Dear Younger Me
I imagine many of us have dreamt of going back in time and having a talk with the younger version of our self. As we get older, it’s probably true we have gained a bit of worldly wisdom we could offer to youngsters. We can offer, but who’s listening?
Someone asked me if the 30 year-old me would have listened to a 60 year-old me. I would like to think so. I know the 60 year-old me would listen to a 90 year-old me, because I already listen to those who are older than I.
A 90 year-old version of me would definitely see me as a youngster. She would tell me to relish the fact that I can put on a coat, search for my missing car keys yet again, and scurry out the door because I’m running a few minutes late.
She would tell me to appreciate being the young one in the group of ladies. The one who can drive in the dark or in the rain. The one who drops off the others at the door.
I would be told to remember that “cherish” is my favorite word. She would remind me to cherish the one body my soul must reside in all the days of my life. Taking care of ourselves is a big deal.
And we can cherish our friends and family by keeping them in our thoughts and prayers.
She would gently remind me that I can no longer complete a simple somersault. And maybe I should be concerned that I could lose my ability to get down on my knees and get back up again, so prayer time on bended knee is a good thing while we are still capable.
The older me would tell me that I still have plenty of time to make mistakes. I will flub up. My friends will flub up. We don’t have to talk about it. If it’s laughable – then laugh. If it’s fixable – then fix. If it involves work – then get to work.
She would tell me that old age is a time when we realize we have spent too many hours or days focused on what doesn’t matter. But even that doesn’t matter. We have learned, and we have lived the life we were intended to live.
Would the older version of me point out the fact that I will never again be the me that I am right now? Should I slow down and spend some time with the current me?
I once heard it said we turn not older with years, but newer every day. And now I get it: We are a newer version of our self with each passing day.
Every evening, we can make an honest effort to recognize the ordinary and not so ordinary things that happened during the day. It seems we never stop learning. We never stop growing. We know we’re at an age where we have things to teach and share with those who are younger. And they in turn will keep our computers and cell phones working as they should.
Our Creator wisely designed every intricate detail about us, and we should be in awe of His work.
We are born with beautiful baby toes, just as He designed. And we end our life as He designed – with feet that sometimes ache, that are a bit worn out, and not nearly as cute as they used to be.
Perhaps it is during our quiet time when we are reminded of the masterpiece we are – from the start of our life right through to the end. We don’t have to be more, yet sometimes we are. We don’t have to do more, yet sometimes we do.
When we are gentle with ourselves and listen to those who have some worldly wisdom to share, perhaps we would choose to slow down. Perhaps we would learn to appreciate the newest version of the youngest person we will ever be: the me I am today.
© Marlene Oxender 2022