Monday, January 31, 2011

Dear Darlene


If I could write a letter to myself at the time I graduated high school, this is what I would write...

Dear Darlene,

You don’t know me yet, but I am you 45 years after you graduated high school.  It is only due to recent invention of a time delivery device in 2011 that I am able to reach you.  And, I am so glad for this invention because there are so many things I want to tell you.  Don’t be offended when I tell you that you will make a lot of mistakes as you travel through life.  The biggest mistakes you will make will not happen if you follow these simple rules:

Finish college…otherwise, you will quit in your junior year because you were so excited about getting out into the world on your own.  Yeah…sure you will do alright anyway, but it took you longer to get there because you had to substitute experience for that degree – year for year.  

Stay in the Methodist Church.  That Baptist guy you married never went to church with you after the wedding.  Not that there is anything wrong with the Baptist Church  – you thrived there for 22 years, which was another 19 years after the divorce, but later in life you will find yourself back in the Methodist Church and you will have your biggest spiritual growth spurt after you return to the faith of your youth.  So, you might as well stay in the church you grew up in.

Read one chapter in the Book of Proverbs each day.  Begin with Chapter 1 on the first day of the month, then follow suit.  You will mature in your faith by leaps and bounds.  Too bad you did not know that earlier in life.  I’m pretty sure it would have made a tremendous difference…  Start now…I wish I knew that 45 years ago.
Speaking of the Bible, you will find your wisdom there…read it!

Stay out of bars and don’t smoke.   But, I praise you for your decision to never do drugs…  Good girl!  Nuf said!

Don’t smoke!!!  It is nasty, your clothes stink and it can destroy your health.  You will figure that out before it does its damage, but you could save a LOT OF MONEY if you don’t start. 

Don’t marry the first good looking guy that comes along.  20 is not a spinster.  Your judgment will change for the better with maturity.  20 is not mature.

When you do marry Mr. Right, save yourself a lot of trouble and don’t divorce him – twice – because you will end up married to him a third time…for the rest of your life ~ finally happy…  You can be soooo stoopid sometimes!!!

Choose your friends carefully.  You are judged by the company you keep.

Be good to your feet.  Wear sensible shoes.  Other parts can wear out, but you need healthy feet to get about.  Especially when we are old.

Work hard and take pride in all you do.  You are not a quitter, but you will quit a couple of times before you get it right.  Keep work ethics ever in the forefront of your mind.  Work ethics will carry you farther than the average worker.  Slackers don’t get promotions.

Every morning – decide whether you will be happy or miserable – choose happy.

Consider options carefully – some decisions will save your life and others may cost you your life.  Choose carefully that you always choose life.

Don’t hate…it is just plain ugly.  Apologize quickly.  Forgive even quicker.  Always remember what Gram always said:  “It doesn’t cost a dime to be decent.”

Save like there will be a tomorrow because there will be many tomorrows in your future and you will need it.  Don’t forget to count on inflation…it’s one of those facts of life.

Credit card limits are for fools.  Don’t charge more than you can pay for at the end of the month, then pay it all.

Life is fragile – treat others in such a way that you will have no regrets if today just happens to be their last day of life.  

Life is precious.  Don’t abuse your health.  Eat right and exercise.  If I can start going to the gym at 61, you certainly can get the ball rolling at 17. 

Kiss your husband goodbye every morning.  Never part with anger between you.  Life is like vapor – then gone.  Regret lasts longer than it takes to apologize or to forgive.  Live your life like you want no regrets.

Don’t drink!!!  It is stupid to drink and you are stupid when you drink.  The good news is that you learn that lesson early on.  But it would have been better if you never took that first drink.

It’s okay to be silly sometimes, but make sure you are not being silly at inappropriate times.

Learn to like yourself sooner than later.  K?  You’ll understand this one day…

I could go on and on, but this is a letter…not a book…

One thing you did listen to….  You always treated your feet right – sensible shoes carried you far.  Just so you know how well things turn out when you listen to instruction, here’s proof…  Your feet at age 61…  

Not bad at all considering all of the dancing, walking, running, etc  that you will do in the next many years.  You may think this is stupid because you think everything is stupid, but let me tell you…it is not stupid at all because these old feet can walk a treadmill, pedal a bike and kick your butt if they invent a way for me to actually, physically travel back in time….

You think this is all too much to remember?  Well, here it is in a nutshell…Always do the right thing.  You know which decision will be the right decision because you were taught well.  Use what you were taught until you gain your own maturity.   BTW…your maturity will take a long time to get here because you thought you knew it all.  Follow the rules and you will get there earlier!

But, your (our) parents already told you all of this.  You listened to most of it and the instruction served you well … the parts you actually did right.  But, you are headstrong and willful.  These are not good traits.  These traits will get you into lots of trouble in life.  You finally learn this in about 20 years, but it would have been so much better if you had learned it earlier in life.

This letter does not even touch the tip of the iceberg.  As I said, you will make a lot of mistakes.  Your Mother told you all of this stuff, but you thought you knew more that she did.  SURPRISE!!!  As you age, your Mother will get smarter and you will ask her for advice.  You will learn that you do NOT know it all.  The mistakes will change you from a girl into a mature woman.  Life is easier when you follow the rules, but even when you don’t remember them all, just remember this...  It will all be okay in the end.  You will become the sum total of all of your decisions and experiences.  Be strong…  It will be a rough ride at times.

I tell you this because I cannot change the past, but YOU can change your future.

Lastly…keep your wonderful sense of humor because you will need it.

Love,
Me

P.S.  You still love Doo Wop!!!  Buy all you want ~ just don't buy any 8-tracks.  You will know why later...


16 comments:

  1. Very wise indeed and from a very wise lady!

    Your feet look amazing by the way!

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  2. I N C R E D I B L E ! ! !

    ((( DA-BOO )))

    I THINK I LAUGHED AS I CRIED AS I REMINISCED...

    "OH, WHAT WISDOM THE MATURED HEART HAS TO OFFER, YET FOOLISH YOUTH TURNS NOT AN EAR"

    THANX FOR THE MEMORIES !

    BIG LOVES EN SUTCH

    BBB

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  3. Steve: Yes, I will visit your blog and subscribe. Thank you for visiting mine.

    Marian: Thank you my dear friend. Sometimes my feet really hurt just from age. I can't imagine how feet that have been abused would feel. I know so many people my age who have had to have foot surgery. I saved myself from all that by wearing sensible shoes most of my life.

    (((BIG BOO BEAR))) I DON'T KNOW WHAT CAVE YOU CRAWLED OUT OF, BUT I SURELY AM HAPPY TO SEE YOU. I LOL'D AT YOU BECAUSE I KNOW THAT YOU OF ALL PEOPLE WHO KNOW ME ALSO KNOWS EXACTLY WHAT I MEAN. WE DID, AFTER ALL, LIVE IN PARALLEL UNIVERSES...LOL...RIGHT? LOVE YOU & TONI MUCHLY.

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  4. I have added myself to follow your blog. You are more than welcome to visit my blog and become a follower also.

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  5. What a great letter, such wise advice, thanks for sharing.

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  6. Nicely written. I agree *emphatically* with you about the marriage thing at age 20. I was aged 19 when I got married and it was an entirely stupid and naive (and immature) decision for both of us. Neither of us even had gotten around to figuring out who we were individually, much less each other. Dumb, dumb, dumb. If I were kind for a day, I'd create a law that outlawed marriage until someone is at least 28. And even then, they'd have to write a self-awareness test. Fail it, and they'd have to wait another five years. And questions to the examiner like "I don't understand the question" would qualify as an immediate fail too.

    As for the three-marriage-to-the-same-guy thing: you know, you can only do the best you can with the knowledge and awareness you have at the time. So it took three attempts before you figured it out. At least you figured it out. That's something, right?

    Despite all of the pain and harsh stuff that went on, I'm not sure I'd opt to not go through it (well, except for the crazy mad number of years I spent spinning my wheels in a marriage that wasn't real), because those things brought humility and an awareness that I don't know everything. Made my curiosity much more acute, too.

    Great blog Darlene.

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  7. Your law has merit! LOL And I love the 5 year waiting period for a fail. hahaha

    We did finally get it right, but there was an awful lot of grief before we each matured enough to actually value each other.

    Thank you for your comment. I sincerely appreciate that you took the time to read and comment.

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  8. This was great Darlene! As I get older, the quote "Youth is wasted on the young" grows more and more important with it's meaning to me, but I guess we all have to make some mistakes when we are young otherwise the ride we call life wouldn't be half the fun.

    I love this and I love you, too, Ms. Da-BooLa!

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  9. Thanks, Tra Boola. I have to admit that I had a blast in my youth and, actually, my regrets are few. I could have done some things better, but it was mistakes and all that made me who I am and I'm not one bit unhappy about who I am.

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  10. I truely enjoyed reading your letter. Thanks for sharing.

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  11. Thank you, Ashley. I enjoyed your letter as well.

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  12. great thoughts... and great feet!

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    1. Thank you. I always took care of my feet. That is probably the only thing Mom told me that I listened to... LOL

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  13. I know I've read this before! I can't believe I did not comment. **Searching for my manners** I enjoyed your post the second time through. Excellent advice to yourself, I probably should have included that bit about the feet in the letter to myself too! Cheers, Jenn.

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    1. Thanks, Jenn. Did you take care of your feet as you should have? I hope so because they have to carry you around your whole life long.

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