For the past four months, I have been working on the second draft of the book I am writing about raising Nick. I have such compassion for the young mother that I was. I am astounded at the things that I have been able to do over the years. I am very grateful that I kept a journal. I didn’t write every day, but I wrote often enough that reading the entries takes me back immediately to the experience and the emotions I was feeling.
At the time, I didn’t have much confidence in myself. I was unsure of my abilities to take care of Nick with all of his health and behaviour issues. I continually read books and consulted with experts in order to learn all that I could. I still didn’t feel that I could do it.
A friend recently asked me what I would say to my younger self if I had the opportunity to travel back in time and sit down with her over a cup of herbal tea. (Or a chocolate brownie sundae, whichever would be more comforting!)
First I would tell myself that everything will be ok. Even the hard things will eventually turn out to be ok. Second I would tell myself to do everything each day that is possible to do and then be grateful at night for what was done. I would say that it is a waste of time and energy to worry about those things that didn’t get done. Put it on the list for the next day if it is truly important. Third I would tell myself to hug others more and laugh more. Find joy every day.
I don’t know if my younger self would have listened but currently my 60-year old self knows how important these things are. I wonder what my 80 year old self would say to me today if she could come and sit with me right now. I find it an interesting thought to ponder. Try it. Write down the thoughts that come to you.
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