Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Advice For My 25-Year-Old Self

Saturdays, in bed 'till ten, sun peaking in, maybe back to bed again.
College days, bent over books, my study nook, ignoring all but my new outlook.
Date nights, what should I wear? Hours on my hair, I'm self-absorbed?  Just not aware.
Friday nights, out with my friends, have fun and then, over and over and over again.

That was the 25-year-old me.  Who was that girl?  I'd probably only recognize her from our matching University of Michigan sweatshirts, except hers doesn't have the holes.  See, in the last ten years, God has taken me on a journey.  I've become a wife to my best friend and mom to my amazing kiddos.  I've learned a lot about patience, selflessness, growing up, and patience (sorry, thought it deserved to be mentioned twice).  After many life lessons, there are a few pieces of advice I'd love to give my 25-year-old self.  So, here it goes: 25-year-old self, put down the Gameboy, turn off X-Files and listen.   

Enjoy absolutely every moment of sleeping in on Saturday mornings: but really, sleeping until 10am is a little excessive. Get up and do something productive with your day.  I've learned that you really don't need that much sleep.  I'm being serious.

Good job marrying your best friend.  You'll appreciate the solid base you've created for your marriage: especially when your kids are young and you have less time for each other.  Oh, and keep encouraging him to do the dishes. You'll appreciate that later too.

Go without.  You really don't need to satisfy every little whim.  You don't need the food dehydrator, frozen pizza cooker, or the mosquito bite zapper.  Set a budget and stick to it. You'll thank me later.

Stay in the moment.  Don't spend all of your time looking ahead to the next phase of your life.  Enjoy this season of your life, because later on you'll miss it.

Don't be so hard on yourself.  So you're not absolutely perfect.  Enjoy your young self. You'll most likely spend the rest of your life wishing you looked like you did at 25.  And remember, looks don't determine your self worth. You'll teach your daughters that someday.

Joy is found in the simple things.  You don't have to entertain yourself all of the time.  Spend time with loved ones. They won't all be in your life forever.  

Help those in need.  You spend too much time on yourself.  You don't think there's extra time, but you're perfectly capable of adequately taking care of yourself and a whole group of others at the same time (and you're actually quite good at it!).

You are stronger than you think.

Don't worry so much about what others think.  Don't be so self-conscious.  Live the way that the Lord wants you to live. Do the right things and don't worry about anyone else.  As a parent, you'll do what's  right for your children, no matter what others think.  Save yourself some trouble and apply this to yourself right now.

Start taking better care of yourself.  It is not a sign of whimpiness or weakness to take care of yourself.  Stop drinking Diet Coke all day. Stop staying up half the night finishing projects or watching television, or being on your computer.  Ahhmm...this is probably something about which I should also remind my 35-year-old self.  Read your Bible. Pray. Eat right and get enough sleep.  You'll be happier.

Don't be so judgmental of others.  Remember Matthew 7:3-5 and work on your own flaws instead of being caught up in the mistakes of others.  You also don't know as much about life as you think.  Up until now, your life has been pretty predictable, but you'll soon learn that life can change in unexpected ways.  I'm pretty sure you wouldn't recognize the life I'm living now.  Remember how you sometimes make fun of the women on The Baby Story who have a homebirth?  Well, you'll have two of them.    Please don't look at me like I'm crazy.  If you're smart, you'll have a homebirth with our first child too, because if you knew what experience was waiting for you at the hospital, you'd take your pregnant self and go running for our midwife (I have her number if you need it).  You'll also learn why mothers have a mutual respect for one another after going through the crazy life experience of childbirth.

Your life isn't as hard as you think.  This is something I'm still praying about and working through, so you might as well start now.  God gives us all responsibilities and struggles in life.  Most of them make us better people.  Most of the things you struggle with and obsess over have resolved themselves.  Give those things to God that you're worried about and focus on the good things in your life.  Realize that many others have much bigger struggles than you.

Don't spend so much money on groceries.  Be more frugal with the resources God has given you.  Find out about coupons and use them (especially now since in about ten years there will be about a million restrictions on how you can use them).  

And finally, my last piece of advice: if you hear about something called Facebook: don't sign up.  It'll save you a lot of time later....

So, 25-year-old self, hope this helps.  Maybe tomorrow night, in your honor, Scott and I will actually veg on the couch and watch a few reruns of Seinfeld.  Talking to you has reminded me that it's been way too long since we have had a date night.  I guess you can teach me a thing or two yourself.  Now both of us need to get off the computer and go to bed.  

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So true.