It is quite early on a Saturday morning. I haven't had much sleep. During the night I dreamed that I found a lump in my breast. When I woke up at an ungodly hour, of course I found a lump in my breast. I sent a text to The Man, who is currently in China, so he could prepare himself for single parenthood. Because clearly I was about to die. After some hours of mentally rehearsing touching deathbed scenes, I realised that what I had was more of a ridge than a lump. And actually, there was a similar one on the other side. Aargh! Two lumps. Then it occurred to me that maybe what I was feeling was possibly a muscle. I have, after all, been lifting (quite small) weights in the gym for months. I sent a further text to The Man: Possible alternative diagnosis - an actual muscle. Middle aged woman goes to doctor to be told she has a muscle. Surprise all round.
Of course I will go to the doctor. Of course she will tell me I am fine, but sensible to have checked. Of course..
Today is The Boy's 21st birthday party. That dear little baby, who was always happy, but saw no reason to go to sleep. Ever. And now he's all grown up. Still always happy. Sleeps more now. Still as crazy as he ever was. On his list of things to do this morning is Buy Kerosene. There are going to be friends juggling fire sticks at the party. What could go wrong? Some time ago The Boy decided to juggle with steak knives. He sent me a photo of the blood. Silly boy, I could have sworn I told him not to juggle with steak knives. Didn't I? Or did I skip that instruction?
I have been nagging him for months to do his tax. I told him yesterday now he is a grown-up there are No Excuses. Several weeks ago he asked me to write a book for teenagers leaving home. He said there were so many things he had no idea about. Like the first time he paid his electricity bill, he stood there holding the bill, with no idea what to do with it. Should he recycle it? Or keep it? Why would he keep it? Was it important?
Well, of course I was up for that. I knew exactly how it should start. 'Do not juggle with steak knives' would be my first piece of sage advice to the young and confused, followed by 'Do your tax'. But then, before my magnum opus was even properly begun, I found the exact book he was after. It has already been written, by a pert and charming young redheaded snippet of a journalist. Curses. There goes my writing career before it even started. Still, it is a wonderful book. Any of you with young adult children, order it right away for them for Christmas.
It is called Adulting (How to Become a Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps) by Kelly Williams Brown. Kelly Williams Brown is an annoyingly accomplished and engaging writer. Her book covers cooking, cleaning, and filing bills. She also gives useful advice on appropriate behaviour and dress codes at work as well as important tips on how not to kill houseplants. The chapters on friendships and relationships though, are absolute gold, and the real reason we all need to go and buy this book immediately for every young person we know. With this book in hand I feel I could have navigated the treacherous shoals of my rocky teenage social life, university years, and young adulthood much more gracefully and with more confidence and integrity than I did at the time. I loved this book. There is also a blog which includes some of the material from the book, and more useful life advice. Yes, you may thank me now for sorting Christmas presents for all your nieces and nephews/god children/grandchildren, and every 18th and 21st you ever go to from now on. You're very welcome.
I will now be popping out to the gym to work on that muscle.
Updated to add fire juggling photos. None of which, I am pleased to say, feature The Boy:)