As I folded laundry this afternoon, I listened to a favorite podcast- This American Life. It was a new episode called The Leap. There were stories about all sorts of people, but my favorite was the one about time travel. The producer went around to different places and spoke to folks about the idea of time travel. Would you do it if you could? Which way- future or past? And if you did, why? Why did you choose the time you did and what would you do there?
It was a great episode and fun to hear everyone’s ideas, insights, and stories. It got me thinking.
Future or past? Which way would I go? And what to do…..
So, let’s just start when life got harder and it wasn’t all about the carefree world of being a kid.
Hey you- High School Lisa-
It’s ok that this age is harder than you anticipated. High school just isn’t the glory days you wanted. You just don’t know yourself yet and self awareness comes with time. It’s gonna suck for awhile as you figure it all out, try to enjoy the good things. You have some good friends, be grateful. Your have a safe place to come home to, be grateful. You have a better start than most people, be grateful. So what if you aren’t in the smart classes or picked to be on the spiritual leadership teams. This doesn’t take away anything from who you are. Honestly it doesn’t define you at all. Don’t let it. You are already whole and enough.
Hey you-Early College Days, Lisa-
Ok, so it just got even harder. You had no idea how much your parents did for you until you moved away. Let things fall apart. Falling apart is the only way to begin to build things back up on your own. Feel free to let go, look ahead and DREAM BIG. You have way more potential than you think you do. Nothing is decided, dream away. Meet new people. Listen to their stories. Hear them.
Hey you- Super Depressed, Lisa-
So this depression thing isn’t ever going to go away. It’s ok, we can deal with it. But, you’re gonna have to talk to people and get the help you need. All those coping mechanisms are going to do you in, so be vulnerable. You’ve got some pretty amazing people around you. If you get the help, you will get back on track. If you continue to dive deeper in isolation and sadness, well, the pit just gets darker on the way down. Shame and guilt are not from God, so let them go. LOOK UP.
Hey you-Totally Confused in Your Education, Lisa-
Stay open. Stop asking “why?” and start asking “why not?” It’s ok to take time off and experience more of the world. It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s ok to disappoint people . It’s ok to change your mind. You’ve got plenty of time, stay open and stay adventurous.
Hey you- Newly Married, Lisa-
This first year is going to be a doozy. The whole “don’t go to bed angry” stuff is complete nonsense. Go to bed angry, you’ll fight much more rationally in the morning. It’s gonna take awhile to figure each other out, stay with it. There are so many ups and downs to come, just enjoy each other. You will have times when you question if you made the right decision- THAT’S OK! You are normal. Trust me, it gets better as the years go by. It may be harder in other ways, but the relationship just gets better. You made the right choice.
Hey you- New Mom, Lisa-
The sleep thing is hard. But this truly is the easy stuff. So sit back and relax as well as you can. Forget about the mess, the dishes, the dinner to be made. Drew doesn’t care about that stuff anyways-it’s all you. Hold your babies. Play with your babies. Read lots of books. Take good naps. Settle in to this time at home. Enjoy the laughter and don’t sweat the small stuff. You can fix their problems and hug them through the broken bones, and hospital stays. All they want is your time.
Hey you – This is When The Shit Gets Real With Parenting, Lisa–
Relax. They are going to get hurt. You can’t keep that from happening. They are not perfect. They will make lots of mistakes. They will yell things at you they don’t mean. You can control one thing- how you handle it all. Love them for who they are. Be their safe place. Help them to discover that themselves. Let them take risks. Remember you are parenting as a team. Be grateful for different parenting styles. You’re gonna need both. You can’t handle the same things the same ways with each kid. They are different and need different things. There is no one way or right way to do this. Love them and teach them to love themselves.
Hey you- Months Away From 40, Lisa-
Look back. Know you can’t change anything. See how the mistakes brought you to the place you are at. It’s not too late.
The picture below is Abbey. No super special meaning to this post other than I think it represents a great big world before her. She’s paying attention.