Dear 40-year-old Me:
Ah, yes, I'm starting to see you now. In the fine lines and mom jeans and saggy parts. I see you.
Do you remember what it was like to have little ones in the house? Do you remember the chaos and noise and laundry? I hope you do. Now that you have teenagers, I hope you do appreciate being able to go to the bathroom without interruption and being able to send one of the boys to the store for milk. That's your life now.
I wonder if you think about finally refinishing the hardwood floors. Maybe even (gasp) buying a couch, now that you don't have three little ones who would use it as a kitchen table, artist's canvas, and jungle gym. You might even be thinking about a weekend getaway with your husband. You have so many interesting things to consider now that you're...you know...middle-aged.
There was a time not long ago when you still bought clothes from the junior section at Kohl's, but I bet you don't do that anymore. Too embarrassing for your daughter. But please, oh please, don't tell me you've foregone hot pink and sequins. I couldn't bear to think you would just give up on life like that. I couldn't bear it.
I suppose you're as busy as ever. That probably hasn't changed. But try to take a minute to look around and see how blessed you are. See how much you've been through and how far you've come! Oh yes, I have no doubt they've been 40 wonderful years. I just hope you're not too distracted or self-centered to see it.
And if you're still eating ice cream by the bowl-full, I feel I should tell you, as a friend, that it's probably time to ease up on that a bit. Not that you have to give up ice cream completely, but limit yourself to a cup or something, okay? I want at least another 40 years out of you.
And one last thing, my dear self...one last very important thing: Don't give up on your dreams, whatever they are. Whatever you've been hoping for and working toward or wishing about between now and when you get this letter, don't give up on it just because you're a responsible, middle-aged adult who wears mom jeans.
Don't give up because you're only just getting started! A whole new life is just beginning and anything is possible. You're still me, and I'm telling you now that I, and therefore you, refuse to settle. Paul David Tripp says: "Don't settle for 'below and less,' when you've been created for 'above and more'." And the indomitable Dr. Seuss says: "Why fit in when you were born to stand out?"
So go get 'em 40-year-old me! Get out there and be me, only better. I'm counting on you.