I wrote a letter to twenty-year-old-self a few weeks ago and found it very telling. Although I don't want to share the letter in its entirety, I am posting the quick list I give myself at the end. I highly recommend this activity to anyone because it makes you feel like a real grownup and it's extremely enlightening... Thanks to my friend, Rena, for the idea:) Who says Facebook can't inspire? Not I.
1. Your husband has a hundred dollar bill hidden in his wallet on your honeymoon. Help him find it and you'll endure one less day of peanut butter and honey sandwiches—your solution to running out of cash and not having a credit card. (Don't worry, it's not an omen...I think).
2. Do not hop like a kangaroo with cub scouts. It will save you from having your one and only surgery. With that said, go easy on the knee...
3. When it comes time to have warts burned off your son, use the entire bottle of ointment they give you. This will deaden the pain and keep him from writhing on the table and calling out to you like a bleeding lamb. Holding him down will not be quite as traumatic...for either of you.
4. Do not leave your baby on the kitchen table in her car seat. Let the neighbor kids think you are mean and brush them off. I know this seems obvious, but you really struggle with being considered 'nice' over being prudent, especially when caring for an infant--one of the many reasons you stop at three. Sorry, we weren't cut out for six...
5. Some people don't mind your opinionated ways. Some people do. Figure out who really values your opinions and who just wants to attack your views and get more 'ammo' against you or others. Avoid the latter. If they are family, just keep your mouth shut, no matter how much you want their approval.
6. Stop asking your husband if he's mad at you. His back hurts, and your insecurities are now giving him a pain in his butt, too!
7. Do not take birth control pills. They make you a psychotic mess. Your husband married you. He didn't anticipate a Jekyll and Hyde wife. You'll then have to find another excuse for your manic ways...as well as explore other birth control options. Good luck.
8. Save the money you would have spent on that cruise, and fly to Hawaii instead. Oh, and get a prescription for Valium before you fly for the first time. Trust me.
9. Get over your hatred for stuffed animals. Your kids will win this battle. They love 'em and will probably keep them forever.
10. Always speak kindly of others. It makes children insecure when they hear grown ups 'ripping' on other people, or it teaches them to be mean. You don't want either one.
11. Avoid a combination of dairy, MSG, and carbonation. It will save you much embarrassment. Once Imodium is invented...you'll have a few more options.
12. Don't judge working moms. You will be one...sooner than you'd like.
13. Listen to your instincts. They are usually right, especially when you put kindness above all.
14. You have permission to laugh at people who keep insisting you will get fat after having children, when you turn thirty, or when you turn forty. Avoid the “You just wait” crowd. They tend to bug us on a multitude of levels.
15. There is no such thing as a perfect mother. Stop trying to define that and avoid people who think they know. They bug us as well.
16. Don't mow the lawn. Once you do, it will be deemed 'your job' and you will be stuck doing it until your boys are old enough. Stick with the flower beds.
17. At this point in your life, treasure your friends. Aside from your parents, they will know you the best. Plus they live close by and will provide much needed, sometimes daily, sanity checks.
18. Give up on the idea of traveling to Yakima for Christmas or Thanksgiving unless you are willing to fly. The roads are dangerous and have claimed too many lives to make it worth the risk. Don't blame your husband for this, either. Just spend the money if you want to go. Oh, and go home July 25, 2000. Plan on staying three weeks. You won't regret it.
19. Begin refinishing furniture now. You enjoy it, and it will give you a much needed hobby. It might even keep you off the phone and, in turn, keep you from annoying your siblings with too many calls.
20. Have higher expectations for the people in your life. You deserve their best.
Well, there you have it. I hope this gives you some insight as well as some motivation to look forward to the future. It is bright, it is full of promise, and as far as I can tell, it is what we make it.
With love and respect,