The past few days, as I have lived my life as a grown up Reba, I have been writing a little letter to myself as a youngster. After all, hindsight is 20/20. Here are a few "highlights" from my letter to my younger me...
- Enjoy that warm dinner your mother slaved over to put in front of you. Once you are grown, you will no longer eat warm meals because your little children will tell you that they need milk or a napkin or something like that as soon as you sit down to eat your first bite.
- Enjoy that time you spend in the bathroom...alone...primping and preparing for the day. After you bring children into the world, you will never ever get to do that again. You will always have an audience as you fix your hair and put on your face.
- Relish the days your dad fills your gas tank up for you and you get a weekly allowance with no strings attached. You will miss those days as you dread opening the mailbox to find yet another bill that you are the one responsible for paying.
- Regardless of what you think, life is not all about you. It isn't. In fact, it is very little about you. Live like you believe that.
- Marry a man who gives you flowers. No, they aren't practical. Yes, they die. And yes, it is a bit of an expensive gift for something that just dies. But they are an expression of love. And they make my heart happy. Even though they die, they live on in the smiles of my heart.
- Never ever complain about cleaning your room. It is one room. One room. Did I say it clearly? One room. Now I am responsible for the whole house.
- When your mother sets a plate in front of you, don't complain. Don't pout. Eat it and enjoy every bite. In the future, you will be responsible for all meals for not only you but your family. And after working so hard to prepare a good meal, the complaints from your children will crush your spirit.
- Think you enjoy getting gifts? I can promise you that in the future, you will get much greater joy from watching your children open presents that you gave them!
- Enjoy that cute little car you drive. One day you will be driving a minivan. And while you will appreciate the space for your family, you will still grieve just a little for that cute little Accord you once drove.
- No guy, and I mean NO guy, is worth the heartache. If they are causing heartache or you feel the need to "beg" them back, they are NOT worth it. The ones that are worth it may cause a tear here or there, but they will mostly do what they can to help you avoid heartache. They will want your happiness, possibly even more than their own. And they will pursue you because you are worth it.
- Turn your socks the right way and smile as you put your clothes in the laundry basket...at least someone else is doing your laundry!
- Friends will come and go. True friends will always be there though, even if you haven't talked in months or years. Even then, you will know they are your friend when you get the mail one day and find a football card of a favorite player for your son. Those friends...those are the ones to thank God for!
- Love is not a feeling. It is a decision. Sure, there are feelings sometimes when you love someone. That flutter when he walks into your school unexpectedly or the smile that comes to your face when you think about him. But some days, in the nitty gritty of it all, you won't feel anything but frustration and fatigue. Yet even then, you will know that you rather feel it with him than with anyone else.
- Even though you can eat chips and candy bars every day for lunch, that doesn't mean it is a good idea to do. There really will come a day that the weight will start staying on rather than coming off. Trust me.
- Enjoy that body that you think is too fat, too round, too whatever. I can promise you that after you have children, it will never be the same, no matter what you do.
- Sisters are forever.
- The decisions you make as a youngster will stay with you as you grow up. I cringe when I read young people saying they will live life with no regrets. There will always be regrets. It may be that scary movie you just had to watch as a teenager that still wakes you up with nightmares or that guy you look back later and think, "Why on earth did I like him?" Live with those decisions and learn from them.
- Before you have kids, organize, organize, organize. If you start off that way, maybe, just maybe, you will continue it once they are here. Once they are here, if you didn't start that way, it is like a salmon swimming upstream to start.
- Other things to do before kids: Travel. Volunteer. Do mission work. Once you have kids, no matter how much you want to do those things (and maybe can on occasion), your children will always be first and foremost in your thoughts.
- When your parents say "This hurts me more than it hurts you" as they dole out discipline, know that they are right. You see, when they ground you, they now have to live with a pouty teen stuck at home. Or when they cancel a fun outing due to your behavior, they are missing out on fun too even though they don't deserve that.
- Time really does heal wounds. However, there will always be scars. Bad memories are not forgotten nor are lost loved ones. But eventually, with time, broken hearts hurt a little less, even though it may not feel like it right now.
- I remember all too well those thoughts, "Don't let Jesus come yet...I still have a life to live." Now I see the pain and suffering in the world around me and understand why people long for a life beyond this one.
- Blog. Journal. Record. Do something. You think you will always remember these fun times as a youngster, but you won't. In fact, as you get older, that part of your life will seem further and further away, and the facts and memories will become fuzzier.
I am sure I could write for days, but I must head to bed. More later.