What would you say to your younger self if you could send a message back in time? Would you warn yourself of what’s to come, Celebrate what has been? Share hopes and dreams for what may come next?
A fellow blogger, Erin, at The Accidental Supermom, recently posted a note from her thirties-self to her twenties-self, giving advice and great perspective. It was heartwarming and humorous . . . and, while she’s a bit younger than I am, it inspired me to take a hard look at what early-forties me would say to early-thirties me! I’m 43. Assuming I live to be 86 (not bad, right?), here I am in MIDLIFE. MIDLIFE AND MOTHERHOOD! How did I get here so fast?
I have a husband, three sons, a house, a career, three kids (maybe early onset forgetfulness, since I just told you twice that I have three kids!?!??!), old and new friends, a loving & supportive family, a blog, fun hobbies, and a neighborhood I’ve nicknamed Happyville. So where’s this midlife crisis everyone talks about? Maybe I haven’t stumbled upon it yet. Or maybe it hasn’t found me. Or maybe it’s all the soul-searching I’m constantly engaging in, about how to spend more time with my kids, how to fit even more into my days, but also trying to take care of me and — every now and then — get some sleep! Oh, I know. It’s probably the creepy arthritis that has shown up in my middle finger, making it hurt sometimes, making it bend weird, making it downright ugly, and making me feel truly elderly and in complete denial. Arthritis???? Age 43????
Whatever it is, this definitely does feel like a new stage in being me. It’s new lines around my eyes coupled with new understanding. So, thank you to The Accidental Supermom for inspiring my recent Instagram post, seen here:
Hi, Thirties Me. This is Early-Forties Me. Just figured I’d reach out to remind you that life moves fast, and it can change in an instant. You need to make decisions that truly make you and your family happy. Job titles don’t matter, but being fulfilled and challenged in your work do. And the hustle and bustle of getting ready for work and getting all three kids and the hubby out of the house by 7:15am, frequently getting frustrated with toddler shenanigans or toddler stalling – yeah, you need to take a deep breath and live in those moments. Those kids asking for your help tying shoes grow up pretty fast. So here I am, age 43. It’s strange to say, but I think this is mid-life. We’re far from crisis, though, which is good. It’s all good, really.
Remember when you had your third child at age 38, and you thought you were as tired as you’d ever be? Wrong. Forties-Me is still a working mom, and now the sleep deficit that began the day you had your first baby is 10 years deep. And life is busier than ever! And it’s not all about you. You have to miss your dance class or a happy hour with work-friends to go to a school event sometimes, or to just make sure you’re home in time to kiss the kids good night. And in the end, you know that’s far more important anyway. See? You’re still smart.
Remember all those friends? The childhood friends, the ones you met in college, or at work, or in your neighborhood? They’re all still around! Except for the ones you lost to illness along the way. But they’re still with you, too – in your heart. Those are the friends who taught you that life really can change in an instant, and because of them, you carry what I call great perspective.
While we’re reminiscing, remember when you had a “thigh gap” before a thigh gap even became a thing? Well . . . it’s gone now. The trend AND your gap. Thanks to your chocolate habits (addiction?) a slowing metabolism, the thighs are more robust than ever. But you know what? You’re grounded. You know what you stand for. This is you. This is mid-life. And it’s all going to be OK.
What would you tell your younger self if you could?
Check out these products that help keep you going through midlife! 🙂