Thursday, February 19, 2015

To My Younger Self

What would you say to yourself if you could talk to the younger you?  Have you ever thought about that?  I know hind sight is 20/20 but it would be great to go back and give your younger self a few tips and tid bits of advice.  I have been thinking about this a lot lately, probably because my children are now 10, 7, and 5 and I am now 18 X 2...

Now, I realize 18 X 2 is not old BUT it is on the downhill side of 40.  Awww man, 40.... that makes me weep a little.  I have vivid memories of life when my parents were 40.  How is it that I am this close?  However, there many wonderful things that I have come to love with each passing year.  So, if I could have a conversation with my younger self it may go something like this.

Dear Elizabeth,
Now that you have turned 25 lets sit down and have a nice little chit chat.  If you don't mind I will enjoy a cup of creamer with a little coffee.  You (my younger self) will not have coffee because you have yet to fall in love with this guilty pleasure and the K-Cup has not been invented.  However, in about 8 years you will love your K-Cups and International Delight Creamers and because of those two loves your pants will no longer fit.

Did you know that later this year you will have your first child?  He (yes, your first will be a boy) will give you a run for your money.  You will soon learn the anatomy of the heart (physically and emotionally).  You will meet an incredible team of doctors and nurses that will be a huge part of your family's lives for the next 10 years and beyond.  In about three years, you will add another child to your family (another boy).  This son will have almost the identical personality as your hubby.  He will give amazing hugs and you will never trust the twinkle in his blue eyes.  :)  In about five years, the day  before you turn 31, you will meet your daughter.  She will have so much spunk and sass - do not ever try to pick out her clothes.  Some battles just aren't worth fighting.

Having these three blessing (which by the way some days you will not feel like calling them blessings) will bring you closer than you ever imagined to that high school sweetheart of yours.  You will both endure some of the most stressful moments as parents but also a lot of laughs and happy tears.  Your faith in each other and especially in God will be tested and you will prevail.  You will still dance in the kitchen with one another and share snacks in the pantry when the kids aren't looking.  Oh wait, you don't currently eat in the pantry - yes, that will happen before you know it.  You will admire the few gray hairs he has (notice I said he, not me :)  ) and will love his hard working and callused hands.  You will love how he plays with your wedding band when he holds your hand and how he still squeezes your pinky to secretly say, "I love you."

In about 8 years, your life will be completely turned upside down.  You will abruptly leave your teaching position, become a stay-at-home mom, and homeschool your children...

Elizabeth... are you breathing???  Here, stick your head between your knees and breath into this bag.  Betcha didn't see that one coming.

I promise you will make it through what will seem like the longest roller coaster.  This huge shift will push you, your husband, and family closer to God.  You will find peace and comfort in his Word.  You will have an amazing support system, a village cheering you along.

Now, all of this will come with a price.  You will have lines around your eyes when you smile, you will have lines on your neck, you will have a line between your eyes when you scowl and you will have to use expensive face cream to help with all those lines.  Your waste line will be a bit (okay a lot) thicker (sorry, you wanted three kids), and your thighs...well, those have always been a problem.  You will still have the whole, "Baby Got Back" thing going on, junk in the trunk, whatever you want to call it.  However, that junk will ride a lot lower and jiggle without Spanx (you need to buy those when you buy your Keurig).  Oh and the word metabolism might as well be spelled with four letters - it will no longer be your friend.

I just noticed you still have your head between your knees and you are blowing into that bag.  I am sorry, did the last part scare you?  Was it the Spanx?  I realize they are scary at first but I promise they stretch and you will be able to fit yourself in something that looks as if it should fit your five year old.

Let me finish because what I am about to say is worth all of it.  You will have a true sense and understanding of yourself.  You will no longer try to impress everyone else.  You will love on your real friends and value things like long distance phone calls and girl time with coffee.  You will understand that kids finally do get potty trained (that may seem simple to your now...).  You will find pure happiness in really small moments and you will finally learn to breathe when things seem tough.  Those lines on your face are called wisdom.  They will be the hardest thing you will ever earn.  Each one will have a story and a memory you will hold close to your heart.

Younger Self, hold on, it is going to get really bumpy but you will appreciate the faith, grace, love, patience, and wisdom you are about to learn.

**To all my girlfriends who are turning a year older (if you choose to acknowledge it), I think you are more beautiful with each passing year.  Lets remind ourselves that even though our rear ends begin to sag, gray hairs begin to creep in, and stretchy pants are always preferred, we are also filled with wisdom and that is something that has to be earned.

So, now a little confession.  I threw myself on my parents's couch a year ago when I turned 35.  I proceeded to throw a huge fit and sob over turning 35, in which my mother sympathetically laughed at me.  Turning 36 is not bothering me in the least, however, I already feel a little anxiety approaching for 37.




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