I’ve been reading several blog posts about the fancy book full of celebrity advice to themselves. Blog authors all around have been posting similar letters to themselves. I’m sure there are plenty of bits of advice I could give my 16-year-old self, like “don’t try and sneak back into your house after curfew, your mom will totally bust you” or “don’t sulk about never being asked to prom, mr. wonderful will make his appearance in a few years, promise” or “converting to catholicism is the best choice you’ll ever make, don’t sweat it.”
But, I thought it sounded way more fun to give myself some advice that I can actually use. So, here goes my letter to my 80-year-old self.
1. When you go to Mass and a sweet family of five sits in front of you, remember how hard it was to just make it out the door and to Mass on time. The kids are doing to drop the hymnal, they’re going to whine, they’re going to need to use the restroom. Just smile and be thankful they came. You were once in their shoes.
2. If you can’t drive the speed limit, call a buddy who can. It’s dangerous to be on the road when you can’t see as good as you once were able.
3. Tell your grandkids stories about life when you were a kid. The older they get, the more they appreciate them. Trust me.
4. As much as you want to give advice to a newly pregnant mom, or a busy mother with multiple children, hold your tongue. Instead, give them your biggest smile and say, “Motherhood is awesome. You have a beautiful family.” That will make their day.
5. Go to the youth Mass every once in a while. It’s an awesome reminder of our church’s present and future. Praise and worship music won’t kill you, it might just make you dance in your seat a little.
6. Don’t just volunteer for the predictable parish ministries for older people, mix it up a little by spending some time at Vacation Bible School or teaching religious education. Your perspective is valuable.
7. Give your children and grandchildren a gift that has special meaning to you, rather than holding out and giving it to them after you pass away. For your college graduation, your grandmother gave you her class ring that your grandfather melted and molded into a fine necklace. She was able to see you enjoy it – what a treasure.
8. Tell your grandchildren stories about their parents, they will giggle for hours.
9. Even though you’re tired, stay up the extra hour and play a game with your grandchildren. You won’t regret it and you’ll still kick their tails. Experience does count for something.
10. Don’t forget that even though you move slower, go to bed earlier and can’t hear as well, your contribution to this world is great. You are loved and appreciated, even though the people who love you most sometimes forget to tell you.