News / Opinion / Columns
It arrived at last – a letter from my older self. I was expecting it since everyone’s writing letters to their younger selves nowadays.
Here’s what old me had to say: Dear Jennie, Let’s talk about the outside first, because you worry about that too much.
Stop fretting: you’re not getting any younger, but then nor is anyone else. You’re not getting any thinner either, but old age and disease will sort that out. You’ll remember these years of butt and thigh with vague nostalgia, and you’ll be grateful you had feasts and fun.
Stick with the gym though, with the weights. You’ll be glad of your strength, of the support to these ageing bones. Yes, I know gym’s boring and there are things you’d rather be doing… like what though?
Sitting at the kitchen table mainlining sugar, dreaming of the books you want to write, the art you want to create, the difference you want to make … one day? When’s “one day” though?
You’re that person right now. I’m that person, too, and let me tell you something: you come to regret all that sugar you ate (diabetes!) while waiting to do what you were too scared to do. Why the fear?
Don’t let a comfortable life make you complacent. Stop wasting days. Stop with the sugar (I really mean it).
Stop making excuses. Just stop. You’re brave and audacious, and you are well-supported. Just look at the network you’ve created. Look at your family! Be proud of the friendships you’ve built, of the people you’ve invited into your life (and those you’ve ushered out).
They’re the good ones and you’ll be leaning on them more heavily when you’re older – and they’ll be leaning on you.
This is your team: nurture it, embrace it. I’m grateful you quit Facebook and read books instead, and never forgot to look at the sky, to admire a bird, to stroke a passing cat, or to steal a sprig of lavender.
I’m relieved you saw the dentist regularly. But now sort your will out – get a lawyer to help. Get hearing aids the moment someone says you need them.
Listen to your kids. Mind your health. Avoid cynicism. Be kind. And stop frittering the days away as if they’re forever. They’re not. It ends sooner than you know.
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