1. Always carry a potty seat with supplies in the car. It could be useful on the trip home. (Not me silly, I was driving.)
2. Don’t feed your children chocolate in small spaces, like a car. They will channel their energy towards kicking, hitting, and yelling “I hate you!”.
3. Let your hair down and be a kid. Play laser tag and watch your children continually shoot you.
4. Be proud of your oldest for being brave and driving a go kart by herself when she really wanted to cry.
5. Laugh when she says it’s harder than real driving because you have to keep pushing the gas pedal.
6. Enjoy the morning as your children sleep in until 9.
7. Also enjoy the night, when the kids stay up later than you so your cousin puts them to bed.
8. Savor every minute of cousin family time and promise to make it an annual event.
9. Celebrate the fact that someone else is a type B person who doesn’t worry if cabinet doors are closed.
10. Eat, drink, and be merry- for when you return home, there will be chores to do.
Dear 16 Year Old Me,
When Brittany Gibbons gave her fangirls the assignment of writing to our 16 year old selves, I immediately thought of body image, as this is an area where the 41 year old me still struggles. I was a fool though. You can’t simply write about body image without tackling all the issues lying underneath the surface. And so I created a list that had I had as a 16 year old, wow…I wonder…would I be where I am right now.
I certainly don’t enjoy all of the stories that got me here, but they’re mine. I owned them a long time ago. And so my list to the 16 year old me suddenly became one item. Just one thing that I needed to tell myself.
Dear 16 Year Old Me,
1. I love you all the time, no matter what, forever and ever.
Present Day Me
It’s that simple. I tell my children this all the time. It’s sad I never thought to say it to myself.
But then I wondered if even this letter would have given me the strength to leave a bad relationship before it got off the ground. Would have given me the strength to pursue a relationship others might not have understood. Would have given me the strength to follow my childhood dreams. Would I be sitting at the table right now as my children play school and my husband works upstairs. Too many woulds…
The letter I would rather write is one to any 16 year old out there who isn’t sure about her place in the world and what she wants out of life. So to you…..
1. Love yourself always. This will get you far, especially when you feel the world is about to swallow you whole.
2. Wear that damn bikini. Remember, you love yourself, so that means your body too.
3. Keep in touch with your high school friends and later your college friends. Don’t let them slip away.
4. Take a risk, whether it be in love or in life.
5. Do not drown your stress in food, drink, or drugs. Keep a journal, go exercise, do something to manage it in a positive way.
6. Read, read, and read some more. Non-fiction too. Be learned. You’ll be able to participate in more conversations and make more connections when you have something to share.
7. Trust your gut. It can see when you are blinded by emotion.
8. Save your money!
9. Become altruistic. This will feed your soul.
10. Happiness comes from being grateful for what you have been given. Know that it will come and go. Let it steer you in the right direction.
11. Heartache will pass. It’s painful and hard, but you will feel better in time.
12. Above all, you are worth it. Don’t ever forget that.
A Once 16 Year Old
Haha- I had to post this as my husband and I had a little tiff this week due to my bad mood. Yes, all is right with the world and yes, I do this move all the time.
Love you J!