My daughter was asked to describe her ideal life at 25 for an assignment at school. She’s going to be a writer, living in LA with a record producer boyfriend, a baby daughter and 3 dogs, a Mastiff, a Husky and a Golden Retriever. I’d say she’s got it bang on apart from maybe the dogs (reality check on that one) and has clearly inherited her mother’s capacity to dream.
‘I know what your ideal life would be,’ she tells me. ‘Oh yes?’ I ask thinking Booker Prize winning author, living in California, doing lengths in her infinity pool against a cloudless, cobalt blue sky. “You’d be sitting by the fire with Dad, watching X Factor or Homeland with a glass of wine.’ Bang on yet again but a wake up call nonetheless. Because yes middle age may be knocking on my door but do I really need to fling it open dressed in Ugg slippers and a pair of Boden pullons (OK not yet but it can only be a matter of time). ‘Do you think I’m depressed?’ I asked my husband the other day having blown out in the space of a week a dinner party, a girl’s night, my book club and a trip to London. ‘No,' he said, 'just lazy.’ Do other people feel this way I wonder? All dressed up for a night out where you know that, after a vodka shot or two, you’ll be having the best time and wishing the babysitter could get a bit more rock and roll with her timekeeping. And yet you’re sitting on the sofa, hunched with resentment, thinking ‘If only I didn’t have to go out tonight.’ Well enough of the inertia, things have got to change around here. I need to push the ejector button and wrench (winch?) myself out of my very comfortable comfort zone. Where to start with the updated life plan? I think saying: 'YES' instead of that resounding 'NO'. Punk gigs instead of Downton Abbey, book deal instead of book worm, visceral not vacuous. The new life starts here.