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Letter from my 93-year-old self:

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Dear Renee,

Here I am, and there you are. You have always had a problem with just being, and you still do. Could you just be for a minute, though? Try.

Your best friends at 33 are still your best friends at 93. What a gift. Cherish every talk, every coffee date, even every argument. They aren’t going anywhere. You are lucky. 

You will never make much money, but you are OK with that. You are pretty smart with money, and will continue to be. In a few years he will want to go to Alaska. You will say no, that you can’t afford it, and while it may seem like you can’t, just go. Go.

Speaking of him, he is one of the best friends I just mentioned. You and him will finally agree on that ten year long argument discussion that keeps coming back. It will be resolved. However, that other one?  The one that you can’t even think about right now or you will go into a hysterical fit, it won’t be resolved, but you will learn to just let it go, and you will be OK.

Your kids will be okay. Stop worrying about where they will end up, what they will do or not do. Let them be, please. Also, don’t be too quick to give your opinions on well…you’ll see. But for now, be stingy with your opinions. It’s hard for you, I know, but if you hold them back, you will have more peace, and peace is always your goal.

You think you love your boys, and you do. You truly love them the best you can. Just wait until you meet your grandkids, though…

Right now, you think you have known grief and pain, and you have. You really have. Later though, you will know it even deeper. You will have tools though, that you didn’t have at 33. You will be stronger.

I know it’s cliché, and you aren’t big on clichés, but the things you worry about now—past failures, future potential failures, what others think or don’t think-- simply aren’t worth your time and energy. I know it’s easier said than done (again, sorry about the cliché), but you need to let go.

Your body will hurt like hell some days, especially your back. Keep practicing yoga and remember that you don’t have to run faster or lift more weight than the person next to you. Why must you always think that you are in a competition?

You love the Shakespeare quote, “To thine own self be true,” but at this point in your life, you haven’t fully grasped the meaning and application. You think you know yourself, but you still have some weeding out and ironing to do. 

As soon as you are able to realize and accept that your self worth isn’t wrapped up in another's acceptance or rejection of you, you will start to be at peace. And peace, my friend, is your goal. Once you find peace, you won’t want to let it go, and you will wish you had grasped onto it much sooner. 

Today, this very day, is a Saturday in July and you are living in humid North Carolina. Your boys are 12 and 7. They are still in bed right now, but go wake them up with a water gun. They hate it when you do this, but deep down they think it’s funny too. Ask them what they want to do today, and do it. Even if, especially if, it costs money. Don’t analyze. Just go with it. You won’t get these years back.

Love and peace,

Your 93-year-old self.

P.S. Extra pieces of red velvet cake aren’t going to kill you. Worrying about it just might. 
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