Turning 37 had me feeling reflective. How many of us have uttered the words “If I only knew then, what I know now…?” Have we ever finished the sentence to fully state what we would really do differently if we knew then, what we know now? If we could give our younger selves some words of wisdom, what would they be? What advice would you give yourself? Would you take that advice?
A Letter To Myself
I just turned 37! Rounded up, that’s the big FOUR-OH. I know that seems like a big number, but it’s fine. It’s really amazing the clarity and wisdom that comes with getting older. So since I’m older and wiser now, I thought I would give you some advice as you journey into becoming quite a wonderful person, in a really great place. These lessons are free.
Don’t stress too much, your hair will fall out! – It’s true, it happened! I lived it. The effects of stress can be profound, not just on our bodies, but on our minds and spirit. You’ve always been a worrier, but you can’t let stress consume you, you’ll lose all your hair. Yes it will grow back, but walking down the aisle almost bald honestly kind of sucked. Don’t stress, keep calm!
Manage your health now. – This is all inclusive. Make time to take care of yourself: mentally, physically, and spiritually. The great thing is when you take care of yourself in one aspect, it spills over into another aspect. Self care is so important. I always say it’s like “the gift that keeps on giving.” It makes you a better everything, a constantly improving version of yourself.
Get out of your comfort zone. – I know you. You like things that are familiar, routine, structured. There’s nothing wrong with comfort, but amazing things happen when we step out of our comfort zone. The things you love to do now, were all discovered when you tried something new, so get out of your comfort zone!
Your parents really do know what’s best for you. – You won’t realize it until you have your own kids, but I’ll say it anyway. You really don’t know everything, in fact, you really don’t know a whole lot. Your parents and those who have “been there, done that,” they know what they’re talking about. Listen to them.
Time is the greatest gift you can give to people. – If I told you that you are currently a stay-at-home mom, and that you love it, you would probably laugh. It’s true though. This is one of the best personal decisions you made because time is the most important thing you can give to those you love. Being a stay-at-home mom allowed you to spend precious time with your children while they were little. It led to wonderful friendships with other women, and hobbies that have enriched your life. Time is fleeting, spend it doing what you love, with the people you love.
Experience as much as you can while you’re young. – You are the product of all your experiences, people you’ve met, places you’ve traveled to, and lessons you’ve learned. When we’re younger all we want to do is grow up and get out into the world, but trust me, being a grown up is not that glamorous. Growing up = growing list of responsibilities, so experience as much as you can while you’re young: travel, learn new things, broaden your social network, experience as much as you can!
Respect. – If there was one essential ingredient in any and all relationships (personal, friendly, or professional) that is most important, it would be respect. Respect has to be given before it can be properly received, and it comes in different forms: Self-respect and respect for others. Have respect for others, their time and effort, their feelings, and your differences. Having mutual respect leads to good communication, trust, honesty and all the things that foster good relationships.
About men, relationships, and love… – I can probably write paragraph after paragraph on this topic and tell you who to avoid, or who’s a waste of time, but I’ll spare you. Oprah Winfrey once interviewed Madonna after the birth of her daughter, and asked the question “What will you teach her about men?” Madonna gave the most unforgettable answer, “If you learn self-respect, you don’t need to be taught about men.” If I could add one thing, it would be: When people show you who they are, believe them. People know themselves better than you do. If someone shows you they’re untrustworthy, selfish or just mean, believe them the first time.
You regret the things you don’t do. – Sign up for that full marathon early, before your body really feels its age. In life, we often regret the things we don’t do, or the chances we don’t take. Make a bucket list, follow your heart, dream big, and just go for it! Whatever it is, go for it!
The quality of your life is determined by the choices that you make. – Choices. From the food you choose to put in your mouth to how you spend your money, or how you choose to spend your time, who you choose to marry, and how you react to what life throws at you. You make choices everyday that determine the quality of your life. You’re only a victim of your choices if you choose to be. Make good choices.