When I started this series, one of the questions I asked women was “If you could go back and share some wisdom about aging with the you of yesteryear, what would you tell your younger self?” The answers were inspiring, tender, loving, fierce and heartfelt. With permission, I’m sharing some snippets with you today. I hope they speak to the wonderings in your mind and heart. And as a beautiful close to this Elder Sister Series, I’m going to invite you to contribute your wisdom to the collection.
Advice to My Younger Self…
- I was so often so hard on myself in the past, and if I could have a do-over, I think that’s the one thing I’d do differently. Not be so harsh, not be so critical. I’d let my younger self know to not stuff down my creativity, not be afraid to take chances. -Tammy
- I’d tell myself to slow down and stop living in a hurry. That you’ll still get where you’re going and you won’t get so overwhelmed and exhausted by trying to cram it all in. I’d tell myself that the time you spend taking care of yourself is time well spent and not in the least selfish. -Amy
- You will learn to accept your body as it is and it will change. You will learn to trust your heart and to follow your own passions. Tell your mother you love her and you need her. -Michelle
- Two things: First — Tell the truth. Don’t hide how you really feel and what you really think. Second — Pay attention to people and forget the material things. Those connections between you and the people in your life are what it’s all about. -Maureen
- Do not question your intuition ever, especially when it comes to your body, health and dreams. Take care of yourself. Don’t push yourself so hard. Learn the beauty of being gentle with your heart, mind and body. -Suzie
- Choose wisely & think big picture. A little of this & a little of that add up to a lot! Choose the best for yourself & keep healthy habits. All those days of “not today, I’ll do it tomorrow” don’t work. Whatever it is, especially if it’s for health or vitality, do it now! -Aimee
- You will be wiser, stronger, and more fit to live your life in the way YOU want to! You will be less concerned about how others think of you and place more focus on your own happiness and well-being. -Jennifer
- I’d advise myself to hang fire and wait for the right partner and not marry out of fear of being left on the shelf. I’d tell her that turning 50 was the most liberating time of my life – old enough to know better, young enough not to care. -Jackie
- Stop wasting time on what you think other people think of you. You have an entire life to live and the only person who will be there for every second of it is you. Oh, and keep your eyes on your own paper. You have accomplished a lot, so don’t diminish your achievements by constantly comparing what you have gained to what others have. -Anon.
- First, it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. I am almost 47 years old, and it’s been quite a ride. I like myself so much more than I did 15 years ago — even 10! I’m developing a confidence and purposefulness that comes only with experience. -Cindy
- If I could go back (with the knowledge I have now), I would try to convince my younger self how full of worth I am and how beautiful I really am. -Ceanne.
- I would explain to my younger self that time really is of no importance; there’s innate wisdom already in her heart, whatever her age. I’d let her know there’s nothing she’s doing at this mid age of 40 that she couldn’t have done when she was 20. If only she would continue to let the creativity flow and surround herself – asking the questions of life not in her head, but in her heart, then her forward journey will take her to all the places she could ever dream of and beyond. -Julie
Share your wisdom. Write a Letter…
And I want to invite you to share your own wisdom in the form of a letter:
- Write a letter to the “you” of 10 years ago. What would you want her to know? What reassurances or challenges would you give her? What encouragement? Know that when you share this, you will also be talking to all those younger sisters out there who are yearning for wisdom and guidance from an elder sister.
- Imagine yourself 10 years or more in the future. Let your elder self write a letter to the “you” of today. Let the words pour out of you onto the page or through the keyboard. Trust that your elder self knows precisely what you need to know. Let her share her wisdom with you and, if you like, with all of us.
Feel free to write and share both or either. If you blog your letter, you can add a link to your post in the Mr. Linky.
Sharing The Elder Sister Project here at Roots of She has been an absolute joy. Thank you, Jenn, for creating the opportunity for this amazing discussion about women and aging. I have been inspired, moved and honoured by the discussion and I encourage everyone to continue the conversation. Talk to your friends, your daughters, your moms, your sisters. Blog your own experience. Share your wisdom and your questions. Write letters to editors, asking them to include more real stories about women and aging. Write those stories and submit them! Be an elder sister and a younger one too. Let’s be in this together.