I had a book published which in some secret part of my soul I thought would change my life, but it did not do so in any way other than to make me even more grateful for my kind friends who bought it and reassured me it wasn't totally shit and pointless. Also, it didn't change my life for the worse which might have been the case, so I'm basically ok with it all.
I have played some role in ensuring my children are still alive and in possession of a full complement of limbs, though apparently not the ability to leave their socks anywhere other than on the table. Hillary the Hen has escaped from every prison I have devised for her and the dog still hates me. Bilan mitigé, as they say in French.
What, then, of the small stuff?
I think I now have a “signature style”, of sorts. Basically, it involves dressing like a 40+ heterosexual man. Shirt, usually. Jumper, always (today I received my newest purchase which is an actual man's jumper, black, fine gauge cashmere and it is the plainest, most perfect thing in the world). Jeans/plain comfortable trousers. Trainers/flat shoes. The end. I also have a 40+ heterosexual man’s grooming regime, ie. no grooming whatsoever, beyond basic hygiene necessities. My skin looks exactly the same as it did when caressed lovingly with snake oil unguents 2 x daily. I don’t really know what to think of this.
Also (this cannot be included under "style") I own a high performance, expensive waterproof garment and wear it with pride in appropriate circumstances, which are numerous in Belgium.
Exception to grooming, above: I also have a "signature scent": Frédéric Malle Portrait of Lady (crème de corps, not actual scent) in winter, Terre d'Hermès Eau Très Fraîche in summer.
I indulge in regular non-disastrous baking, including with yeast. For instance, I made salted caramel brownies yesterday. God knows why, I have an exam on Thursday and a limited grasp of how to use passive sentence forms in Dutch, there were clearly better things I could have been doing. The recipe was stupid but they tasted ok. You can’t really go wrong with that much fat and sugar.
I always have the following in the house: scissors (5 pairs, 3 large, 2 small), envelopes of three different sizes, a selection of greetings cards, both European and Belgian stamps (my stamp profligacy is legendary), packets of tissues, dog shit bags, nail clippers.
I know where all the important paperwork (passports, birth certificates, health insurance docs) is and I’m not telling anyone else in case they move it.
I go to the dentist regularly (only because of a recurrent stain on one of my front teeth that needs to be removed at least once a year to avoid descent into Shane McGowan territory, but nevertheless, I'm adding it to the positives list).
Haven't lost a mobile phone for 2.5 years and a wallet for 4.
Learnt how to darn properly.
Have not applied darning skills to any of my mothbastard eaten jumpers since learning, instead preferring to just put them in the freezer and hope for the best, removing as required to wear, avec holes.
There is something in a small dish covered with silver foil in the door of our fridge that has been there for, ooh, at least six months and I am too scared to look inside. I will probably end up just throwing the dish out without taking the tinfoil off.
This post-it note has been on the landing for months:
(isn't that wallpaper good though. It wasn't even very dear)
We still eat off robot motif melamine plates dating from our gigantic children’s infancy.
House still smells of fish, from the time I accidentally melted a fish oil capsule on our toaster approx a month ago.
Home first aid kit/pharmacy consists of following: 800000 Nurofen, 18 long-expired French remedies for long-forgotten gastric ailments, some dried up worming syrup, my tiny, beloved, extremely well-hidden stash of Xanax dating from my summer 2015 mental health crisis and a bottle of Reptoboost (tortoise vitamins).
Still only cook 6 things (pasta with peas, spring onions and lardons, pork fillet with mustard and pilau rice, dhal, pasta with béchamel and spinach, pasta bolognese, old el paso). 3 takeaways a week, every week.
I would still far rather my life partner intuit my needs and desires from tiny body language cues, passive aggression and talking to him inside my head rather than actually expressing said needs/desires out loud. Obviously.
3 years late getting a mammogram.
Repeatedly overdrawn. Only consult online banking in extremis. All non-interesting post still sits in pile at bottom of attic stairs until I get angry or anxious and hide it in my desk drawer.
Signed up for some kind of stupid heating insurance thing last month because the woman kept calling and I couldn't work out how to say no.
Still using the same towels that were pensioned out of my dad’s holiday cottage business as too worn in 1997.
Found out I was paying for a safe deposit box (don’t ask) unused since 2008 last week.
How are you doing, adulthood-wise? What do you consider your greatest adulting achievements and failures?