Monday, May 16, 2011

What Would You Say to Your 20-Year-Old Self?

Assuming you're over 20, that is.

Over the past 18 months, and especially in the last six months, I've really made a concerted effort to take better care of myself. I lost those last few nagging pounds, I'm trying to get more sleep (terrible at this), drink more water (also terrible at this), take better care of my skin, etc.

I've definitely noticed some changes over the last few years, since turning 40 of course, and they seem to be accelerating. Basically, everything I made fun of my parents for (groaning when they get up or down from a chair, stiff knees, moving reading material forward and back in attempt to focus) is coming true.

Gah. It's gross.

With that said, while I don't want to go gently into that good night and just let my body detiorate without a fight, I also want to be somewhat graceful about the whole thing. My Grandma was a really great example of aging. Although I definitely remember her getting down on the family room floor at her house and rolling around on the floor in her nightie, doing exercises to Gloria Marshall, she always talked about how each age was something to look forward to.

She may have been lying to make me feel better. Who knows.

So I'm trying to think about my older self talking to my younger self, really at any age. What would my 40-year-old self say to my 20-year-old self? What will my 50-year-old self say?

At this point, here are the things I would advise/suggest/encourage my younger self.

-You are not fat. Your weight went up and down some, and there were some times that you were softer (like after living in Europe for the summer of '93), but fat? No.
-With that said, eat better. Avoid chemicals!
-Take care of your skin. Stay out of the sun. Tans are overrated. Moisturize. You may try to age gracefully, but age spots are a drag. So is skin cancer. Fair is just fine.
-Stop fighting your hair.
-Don't sweat the small stuff. School work will get done. Work will get done. And if it doesn't, the earth will not stop turning.
-No one is looking at how clean your house is. Instead of cleaning, go outside. Be active. On your deathbed, you will not regret that you didn't dust.
-Don't gossip. Be genuine. Smile more.
-This, too, shall pass. Whatever it is.

What would you tell your younger self?


Elizabeth said...

Stop chasing boys. When you get older you just won't care anymore and you will be happier for it - so start earlier. Also, yes, you are not fat! I am amused to remember that I was a *good* 30 pounds lighter when I was 20 and I fretted that I was fat... now I think "gosh, if I lost 5 pounds I might be too skinny". Funny.

M said...

Don't have children...in my next life I am going to be selfish...(ya, right)

MD said...

Love these - stealing your "be active" quote. I would definitely tell 20 year old Me that she wasn't fat, not even remotely so, and that she would deeply regret dropping out of school because of a guy.

Kristie said...

Start exercising now and don't stop. Make it a lifelong habit ... even though you hate it with every bone in your body. Thinking you will start "later" is a joke .... "Later", with regard to a love for exercise, is never going to happen.

I would say "Stay in college" except I would need to go back to my 18 year old self for that.

Don't be in such a hurry to grow up and be independent. Yeah, it rocks that you have your own apartment, job, and new car at 18 ... but those bills??? WILL NEVER GO AWAY.

Take lots of pictures of your 1990's perms. Because you will look back later and laugh your ass off at yourself.

Alisa White said...

I love this post! Great reminders on what is really important in life! I love reading your blog! :)

Cate said...

Work out! Eat better! That friend you ignore over the other one will be a life long friend. The other one really is a flake. Don't worry about guys. The right one is coming in about 16 years. You'll have an amazing career, and your life will look nothing like you expect it to. It'll be better. Oh, and lighten up, would you!

in a world surrounded by men said...

Wow, we're on the same wavelength. I promise that I had not read this when I wrote my last post!

Me - at 20? I guess I liked me at 20. I was loving college life. But I agree with the exercise comments because I never made a habit of it and it will be a struggle to start now.

DeAnn said...

1. Don't worry about everything.
2. Your parents know more than you think.
3. You have the rest of your life to be married. Don't rush it.
4. Live by yourself for awhile. You'll appreciate it later.
5. Move out of that small town.
6. Don't listen to everyone's opinions. Trust your instincts.
7. Appreciate the small things in life.

Marci said...

what would WE say to our 20 year old selves!!???? We might be a little heavy after summer in LUX!! but you are right, don't sweat school--even Stats exams, go our more often!, eat more pie and chucks, go to the parks more often, and have even more fun with your best friend! (even though we had ALOT of fun!)