water. Just taking the temperature. ‘How is everyone feeling about tonight? I’m exhausted but really looking forward to seeing you.’ You will all soon know if the plan has become awful duty or still retains any joy at all.
Insists On 6:30 Dinners
These are now the only dinners that we can actually look forward to. Yes – once in a very long while – we can get tarted up and go somewhere at 8 but that takes real organisation and energy and we are lying if we don’t admit that we need to get over a dread-hump first. Make dinners 6:30 and THERE’S MORE: Be the person who asks for the bill (by 8:45pm) and says no to another cup of herbal tea (which is hotter than the earth’s core and takes half an hour to cool down before you can even drink it). Be the party pooper. Be the bad guy. Break the going home seal so that everyone else is released and can just… go home.
Unleashes Secret Santa
Be the person who says to the entire family, “Let’s do Secret Santa with a price limit of £10 or £5 or make it yourself if you like.” No more panicked overspending or worrying that someone has got you something nicer than you have got them or resenting someone because you have got them something nicer than they have got you. No more wondering if you can get away with asking for the receipt. Who wouldn’t rather have some revolting home-made fudge or a nice, workaday shower gel than an awful, expensive dust collector that you’re not allowed to throw away?