Monday, November 5, 2012

If I Could Write A Letter To Myself

     One of the writing groups I'm in called GenFab (short for Generation Fabulous) is a wonderful group of fabulous "women of a certain age", or, baby-boomers.  I love this group because no matter where we live, how much money we have, what kind of lifestyle we live, there is still a common thread that binds us all together.   As women at this stage of life there are common traits that we all experience and can't escape, no matter how hard we try.  Whether we are pre, post, or currently experiencing, we all have to face menopause.  And this group is the most honest bunch of women I've ever had the pleasure to come across.  They are definitely a no holds barred, let it all hang out, nothing's off limits type of group.  That is why I love them.  It is so comforting and so educational to know we are not alone.  It's a great group of women.  

     This week, the group decided it would be interesting if we all wrote a letter to our 20 year old selves.  Sure, sounds like fun....but now, not as easy as I thought.  What would I say to myself to prepare me for the next 40 years?    Here goes:

Dear Karen,

     It is January, 1973, and you just turned 20 years old.  You have been married now for just a little over 6 months and you have so much to look forward to.  You don't know it yet but you are pregnant, and on September 6 you will deliver a beautiful baby boy.  He will bring you so much joy and happiness; you can't possibly imagine how your heart will swell with love.

     The next few years will bring a lot of joy, but also a lot of heartache.  You will face a lifetime of pain and surgeries, and will not be able to have the second child you so dearly want.  Even though it will be rough for a while, you will get through it and it will only bring you and Kenneth closer together.  No matter what the world throws at you, the two of you will always face it together, and be stronger for it.  It will only make you appreciate and love the gift of your son even more.  And, remember to always keep your faith.  It will bring you through a lot of rough times over the years.

     The happy times will far out-weigh the bad times.  You will learn to be a good farm wife and a good cook.   You will have a great life raising your son on the farm.    Just remember to appreciate the little things.  Don't get so caught up in trying to do everything for everybody that you forget to enjoy the simple day to day things that happen.  Learn to say no.  You can't do it all.  Pick and choose which meetings and organizations are really worth the time spent.

     Spend as much time as possible with family and friends.   Nothing is more important than family time.  It should always be your first priority.   You will make some amazing friends over the years.  Cultivate those friendships because as you get older they will be even more important.

     Whatever you do, never forget to appreciate those you love.  Make sure they always know how you feel about them.  Find the good in every day, no matter how hard that may be.  Always be thankful for the many blessings you have, and they will be many.  Thank God for them daily.    Beyond this, just enjoy the ride.  You have an amazing life ahead of you.

Love,
Me














38 comments:

  1. Such a lovely letter and filled with such wonderful advice!!Great job!

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com

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  2. I love this! A love story that starts young and ends happily. That's rare. I'm so sorry to hear about your secondary infertility. It is so painful to long for babies we'll never have. My heart leaps out to you.

    I love how gentle you are with yourself. There's a lesson in there for all of us.

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    1. Let's just say I have mellowed out in my old age. Thank you Chloe.

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  3. You have learned the gift of gratitude, and it keeps on giving, doesn't it? Lovely summary, Laura Lee

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    1. Thank you Laura. I think it takes age and maturity to reach a point where we do appreciate what we have.

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  4. I love this letter. IT just made me smile!!

    Cheers, Jenn

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    1. Thank you Jenn. I glad I made you smile. That makes me smile.

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    1. Thank you Karen. Like all the others, it hasn't been without some struggles and heartaches along the way, but the good times are definitely the predominant!

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  6. I agree with everyone who's commented here--you sound like someone at peace with your life, despite some disappointments. I love the sweet, patient tone of your letter! And your young self looks like a real cutie. :)
    Karen

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    1. Thank you Karen. I have to admit it took some years of maturity to reach a point of peace with the things I couldn't change. Thanks, it sure seems like a lifetime ago since I looked like that! LOL!

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  7. This is a beautiful letter, and your son is lucky to have you as a mom. Your kindness, patience and optimism shine through.

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    1. Thank you so much Lois. That is a very kind thing to say. He is still my pride and joy and I now have 2 beautiful grandchildren.

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  8. So young to be married and becoming a mother!

    I love this line: "Whatever you do, never forget to appreciate those you love."

    And I also love that you remind Younger You to enjoy the ride. It's so easy to forget at times.

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    1. Yes, I was quite young, but I wouldn't change a thing. If I hadn't had my son when I did I probably would have never been able to have any children. A lot of serious health problems with different close family members over the years has taught me that we are never guaranteed tomorrow. Make the most of today and start with those the that are most important.

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    1. Thank you so much. It wasn't as easy to write as I thought it would be. I could have written a book! LOL!

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  10. You have a lovely smile and an upbeat spirit. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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    1. Thank you so much. Thanks for stopping by.

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  11. A sweet, soulful story, Karen. I love the mentions of appreciating the little things and the importance of family time—something worth repeating to even our older selves. Great post.

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    1. Thank you very much Lisa. Thanks for stopping by.

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  12. A beautiful letter about love and gratitude. Love the advice about learning to say no. As women and moms we get trapped into thinking we need to do it all. We don't.

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    1. It took me a long time to learn to say no, but, you know what, when I did, the world didn't stop turning. Hehe.

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  13. Love this! Find the good in every day ...

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    1. When you live with chronic pain you have to learn to find the good in every day or you would soon stop finding it at all.

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  14. I love his post, Karen. The picture and the letter remind me of fabulous times in New Castle, Kentucky when you and I were just babes! You were such an inspiring friend to me, always being there and showing kindness and love... and I cherish every memory. Love you! Miss you!
    Jeanne

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    1. Yes, Jeanne, I think of those days often. I love and miss you too.

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  15. This is perhaps some of the best advice I've ever read. Thank you.

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    1. You are most welcome. It's just what I have learned over the years.

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  16. Beautiful letter. Such good advice to identify the priorities that are going to have long-last positive effects in life.

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    1. Thank you Joy. Thanks for stopping by.

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  17. Karen, your triumph over life's difficulties, making a great life against challenges, is so wonderful to hear. Thanks for your story.

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    1. You are welcome Ann. Thank you so much.

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  18. Beautiful piece. This blog hop is allowing me to get to know so much about the Fabulous Women of GenFab.

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    1. Thank you. Yes, it has been wonderful to read all these beautiful letters.

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