Dear 2008 Self,
Hey girl! Just want you to know you’re my favorite! How’s it going? Oh wait. I remember. Not super.
Here you are in China in 2008 showing the folks back home what the toilets look like.
You’re smiling here but I know what’s really going on. I know you’re struggling with where you’re living. Life overseas is tricky.
You’re wondering why they are spraying canned “snow” for flocking trees in your hair during the Christmas Eve church service. I gotta say, that one still confuses me. You don’t know when you’re going to get the “snow” out of your hair because they water is only sometimes on in your building. You haven’t had a shower in a week because of it. An irritation for sure. You’re concerned about the flames shooting out of the outlets in your living room. A valid concern indeed.
You’re longing to have a properly made latte and chat over it at a coffee shop with a girlfriend. You’d punch a stranger if you thought it would get you an avocado or some blueberries. But mostly, you’re aching to start your family. You’re weary of the heartbreak of not being pregnant over and over again. So deeply painful. I still cry sometimes when I think of it. Right now, in fact. Thanks for that, 2008 self.
Well, I’m here to tell you that you’re leaving that place and you’re getting those kids. Here’s a picture so you’ll believe me. I know you don’t think it will ever happen.
Yes they are fantastic-to-the-max but not so fast…all is not resolved. I have to tell you that you’re still struggling, you’re still chronically wishing and you’re weary to the bone on some days.
Now we both know you’re a focused individual. You attended three different colleges and changed majors multiple times and STILL managed to graduate with your degree in 4 years. You’re in your element when you’re completing tasks and everything is going “right.”
That’s all well and good…but that’s not always how life works. You need to know that sometimes your focus is off. Like waaaaaaay off.
No offense, of course. You know you’re my favorite, right?
What I’d like you to consider, what I’m percolating in right now as well, is how to be thankful in this very moment. I have a strategy I’d like to share.
Wait for it…
Be thankful. Just do. Stop struggling and wishing and start thanking. Allow me to help:
So you don’t have children. You’re the wife of an amazing man living in a fascinating country. That’s pretty rad. You visit the Great Wall of China on a regular basis for heaven’s sake. You got to go to the temple where Kung Fu originated. You have eaten scorpions. It’s disgusting, but it’s a cool story. You vacation in Thailand every. single. winter. Ugh.
In fact, here you are at a beach resort having Thai food made by real-live Thai people.
And here you are up so far north you’re practically in Russia. At a castle made entirely of ice. I’m sorry, but that’s pretty awesome.
These days, I drive to a small Louisiana town for vacation. Does that make you feel better?
You know all that free time you have? Enjoy that because it’s basically gone in 2014. You’re an expert on Dora and Spiderman now, friend. And, just so you know, they are precisely as uninteresting to you now as they seemed in 2008.
And the 5 pounds you wish you could lose? Well, it’s more like 25 now. Your kids are happy to let you exercise, they are not the reason you are expanding. You’re just kinda getting old in 2014 and more than a little lazy. And there is so much bread in the States! You’re no match for it all.
So with all due respect, wrinkle-laden 2014 me with no free-time or pants that fit would like to tell thin, well-rested me to kindly, get over it. Be grateful for what you have. Like right now. Give thanks in all circumstances. God’s got this, friend.
And, because I’m you, I know that thin, well-rested me would like to throw the same charming sentiments right back at my now “big-boned,” over-the-hill 2014 self. You’d say, “You have the kids I want. Enjoy them and quit complaining about things I would kill for in 2008.”
And once again, because I’m you, I couldn’t agree more.
We are so smart. Here’s to a thankful 2008 and 2014.
Your favorite person ever,
*this exercise was fun, but I feel like a schizophrenic. I’m linking up today with the ladies at Velvet Ashes. Click over and read some other notes to self. I bet they manage to pull it off sounding less crazy than I did. I have a certain “way” about me that compels mental health professionals to hand me their business cards…