So after reading my friend's blog I decided to tackle the writing assignment she did.
The assignment: write a letter to yourself from 20 years in the future. Kind of scary to think I'll be 54!!! But at any rate...here goes:
Dear Denise at age 34...
Relax. When I say relax, I don't mean it as taking a vacation and resting. I mean it as relaxing with your expectations. There is no such thing as perfect, so quit thinking there is. Do your best and be okay with the fact that you are doing your best. Life isn't easy, you know that, so quit trying to re-create it as so. You are a wonderful woman and people love you just the way you are. If you keep trying to please everyone instead of yourself, you'll end up a very unhappy person. Don't do that to yourself. You are too special. If people have a problem with you saying "no" then remember it is THEIR problem and not yours. It's okay to put yourself first. It's okay to take time out for YOU.
Cherish. Cherish every single moment you have with your daughter. As you have already learned, time flies by. Don't wake up 5, 10 years down the road having missed things in her life. Don't get upset with her if she's up at 2am playing, or is fussy or crying non-stop. You will REALLY want these times back the older she gets. So take a deep breath when it's a hard day and look at her, hold her, and tell her you love her. I promise the more you do that, the easier the hard day becomes. Be there for her for everything as best you can. Remember her firsts. Don't stop updating her baby book. If you have another child, don't stop updating his/her book either. They will thank you for it when they are older. Be her friend, be her mother, be her safe place.
Laugh. Laugh often. You don't seem to laugh as much these days and you need to. Don't get annoyed when your husband cracks a stupid joke...instead laugh. It will make you feel better. Surround yourself with friends that make you laugh. Laugh at all the cute and silly things your daughter does. When you laugh, your heart softens and laughs with you. You need that right now...so do it. The less you laugh, the more unhappier you become. Don't do that to yourself. You are too good of a person to be an unhappy one. You have too much to offer the world and you won't be able to do it if you are grumpy and pissy all the time.
Believe. Believe in yourself. You have a real problem doing this. But you know what? If you don't ever start believing in yourself, you will be 54, stuck in a rut and unhappy because you didn't believe in yourself enough to try new things. Sure, change is scary. Sure, not knowing if the decision to go back to school is the right one. But believe you me, if you don't at least figure it out and attempt it NOW, you will be disappointed later on. So what if people don't think changing careers is the RIGHT choice. It isn't THEIR choice. It's YOURS. If you aren't 100% sure if this is the right path you want to take, then test the waters and then make your decision. There is NOTHING wrong with looking into it. You want a future. You want security. Trust me. Go for it! Jump with both feet. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF! YOU CAN DO THIS!
Remember. Remember your husband needs just as much as you do. He needs to be reminded that you appreciate all his hard work that he puts in to provide for you and Emily. Sure, the situation isn't ideal for you right now, but remember, it probably isn't ideal for him either. Neither of you had a chance to really map things out. Neither of you had a clue what to expect. That's okay. But stop trying to tell him that you sacrifice more. I know it feels that way, but he has sacrificed A LOT too and he needs to be appreciated for that. He has given up a lot for you and Emily, just like you have given up a lot for him and Emily. You need to stop one-upping him all the time and remember that both of you have given up a lot. Just like you need to be appreciated, adored, respected and loved, HE needs that too. You don't get away with treating him bad but hold him accountable when he treats you bad. You need to remember that even if he doesn't cry or carry on like you, doesn't mean he doesn't have feelings. You need to remember how it feels when he has attitude with you because HE FEELS THE SAME WAY when you have it towards him. Remember to put him first. Remember to love him. Remember to talk with him. Remember to respect him. Remember to adore him.
Build. Build a better relationship with your husband. Stop holding grudges. It's okay to be upset for a little bit, but then walk out, throw your arms around him and say you are sorry. You have a VERY hard time saying you are sorry. Stop that. It makes you look like you don't care. I know you care and I know it's hard for you to admit wrongdoing, but the more you act that way, the better the chance you are making for your relationship to head to divorce court. Communicate with him. You NEED that. You need to be able to talk to him about how you feel and you need to learn to calm down when you do it. He's human. He makes mistakes. He isn't perfect and neither are you. Sure there are things you'd like to change about him, but don't think there aren't things he wouldn't like to change about you. Stop fighting. Stop being over-emotional. Give him a chance. You two didn't plan your wedding or your daughter, but let it go. You can plan now. Plan to work on things. Plan to be better friends. Plan to communicate more. Plan to build a solid foundation - not only for you, but for your children. You want happiness - so reach for it - get it. Don't EVER think someone else will bring it to you. It comes from within, and you know that.
Let it go. Let the argument you had recently go. Can you even remember what you were arguing about? Is it really doing you good to still be upset? Let it go. He loves you. He was hurt just like you. Let it go.
Accept. Accept that you aren't perfect and life will never be perfect. Accept that your situation right now isn't ideal for you but accept that it won't ALWAYS be this way. Accept that you have to sacrifice right now and accept that your husband does too. Accept that it's okay to travel with your daughter. Accept it may be hard to pack up all her stuff, but if you don't do it now, you'll never have the memories that will keep you going for years to come. Accept that you may never be a size 5 and stop trying to be. Accept you for YOU. Accept that you are a good person, mother, wife, daughter, friend, cousin, grandchild. Accept who you are and accept who you are not. Accept everything life has to offer you...you deserve it.
I love you so very much,
Denise at age 54.