Beautiful young people are accidents of nature.
Beautiful old people are works of art.
I think in this photograph I am about six months old, which makes this a very, very old photo. a photograph which, as of tomorrow, will be about 61 and a half years old. I was a miserable baby. I cried all the time and almost drove my mother to distraction. She looks really tired here. So does my dad. I am sure that they second guessed their decision to become parents more than once during those first months of my life! But somehow they survived and so did I, and here I sit now, on the cusp of my 62nd birthday all wise and content. I did not get to be me by accident. I put a lot of hard work into this beautiful creature that I have become. Mostly through the school of hard knocks. Some of the lessons I could have done without and others helped to shape me into the wonderful me that I am.
I think that by the time we are about ten years old, we are at an age that we are ready to take important steps into our futures. This is an age where we will make decisions that most probably will affect us for the rest of our lives and I got to thinking this morning if I could write a letter to the ten year old me, what would I actually say, and whats more would I listen?
Dear ten year old me. I sit here at the ripe age of almost 62 and I wanted to bestow upon you all the wisdom that I have taken in in the last 52 years. Things which might help you to make better choices and decisions. Things which might totally change the course of your life should you decide to take them on board and put them into practise.
You're going to be moving soon, leaving behind everything that is familiar to you, all your friends, your school, etc. You are also soon going to become a woman, whether you like it or not. Don't be afraid. Change is not always a bad thing. Think of this as an opportunity to grow, to become. Don't be afraid. You will make new friends, and everything will be okay. Change is more often than not for the better, and if it isn't, it's not the end of the world. You can make it better.
Its okay to make mistakes. Mistakes are how we learn. "Learn" being the most important word in that last sentence. Try to take something positive, some lesson out of everything you experience, both the bad and the good. Some mistakes are worse than others, but no mistake is the end of the world. Pick yourself up and move ahead with a determination to do better, to be better. Don't look back. You don't live in the past. You live in the now and what you do in the now, and how you handle things that happen to you in the now, will help to determine who you will become in the future.
Never lose hope. Bloom wherever you are planted. Worrying about things never ever changed anything. Just do your best at whatever you do and that is all anyone can ever ask of you, but do DO your best. Don't be content with just skidding through anything. That's not good enough. DO YOUR BEST.
Education, education, education. This is the key to doing and becoming your best. Education brings you options and opens doors that won't be opened without it. Get the best education you can possibly get with the resources you have to work with, and remember a good education will always pay for itself in the long run. A good education will bring with it opportunity and choice. Opportunities and choices without a good education are very limited and will not bring you very far in life. Don't limit yourself or your future.
You ARE good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, brave enough, strong enough . . . worth it . . . whatever it is.
Be able to laugh at yourself, at life, and with others. Take it all with a pinch of salt and a dash of sugar. Don't take life too seriously. Have fun along the way. A balance of hard work and of play is a good thing. But be sensible. Always deal honestly with yourself and with others. Honesty is ALWAYS the best policy. Don't ever let anyone else teach or tell you anything different. Above all be kind. Be kind with yourself and with others. It costs nothing to be kind, and if feels infinitely better than the alternative.
Be humble. Pride is concerned with who is right. Humility is concerned with what is right. The humble man makes room for progress, the prideful man believes he is already there. Humility is one of the most important qualities in life, for without it . . . you cannot truly love.
L♥ve is the key. Love others and love yourself . . . and by that I don't mean selfishly. I mean selflessly. Love is the very essence of life. If all that you do, and the way your treat yourself and others, comes from a place of love and is done with love, care, truth, and respect . . . then it is good. Love is the very essence of life.
Put God first, in everything. Look to Him for all things. Follow His teachings, obey His commandments. Have faith that everything will always work out for the best and then believe that it will. He will never steer you down the wrong path. Pray, pray, and then pray some more. When the going gets tough, then get on your knees . . . and after having done so, get up and move forward with purpose and with faith and determination and a belief that everything will be okay because He has a plan for you, and it is a good plan.
Trusting and believing . . .
Family is important. More important than friends. More important than work. More important than anything. Family first. Your family is a gift, even when it feels like they are not.
Love your parents, your sister, your brother, your husband, children, grandchildren, etc. and do your best for them always, even when it is really, really hard to do so. Investment in family is never wasted. Forever and always . . . no matter what. Its not a cliche . . . its the truth.
Exercise. Make time in every day for exercise. Your body. Your brain. Its an investment in you.
You only get one go around. Each day spent is a day less you have left to live. Make it count. Enjoy it for what it is. All things in moderation.
I'm going to go out on a limb here. Don't think you need a man in your life in order to succeed in life. Its nice to be loved in that way and to love back, but make sure its the right one honey. You are worth waiting for the right one and when he comes along you will recognise him because he will want to invest in you as much as you want to invest in him. Be evenly yoked in all things. Make sure you share lots of common ground, interests, faith, etc. Take your time and choose a mate prayerfully.
Be patient . . . with God, with yourself, with others.
Oh, there is so much more I could say, but I won't. Remember always that you are important, a daughter of a king, a daughter of God and you are worth the best in all things. Believe in God and in yourself and all that you can be, do, become . . .
In The English Kitchen today . . . Peppermint Brownies. Seriously tasty.
Have a great Saturday. I hope your day is filled with all that brings you joy. Don't forget along the way of your day . . .
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and I do too!