An Open Letter to My 25 Year Old Self Now That I’m a GrandmaAug 13, 2020
Dear 25 year old Leslie,
I’m starting this open letter during a time of a global pandemic. We’ve been quarantining and socially distancing and it has given me a lot of time to reflect. I’ve finally started writing which has been a dream of mine since I’ve been younger than you are now.
As I’ve looked back on my life up until now, I think about things that I would or wouldn’t change. But, everything we’ve done has gotten me here – and I like where I am now. So, I guess I would first thank you for the choices you’ve made so far and the ones that you will continue to make.
But, I’ve got a few tips that might have made our the journey a little bit easier…..
The Most Important One - Don't Sweat the Small Stuff
I’m telling you this as I still fight with myself not to do this. You are a control freak. I am (I think) less of one, but one nonetheless. You caused yourself and those around you unnecessary stress by having to micromanage every little detail. Things will turn out okay – maybe not exactly as you would have done it but the end result will still be good because it’s your stuff – your kids and your relationships.
Be Kinder to Yourself
Don’t beat yourself up as much as you do. You spend a lot of time second guessing things that you said in various situations and wishing you would have said something different. You worried constantly about what others thought and tried to please everyone. Continue to be kind to others as you always have been. And treat yourself as kindly as you treat everyone else.
Stop Being Afraid - You Can Do It - No Matter What It Is
Your anxiety will completely take over for a while – to the point where relationships will be affected. More importantly, your fear and anxiety will keep you from enjoying the journey and living in the moment. You’ve always been good about being grateful and appreciating the little things – part of that comes from losing a husband at the age of 24 and realizing that life is short.
You need to give yourself credit – you worry and are anxious yet you are so strong. You buried a husband and raised two really good sons. You will earn your Master’s Degree and help families. And you will become a grandma which is the BEST THING EVER! And I have the privilege of being able to be a very involved Grandma. Which I can thank you for – the choices you made along the way got me here.
And you’ll finally write!
Take Care of Yourself Inside and Out
Make exercise a priority. Go to the doctor. Don’t avoid the dentist – it’ll make it worse when you finally do go.
Avoiding all those medical things just made it so much scarier when you finally do decide to go. Going all along and being on top of it will be so much easier and really cause less anxiety in the long run.
Make More Time for your Friends
Being a mom to the boys is your everything. And your close friends get this. But, it’s okay to take a night and have dinner with a friend – the boys will be just fine. If they don’t get brocolli that night, they’ll live. (See point number one).
Your friends will become very important to you when the boys are grown and gone. Those relationships need to be nurtured almost as much as your family relationships do.
But Get Rid of the Toxic People Sooner Rather Than Later
You let certain toxic people hang around longer than they needed to because you didn’t want to hurt feelings. This at the expense of your own best interests. Follow your gut. Again, it will save stress and anxiety along the way.
Like many young moms, you get better at this as you get older.
I’m going to keep this letter open. I keep learning and doing and as I get older I’m sure I will have more advice to add to address my 58 year old self as a 70 year old!
Most of all, I want to say thank you again. For the choices that you made along the way, and many you really had to fight for. You make some mistakes, but mostly you do a lot of good stuff. And it all leads you to a pretty great place.