Don’t worry about the extra underwear


I’ve got a bit of a headache today and I’m on a ferry to Fanny Bay, so I’m not feeling particularly cogent. The ferry is full, it’s loud in the cafe, and I forgot to bring my headphones to block out the frantic children noises. Complaint. Complaint. Have I mentioned recently that Christmas is really not my time of year?

I missed writing yesterday because I got absorbed in finishing a quilt top that I started last summer (which can be seen here) and I couldn’t focus on anything else until it was done. I tend to be like that with projects — they can languish forever if I’m unsure about the outcome, but when I have the final vision in my head I can’t stop thinking about it until it’s finished. The quilting part comes next, but I’m going to hold off on that until I get a new sewing machine that can handle the quilting process better. While I *can* quilt on my machine, it’s a pretty low-end job and far more frustrating than it needs to be.

So the prompt yesterday encouraged me to project five years into the future and write a letter to myself right now. As noted above, I’m not at my most eloquent this morning and so I’m not going to force some flowery, compassionate letter out of myself. Instead, I’ve written a series of post-it notes/reminders from the future which follows:

  • Don’t flail on this master’s degree thing. It’s worth getting the application in because you’ll be done by the time you write this note. Time passes whether you do the degree or not – you’ll be older at the end either way.
  • Going to the gym every day is totally worthwhile, and yes, your metabolism does in fact change once you move into your forties. Don’t take these pre-menopause years for granted.
  • You are totally going to make it through your step-daughter’s teenage years with your relationship intact. Trick being humour, and lots of love-affirming behaviour all around.
  • It’s lucky that you met your great love, but in a life as busy as yours it’s easy to skip making time to tend that. Don’t get too busy/harried/tired for sex!
  • Now that you’ve given up some of your union commitments, there will be so many other things to fill your life with. Don’t overcommit to any project right away, give yourself time to spend time with your family, garden, sew and relax for awhile. School is going to start in the fall, and that’s plenty of extra work!
  • And finally, don’t be so hard on yourself. Life progresses imperfectly for all humans, and you aren’t making it any easier when you beat yourself up all the time. Laugh more. Worry less. Take more impromptu road trips and don’t worry if you forget the extra pair of underwear. This life is not as long as it felt at twenty, but forty-three it will be that much more brief.

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