“If only I knew then what I know now”

As if I don’t eat enough rubbish, to only now be confronted with beautiful Easter chocolate in every grocery store I enter! I have hardly recovered from the Christmas rush, expense and extra kilos I gained over that time, to now be now consumed by Easter.

Each April, since my kids were babies, we have hit the northern east coast of Australia with our great friends. This is a great time for the kids to get some good old fashioned outdoor play by the sea with their old trusty family friends. It’s also a great time for the adults, as the kids are so entertained and there is time for relaxation, laughing and if we don’t feel like cooking we don’t! Giddy up to that I say!

Family holidays build so many fond memories for kids, if you can remember back to your own childhood, one of many stand out memories are family holidays and the mischief created. It wouldn’t matter where you went, as long as you had some great company, sun, sea and sand.

There has been talk in the media this week writing letters to your ‘young self’.  What would you advise to your young self?.  This got me thinking, there are so many things that I know now, that I wish I knew back in the dayI thought I would share with you:

Dear Young Self,

You will always struggle at school. You aren’t one of the smart students in the class room, but you have plenty of friends and this is really important to you. The best friend you have close to your side, sadly you will fall out with her when you are young adults. This upsets you and forever leaves a sense of sadness and guilt. Don’t listen to people that don’t know what they are talking about, make your own decisions and do what you really want to, because you didn’t, and the time cannot be reversed.

You will fall in love a couple of times and get hurt! Your first love will teach you lessons that will last a life time, your first love will not treat you nicely and you will cry often. Tell your parents how you feel – don’t bottle things up and try and deal with them at such a young age, you are way too young.

You will know when you meet ‘Mr Right’, he will waltz into your life when you are quite young and you will be in love with him from the moment you hear his laugh. He laughs a lot at his own jokes and makes everyone else around him laugh, usually by bad fart jokes. He will treat you like a Queen from the very first date. You will be a lovely happy Bride and have a beautiful wedding. You will be lucky enough to have your Grandmother still young enough to attend. He is a good man – so don’t lose sleep about the ones you meet along the way.

One day you become a secretary in a big glamorous city office with a view and you meet some amazing people along the way, you meet life-long friends and work for many inspiring smart lawyers. This is a great job for you, as you love to organise, you are interested in the law and you love technology.

You are not great at sport, and guess what? You are never going to be! However around the age of 30 you begin running. You are very slow and inconsistent, but you love it. The only person you race against is yourself and this is very satisfying. So stop worrying about not making representative teams, it is never going to happen. Embrace that you are a dead set legend in your own mind.

You will one day become a Mother. You will share this moment with your adored husband by your side. This by far will be your proudest moment. You look at these babies and FINALLY you realise you have done something so right. You will be so proud to be their Mummy. You are a good Mum, who tries hard. You are far from being a perfect Mum, however, when you see your happy kids smiling back at you, you will realise quite often that you are doing a great job. You can’t cook to save your life – luckily for you, you will marry a man who can cook like a Master Chef.

Eleven days after you have your first child, there will be a new threat to our society – the threat of terrorism. On 11 September 2001, there will be an awful attack on New York City. This attack will shock the world – and take away part of our innocence. Terrorism will become real and you will often read of terrorism and disgusting acts of terrorism, both abroad and in your country.

Life gets busy with balancing work and family life. However, make more effort to visit your parents more. You need to work on this. They are getting old and you need to go and visit them more often than you do.

Even though you can’t see it right now, you will have a very close relationship with your brother. He will one day become one of your best friends, and you will rely on him for many things. As an adult you will talk to him almost every day. He may annoy the hell out of you right now, but he settles down and stops biting people’s toes. You will one day admire what a great father and husband he has become to his own family.

From time to time you will feel anxious – for no reason – this happens more and more the older you get. Running helps with this as does being around good people who make you feel good. You will never really understand why you get anxious. However, you know what fixes it and makes it go away – so in this area you are a real winner!

Vacuum your house less! Who cares if you have a dirty floor! You are shortening your vacuum cleaner’s life and you will frustrate your family. It is okay to have a messy house and be a little unorganised sometimes. Leave it and play with the kids instead.

After you turn 40 your life will speed up and it seems the weeks quite quickly turn into years. So go on holidays, buy clothes that make you feel good about yourself, exercise, take good care of your skin, protect yourself from the sun, be with people who make you happy and eat good food. There are too many sad stories close by that make you realise that life is short and can be taken in a split second.

Remember Young Self – back yourself and stand up for your opinion.

 

Love always your, Older 40+ self

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