This year my birthday falls on Mother's Day. Considering my kiddos are the two greatest gifts of my life, this seems appropriate. Reading back through an old birthday post, I found the message still resonates, so I'm re-posting it here it three years later.
25 Lessons I Have Learned: A letter to my twenty-five year-old self on my forty-fifth birthday
- You can survive with much less sleep than you will care to know. Enjoy it now, for it will not be fully under your control for years.
- You are right - love is what matters most. Congratulations for figuring that one out so early.
- There will come a time when you will barely remember what it feels like to be bored, to be lonely, or to have too much free time on your hands.
- Having children will be like holding a mirror up to yourself. They will bring out the best and the worst in you and push you to grow in ways you cannot imagine. The love you will feel for them is indescribable. I am so excited for you to know it.
- No one else is critiquing you half as much as you do yourself. It feels so much better to be kind to yourself.
- The more compassion you have for yourself, the more you have to offer others.
- You think your body needs improvement now? Take a look at it after twenty years and two kids. Things will shift and, believe it or not, this will be okay. You will learn to appreciate your body for how it serves you, rather than how it looks. What a relief.
- You are stronger than you realize.
- You already know to follow your bliss. Make sure you also follow your curiosity.
- Don’t listen to the people who caution you that you can’t. They mean well, but you can.
- You will learn to meditate. It will infuse your life with a calmness, a strength and a stillness upon which you can rely.
- Value and nurture your friendships. This becomes challenging as life becomes full. Make it a priority.
- I know you love him, but for God sakes, get rid of the boyfriend who does not treat you as well as he should.
- You will find a wonderful man to marry and with whom you share your life. You will learn to grow together, challenge each other, and love. Tenacity, forgiveness and a sense of humor will be required.
- You will be a grown-up but will never completely feel like one.
- You will look in the mirror and expect to see that twenty-five-year old face gazing back. The reflection will alternately appall and reward, depending on the day (and how much you have slept. See #1).
- Forty-five is not old!! [Neither is forty-eight!]
- It is okay to like what you like and dislike what you don’t.
- You are not your accomplishments, but challenge yourself whenever possible.
- You are wise. Trust yourself. When you are true to yourself, most everything falls into place eventually.
- Listen to your body. It is always guiding you. When you don’t pay attention, you will get sick, you will get anxious, you will learn.
- Everything changes. You will resist. You will cling. Do your best to accept and go with the flow.
- You will appreciate your parents more than you can imagine. As you raise your kids, you will be bowled over by the realization of how much your parents have given of themselves.
- You will be happy. And grateful. And blessed.
Happy Birthday, young friend.
And Happy Mother's Day to all of you Moms out there!