Here I’m singing happy birthday
Better think about the wish I make
This year gone by ain’t been a piece of cake
Every day’s a revolution
Pull it together and it comes undone
Just one more candle and a trip around the sun.
Trip Around the Sun – performed by Jimmy Buffett & Martina McBride
I turned 60 recently and it was a pretty emotional experience for me. Neither my father nor my grandfathers lived to reach the age of 60, so it was always hanging in the back of my mind that maybe I wouldn’t get there either. Nothing is guaranteed, but I am so thankful to enter my sixth decade on this beautiful earth, despite all my aches, pains, frustrations, and challenges.
It caused me to reflect upon my life and evaluate my successes and failures. Overall, I am very content; I am blessed with a loving family, amazing friends, a good job, and have had more fun than maybe I should have.
That said, if I had the chance to go back in time and talk to my younger self, or leave him a note, there are a couple of things I’d like to tell me. I mean, who wouldn’t want to be able to give some wisdom gained only through living life to their younger self, right? Anyway, If I had to write a note to my younger self, I’d keep it pretty short and focus on these three things:
Worry Less – I spent a lot of time worrying. Worrying about money. Worrying about relationships. Worrying about my job. Worrying about health. Worrying about what people thought of me. Worry, worry, worry! What I have learned over time is that over 95 percent of what we worry about never happens! Worrying is a waste of time and energy. I try to focus on what I can control and let go of what I can’t. (Note: this is an ongoing process for me.)
Love More – Or at least show it and say it more. I think when I was younger, I was shy about telling those whom I loved that I loved them. I don’t know if it was a cultural thing, the way I was raised, or just my own insecurities. But nowadays, I don’t miss a chance to tell the people whom I love that I love them or try to show them by my actions. Yes, even my guy friends, which for us 60-year-olds, has not been a common thing to do. I don’t care if they are uncomfortable; I tell them anyway. And guess what? It turns out they aren’t uncomfortable with it at all.
Plan Better – If I had done a better job of planning, I probably could have been retired by now. When I was young, things like saving for retirement, writing a will, getting life insurance, purchasing cemetery property, and planning a memorial were not on my priority list. If I only had done these things earlier, I would have been in a much better financial shape today. On the bright side, all of these have been taken care of, so I can now get on with not worrying and loving more.
If you were going to write a letter to your younger self, what would you say?