I am in my 45th year of experience here in this world of ours and I’d like to think that I know a little something about something. Well, sometimes, anyway;-). There are moments in time when I will admit that it is hard to believe that me, little Sue of the family (the youngest and only girl), is unequivocally a middle-aged woman, however not only do the numbers tell me so, but at times, my body and/or mind chimes in–you know what I mean? It is strange though because, at times, when I think of myself, I still imagine being a youngster of sorts. I find this ‘younger version of me’ phenomenon seems to happen most when I am with my family. I guess because they are the individuals that I spent my formative years with and that is the lens with which I seem to associate us all…like we are all suspended in time from say, 30 years ago.
We have all heard people ask, “If you could go back to your younger self and give some advice, what would it be?”. Well, here it is….
- Life really is short and the years do go by more quickly as you age. Never wish time away. Often the anticipation of certain milestones leaves us as young people wanting to just get there (i.e. a teenager, of driving age, adulthood, etc.), but really the anticipation OF is the best part, so enjoy it. It will come and it will also go and you will never get it back again.
- “If in doubt, don’t.” Those words are etched in mind thanks to Ms. Oprah Winfrey. Doubt means your intituition knows better. Listen. Or, at least learn from it if you choose not to listen the first time.
- Take risks and learn to let go. Don’t Haul yours or other people’s ‘stuff’ around. Let go of societal expectations, the stories you tell yourself to avoid being real, of certain fears that hold you back, of childhood baggage that will surely define you, but ONLY IF you let it.
- Trust in yourself first. Always. It is not your trust in others that matters. If you don’t trust yourself, then you can’t trust others much like loving yourself.
- Realize that anger is just a mask, usually for sadness or insecurities. Get to the bottom of it sooner rather than later, or it will eat you alive from the inside out. Honestly. You don’t want to awaken one day only to discover that you truly do not know who you are, where you have been or why you have done the things that you have. (Addictions of all sorts are often rooted here.)
- Be yourself. At the end of the day, no one really cares as much about you as you do. You might think they do and yes, we all pass judgement in some ways to find our place in this world; however, it is for that exact reason that you should be authentic. Everyone else is just trying to do the same and because of that, they are too busy with their own stuff to worry that much about yours. We all have egos, right? Don’t pursue your superego or get caught up in your id.
- If you don’t like something in your life, change it. You are the only one who can. Complaining or worrying about it won’t do any good. Ever. (Unless you wish to ride a merry-go-round with zero results or forward movement.)
- Be kind and loving to your body, which includes your teeth and your feet (floss and avoid heels/ill-fitting/cheap shoes). Your body really is your temple that is here to serve you, but you also want it to last you a long time. Though you’ve heard it before, I’ll tell you again…everything in moderation. Sleep, eat, drink lots of water (your body is 80% water, it needs it) and be active. Meditation helps too, however that may look or sound like to you.
- Dreams really do come true, but you must work for them and believe in yourself. Aim for the stars, if you like, but be willing to chase after them. The reward will be greater for it.
- Give love, not hate. And, most importantly, be open to receiving love and the vulunerability that comes with it. Accept only healthy, loving relationships that enable you to become the best person that you can be. Sometimes, this means having to cut toxic ties with family or friends and that is okay, if it does not serve you or them in a good way. Tough decisions undoubtedly, but worthwhile ones. It’s not about forgiving or forgetting, it’s about letting go and moving onward and upward.
- SMILE. RELAX. ENJOY. LIVE IN AS MUCH OF THE MOMENT AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN. It really is the best present that you can give yourself.