Dear 45 year old me.
Right now, I’m 35. Thirty Five. At this time in my life I don’t feel the need to look back. Only forward. Really, my life is just now setting sail. My family is young, my passions just taking hold and my goals fresh. So I’m writing to you now of all the things I hold in my heart and hope that when you read this you are filled with pride in knowing the last ten years were lived with purpose and love and drive.
Now, your children are astounding me with every new skill they learn. Nate with his counting and colour skills and Hannah with her reading. They are well into their teen years now aren’t they? Remember how they interrupted you when you tried to work and how they messed the house and also how they beamed and said “I love you mommy,” as you tucked them into bed. Remember how you read them stories and sang them bedtime songs. How Hannah always needed to know what the next day would bring and how Nate was always ready to drift off easily.
Hannah loves riding her bike now and I am anxiously awaiting the day when we can ride together – are you doing that? Riding with her? Spending time with her? She craves my attention now and I suspect that craving will never cease, only change how it manifests with teen angst rolled into the picture. I hope you are riding with her.
Nate is a less physical child, who is more like you than you care to admit. He’s introverted, stubborn, happy to sit with a puzzle or some blocks and just be. But he is smart and he is analytical just like you. He’s always looking for the differences between things “Daddy, my hand small. Your hand big! You big man and me little man.” Are you connecting with him? Finding ways to bond even though you’d both rather do solitary tasks?
Your husband is a beautiful man who loves with everything he has. He appreciates me and works hard and gives so much of himself even though he is tired. Do not take him for granted. Give all you have to him in return. He is worth it. Do not forget this. I know it’s easy to get wrapped up in the kids and your work and your own head space and take for granted that he is there with you and working towards the same goals with you and loving your children as you do. Acknowledge him and show your appreciation.
Today, I’ve been writing for about 9 years. Not with great skill, or professionally but I’ve been making a conscious effort to write on a regular basis for sometime now. It’s as much a part of me as my family is – it’s the only way I can process and take stock and move forward. The only way I can feel complete and fulfilled. You must still be writing? Yes? I can’t imagine that you’re not. Are you content with where you’ve taken your ‘hobby?’ I hope so, I hope you are earning a living this way and growing your skill set and still perfecting your craft.
I know I’ve spoken of feeling old recently but it’s mostly in jest. While I’m well aware that I’m not 20 any longer, I do feel as though the best of my life is still ahead of me. I know who I am and what is important to me. I know who I love. I know what deserves my attention and what doesn’t and while it was fun to be 20 and not know those things, I’m glad to have figured it out. I’m glad to be moving forward with c0nviction and I can’t wait to see how things unfold.
And so, 45 year old me, I conclude this letter. I hope you’ll write to me when you come to be and let me know how things have gone over the past 10 years. Tell me of the children and of the husband and of yourself. Tell me if you’re happy. Tell me we’ve done well with our time and what you wish for the next ten years. I’m looking forward to it.