It’s my birthday weekend and I just came across a note I wrote when I turned 50. I wondered what I would say to myself if I had the opportunity to go back in time. It’s a tricky thing… talking to one’s younger self. I didn’t talk about my chosen career, how many children I had or who I married because I didn’t want to affect any of those decisions. I didn’t mention my divorce as it might make me afraid to take a chance on love. Mostly, I just wanted my younger self to know that it all worked out. Here’s how it went…
When I was a kid, I had an irrational fear that I would not live past 40. Because of that, I was always in a hurry… to grow up, to get married, to have kids. Then I was in a hurry for them to grow up too! I rushed through the first half of my life and barely remember most of it. If I could talk to my younger self, I’d say…
“Not only did you live past 40, but your forties were exponentially better than your thirties. Now 50 approaches and you’re happier than you’ve ever been. Your children are grown and your parents aren’t old yet. You’re in that sweet spot of not having to take care of anyone else. You can focus on yourself.
“Speaking of your grown up children.. they are smarter, more educated, more mature and better looking than you were on your best day (ok, more mature might be an exaggeration. You’ve been an adult since you were 3).
“You can’t take credit for their successes. You will make so many mistakes (seriously, for a smart girl you’re going to do some incredibly dumb things), but they love you anyway. Your husband will endure your daughters’ hormonal years only to find that, as soon as they’re over, you’ll begin your own. And yet he stays and loves you anyway.
“You have been on the planet for FIFTY years now yet somehow you’ve managed NOT to do most of the things you planned. But guess what? Your unplanned life is fantastic!I wish I could tell you to slow down and appreciate everything that’s coming, both the good and the bad. But I know that you won’t because you’re in such a hurry. I have already lived your future and I can tell you that all of the bad will lead you to good. And the good far outweighs the bad.”
What would you say to your younger self?