It seems a little strange to see you, my younger self. Writing to you is every bit as strange, yet a gift all the same. Here goes.
I know that criticism is hard for you take, it hasn’t changed much in the last twenty years, except perhaps I/we do it with more grace? I hope that you don’t take any part of this letter in anyway except in the way it was intended. With love.
It’s been enlightening to see that many things have not changed in twenty years. We still have many of the same habits and routines. It is true that we are creatures of habit. Some things are just so ingrained in our being that time doesn’t alter them. We still make the bed right when we wake up. Still unload the dishwasher and start the laundry first thing. Still hate wearing socks, and still have cracked and bleeding feet. Still wake up throughout the night wondering if they kids are OK or thinking about the ways in which you failed that day. Sound familiar? Need I go on?
Emotionally, we have evolved. We are stronger now. More empathetic. We have more experiences under our belt and have learned to deal with them in more positive ways. We are much more comfortable with who we are and are able to more fully focus on our goals. We are still working on patience. Perhaps that will always be a work in progress.
Physically, aging isn’t as terrible as you thought it would be. Being able to do all the things that I need to is the blessing that my body has given me. I wish we hadn’t always taken advantage of that fact. Just so you know, those wrinkles you are worried about are inconsequential, and going grey is not the worst thing in the world to happen, although why you are thinking about it now is beyond me.
I know that you want some ready answers, but I can’t give them to you. I really feel that that would be a disservice to you. But, I would urge you to ponder more fully ways that you can be a better mother, better wife and better friend and relative. Perfection isn’t important. Doing the best you can is. You know who you can turn to for help and answers. Always remember that.
I know that you want to know about our children. I won’t reveal anything more than you know, which I know makes you crazy. You always did desire a magic ball. I can’t give you that, but I can give you this: advice from older me to younger you.
I hope that you spend more time being introspective, more spiritual, more healthy. Better.
In 20 years we’ll compare notes.
Your older, better, self.
To read more letters to self, or the answers to other prompts, visit Mama’s Losin’ It.