Image by Payton Tuttle

Dear Past Self...

You are going to experience the feeling of failure a lot over the coming year, and that is ok. I know change is painful, but it will become so familiar to you that you will feel like something is wrong when things are stabilized. 

Taking care of yourself, and your family, in the middle of a work from home day is acceptable and necessary, and you should do so without carrying around the guilt that has burdened your shoulders the last year. 

Hand sanitizer, lines in the store, masks and breath mints will become a thing. There will be arrows taped on the floor and signs poster everywhere, and we know how well people follow floor arrows and posted signs. 

You will achieve above and beyond what you thought you could. You are going to save a ton of money in gas, spend a ton of money on food, and get tagged with a Special Assessment property tax from the State of California. In a turn of events, you will be able to pay it off early. 

The world will seem to be going crazy. Don’t worry about what is going on in the news. Pay attention to your kids and what their needs are. 

No matter how far you bend over backwards to help students in online classes, some of them will not ever join you class. I’m still trying to figure out a better way to reach them, but I haven’t found the magical solution to make internet work, computers to sync, or ways to be in 30 different places at once, but I haven’t given up yet. 

There will be a lot of unrest in your home town, in the state, our country and our world. But I have not lost faith in humanity. 

You spend an awful lot of time looking for a pair of keys, I would tell you where they ended up being found, but you would miss out on going through all your drawers and boxes looking for them. You uncover some great memories along the way and cleaning out the closet will be a good thing. 

Don’t forget to put out the fudge at Christmas. Don’t forget to take time to just sit and look at the Christmas tree and enjoy the reason for the season. And if you want to be surprised about what you are getting for Christmas from Brian, tell him to be sure all wrappings and trash are picked up in the garage around the second week of December. Seriously, one piece of bubble wrap and your detective brain ruins months of creativity and planning. I am also not going to tell you the best gift, because that would be just plain silly, and I know how much we love being surprised. 

Fantastic news! You aren’t pregnant, you don’t need to worry for days on end and spend too much money on pregnancy tests. Your “normal” cycle of 2 weeks on 2 weeks off is going to get an extension of about 10 times that and 40 days between is going to become the new norm. Everything is a-ok but it looks like you’re on course for early menopause and hot flashes are going to be very handy in winter when you can go around in a tank top while everyone else freezes. (Side note, just keep a sweater handy because the hot goes away as quickly as it comes.)

Don’t bother with umbrellas, because it’s much more fun to run through sprinkles with your kids. Micah will loose multiple teeth, close together so keep the tooth fairy fund stocked. You have amazing kids, and even when their messes and stresses overwhelm you, they are still amazing and love you, even when you feel like they shouldn’t because you didn’t achieve the perfection you expect of yourself. 

Darling, it is not our job to be perfect. No one expects it of you, and it is an impossible task. Being perfect never solved anything any way. It is through our failures that we learn, and those mixups and mistakes are where the magic happens. It is the reason that juggling is entertaining. If a juggler never dropped anything, it would be a boring talent that people would not pursue. But the fun happens knowing that the juggler can’t keep the feat up forever. Eventually the ball falls, and the novelty is to see what happens when it does. 

The first week of January you will start something new, have more changes at work, and get bad news that more relatives have been impacted by COVID. It’s scary, it’s stressful, but God is still in control. It is going to be alright.

Go to bed earlier, drink more water, brush your teeth, and take showers even when you don’t have the energy to. It’s a rough year, and you are going to be stronger on the other side. Trust me, I’ve made it this far. Just be yourself, be creative, share your talents with the world, and do keep an eye on where you set the Apple Pencil, because I still can’t find it. 

The world may be upside down right now, but you’re right where you need to be, an God has got the rest! And I know I don’t say it enough, but I love you and the amazing woman you have become!

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