Before selfies…

This week marked 26 yrs since my husband proposed. This photo wasn’t taken at the proposal. It wasn’t common to have people photograph or document it. Heck, we still had regular film cameras where you had to take your film in to be developed (& hope for some good ones). Selfies weren’t a thing yet. We took this picture at the International Peace Gardens in 1997. We went after Labor Day and there were very few people, so we took the phot ourselves. Odds are, there are 10 others that have part of our heads or just the sky in them, but this one was good. We camped in a tent there, saw porcupines, deer, tons of beautiful flowers and we did lots of biking.

It got me thinking… what would I say to my “26 years ago self?” My experiences brought me to where I am today, but that young 21 year old had no idea what was in store. What would I say to that young lady?

  • Your wedding day will be the fastest day of your life. Enjoy it.
  • Sometimes it takes a while to have a family. Hold on, it’s worth the wait.
  • Hold those babies more! Let them sit on your lap longer, rock them and give them even more kisses than you already did.
  • Lighten up. 21 yr old me went from wild to serious and stayed there too long.
  • Don’t lose yourself. It’s ok to have dreams and goals of your own. Don’t get too lost in everything else that you forget to take care of yourself.
  • You cannot pour from an empty cup.
  • One day you will look back at the “Rice a Roni years” and realize you can get by with less.
  • Jalapeño peppers will burn your hands.
  • You will meet some magical ladies. Listen and learn. They help you discover part of yourself that is also magical.
  • Date night. Seriously. Get a sitter and go out more.
  • Love your body in all it’s phases. One day you’ll wish you were the size you are now. Love yourself through all of it.
  • 529 plan. Look into it. College is no longer $12k for 4 years!
  • Slow down. Life goes by fast enough.
  • S’mores for breakfast & pancakes in letter shapes are totally ok when camping. Your kids will remember it.
  • Before you know it, you’ll be knocking on the door of 50. Enjoy the journey.
  • Have more massages, take more walks, spend more time by the water.
  • You will complete half marathons and then forget you’re capable of it. Don’t forget.
  • You’ll experience the power of prayer and feel people praying for you.
  • Keep sharing. Keep sending notes and baking treats for people and sending care packages.
  • Be in the pictures. The number on your jeans doesn’t matter. Your family loves you at all sizes.
  • 26 years later, you’d still say “yes” again.

I’m sure there is more. But, like I said, all of those experiences, victories and mistakes got me to where I am today… so maybe I wouldn’t change much. I bet she wouldn’t listen anyway. She was pretty stubborn. I would tell her to make more photo books because her iPhone will run out of space. (Then she’d wonder what I was talking about!)

I wish you peace on your journey of enough. Have some grace with your younger self. She/he did the best they could, and brought you to where you are.

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