Advice to My Past Self

The idea of giving your younger self some advice is sort of a writing and film trope that has been around for a long time. It is a fun way to reflect on the past and think of what could have been done better. In reality this is a way to tell about my own experiences and hope that those who come after can benefit from my reflection. 

Dear Shannon from about 10 years ago,

I hope this letter finds you well as you settle into the routines of being a new mom. The sleep deprivation and few and far showers can definitely be trying at times. You already know that it’s all worth it when you look into the big blue eyes of that new baby girl. So no worries there. If I could find a Way-Back Machine, or a DeLorean, or even a T.A.R.D.I.S, I would love to deliver this little missive to you. Here goes.

Take the toddlers outside every day that it is possible to do so. Let them feel the grass, the dirt, the sidewalk, even the bugs. Touching nature and developing an appetite for it from their earliest memories will be the most beneficial thing you can do. When your firstborn is about a year old she will eat a scoop of dirt with her little sand shovel. You will feel the need to ask the pediatrician if her stomach is about the turn inside out. He will be totally chill about it and from that point on so will you. Play outside, get dirty, and revel in it all. The tub is right upstairs.

Don’t wait so long to get back on a bike. While it is true that you never forget how to ride a bike, a fifteen year hiatus is not helpful when it comes time to keep up with kids who want to fly at breakneck speeds. Alright, that is an exaggeration. They don’t go that fast. It just feels that way when thirty is in the rearview mirror and the ground is a lot farther away for you. I’ve found that when it comes to biking, that confidence in what you are doing actually breeds the ability to do it. Keep up the practice of riding. 

Find adventures right in your hometown. Trust me when I say that the trails are going to be awesome in the very near future. But you can still explore them right now. Ask people that have lived here all their lives where to go for walks on a sunny day with the double decker stroller. You’ll make it back up the hill with it and get a fantastic cardio work out in the process. There is so much to see and experience with the trails right around town that you will be busy for years enjoying them.

Well, due to the complications of inter-temporal communication, I can’t make this message too long. These three things that I’ve mentioned will be assets to you when you embark on your Trail Family adventure. What’s Trail Family you ask? You’ll see; I can’t give away all the good stuff!

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