This was an assignment for my Developmental Psychology class and I had FAR too much fun writing this letter…
Letter to Self
Have I told you lately how much I love you and how awesome I think you are? I haven’t? Well, let me correct that. You are an amazing, encouraging, charismatic individual who is loved by your family and who has never, ever, let anything hold you down or keep you from doing what you need to do. You are resilient and stubborn, but in a good way. Your perseverance has catapulted you through so many extremely unfortunate events and you always end up standing with a smile at the end of each adventure.
But let’s get real for a second. You are old, and we need to talk about some stuff.
It’s like a broken record playing here, but you know you need to take all your medications, as prescribed, each day, even if you are feeling better. You no longer have youth on your side sweet cheeks.
And let’s not get all caught up about how your body is changing. Your hair is greying, and knowing you, it has fallen out and you are all self-conscious about the balding spot you have at your widow’s peaks. But the reality is, that it doesn’t really matter and doesn’t define who you are. Nor does it matter that your face is speckled with age spots and more wrinkles than the Grand Canyon has caverns.
What DOES matter is getting your butt moving and grooving. Exercise is so incredibly important, it was when you were young, and it is still important now, if not even more important. Walking is gentler on the joints than hiking, so just face the fact that you can’t hike like you used to and enjoy walking the way you used to enjoy hiking. Try that water aerobics class that you saw posted on the gym’s calendar. It really doesn’t matter that you are so incredibly uncoordinated, you will be fine and if people laugh at you, just splash them in the face, they too will get over it.
I know I really don’t have to say this but keep that brain of yours active. We know that you love your job teaching art to the seniors, which is funny because you too are a senior and you refer to the people that you teach as “the old folks” but that’s you too, although for some reason you just can’t get it through your thick skull. Get back into reading. You know that audio books are a short cut, spend time actually reading a book. Sit in the back yard and let the cats frolic (all six of them that you own now) and soak up some rays (after you put on your sunblock) and recline in that faded chair that you have had for twenty years with a book between your fingers. We know that you like those mysteries and thrillers, how that is good for your mental health is beyond me, but it’s what you like, so be it.
And for God’s sake, get out of the house and socialize. Get someone to look after Adam for you and join some kind of a group. Like a group for people who are Old Cat Lady’s who love to read Karin Slaughter Thrillers. Or perhaps a cooking class where they let you drink red wine while you prepare the dish (you know they say that red wine is good for longevity). You need to interact and have good social relationships and support. I would recommend a gardening group, but your knees just couldn’t handle that, and you really can’t keep a plant alive to save your own life. The library has a few classes, but that whole being quiet thing has always been hard for you to obey, so perhaps that’s not the greatest idea, we don’t need you getting banned from yet another facility for not being able to hold your tongue or temper.
Listen to your doctors. If they tell you to get a shot to help diminish your risk of contracting some flu, like purple speckled pig flu, then for heaven’s sakes, please listen. You no longer have the immune system that you once had, and as each year passes you become more fragile even though you don’t want to believe it. Your strong will can only carry you so far. See the doctor and listen to the doctor, I know that this is hard for you, but people depend on you and we need you to be well in order for everything to be what it needs to be.
Continue pressing on, like you always have. Don’t let anything, even that big mean C word, extinguish the flame that flickers so brightly inside of you. You are a beautifully and wonderfully made creation. Stay strong, both in spirit and in body.
All my Love,