30 Things you can do now that you'd never dream of doing when you were young

Posted on: 29 November 2010 by Susi Rogol

A few years ago a friend’s son very considerately decided to marry an Australian girl he’d met in London. What was considerate was the fact that the young couple decided on down-under nuptials thus giving those who had known the groom since birth a reason to cross the world to hitherto un-visited territory and to plan a trip that included some fairly exotic stop-overs.

http://owl-group-staging.s3.amazonaws.com/upload_datas/29581/landscape_large.jpg?1291036223Most guests from the UK opted for shopping in Hong Kong or some serious massaging in Thailand, or a chance to meet a few old geysers in New Zealand. Us? We choose China, and in the icy winds of New Year (theirs, not ours), we climbed the steps onto The Great Wall of China. It was overwhelming. Being part of a picture that is so familiar yet so foreign. Being somewhere you never thought you’d be

I clutched the side wall (heights are not my thing, even a second floor window makes me queasy) and tried to take it all in. Beside me was very elderly lady, white curls poking out from her striped woolly hat, stout walking boots and two sticks supporting her tiny frame. “Isn’t this amazing?” I said, “I can’t believe I am standing here, on the Great Wall of China.” She looked up at me and grinned. “It’s okay I suppose,” she said, “but I found white water rafting in the Rockies last year far more thrilling than this.” 

And that’s when I started compiling my list of things I could and would find myself doing as a fully-fledged grown up, that I couldn’t or wouldn’t have done in previous decades. Feel free to add to it – your views may inspire others, or at least make them smile.

1. Standing on the Great Wall of China (well okay, youngsters on their gap-year do it today but when we were in our 20s it was forbidden territory, and gap years didn’t exist)
2. Giving your tomato plants the sunniest spot in the garden, rather than your deck chair
3. Joining an am-dram group even if you know your have zero talent as a thespian
4. Being able to say “I remember when….”
5. Growing a beard (if you are a bloke)
6. Having your hair cut short (if you are not)
7. Not knowing what experiential marketing is
8. Not caring
9. Opting for a car that promises comfort and reliability 
10. Being able to sing along with the top pops from the 50s, 60s and 70s and getting all the words right
11. Not being embarrassed to say you like opera
12. Going on holiday when the families with young children have long gone
13. Knowing who you want to vote for
14. Enjoying gardening (even when your knees have seen better days) 
15. Waking your grandchildren up when their parents go out – and keeping them up for hours
16. Going to the cinema in the afternoon
17. Sending food back in restaurants
18. Having a pedicure whenever you fancy
19. Wearing what you want, when you want
20. Never needing to find a last-minute baby sitter
21. Feeling you can tell someone exactly what you think of them
22. Questioning the medication you have been prescribed
23. Admitting that you had a crush on Richards Greene/Todd/Harris
24. Carrying a fan (if you are a flushing female)
25. Taking a course in something frivolous, like playing the saxaphone
26. Pretending to be harder of hearing than you are, when it suits you
27. Never having to pack san-pro products when you go travelling
28. Reading all the classics you overlooked, and enjoying them hugely
29. Reading them on your Amazon Kindle
30. And yes, never having to say you’re sorry


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