What Would You Like to Tell a Younger Version of You?

I keep telling myself that I'm not middle-aged. I plan to live to a hundred, so I have some years before I reach my midpoint.

I'm at that strange time where I feel pops and creaks. Fun and dare-devil activities have been toned down for fear of doing real bodily harm. I've roller skated, skied, sledded, sailed, and tubed. I can mark those off the old bucket list. Though, I'd still like to try hang-gliding one day in Kitty Hawk. I ruptured an Achilles tendon a few years back, and it took years to get back to semi-normal. I still can't descend steps quickly or wear high heels. So now, there's always that little voice in my head when I think I want to have an adventure.

I have high school friends who are becoming grandparents. How did that happen? We were just in college. I also have some high school friends who have toddlers because they waited late in life for kids or they started a second family.

Being in the sandwich generation is interesting. I am reminded daily of my dinosaur status by the twenty-somethings at work. I went to a trendy store at the mall on Friday to get my niece a gift card for Christmas. I knew standing in line at the cash register that I was clearly on the path to becoming one of the "old" people. The store was too dark, and the music was some throbbing techno-tronic industrial pop that sounded more like screeches and screams. In the fifteen minutes that I was there, I couldn't decipher any words. Then kin of the Addams Family waited on me. I had flash backs to Halloween, and I felt like Marilyn Munster in the store. They all were staring at me. If you don't know who Marilyn is, Google her. I'm sure there are some episodes on YouTube.

I just want it noted that I'm not ready for the glue factory yet. I'm finally at a point in my life where I don't worry as much as I used to. I wish I would have enjoyed my twenties more and not stressed so much. If I could talk to my younger self, here's my advice.

1. I have reached the point in my life where I don't care what's trending in pop culture or fashion. I don't know the latest bands or who's kissing whom. I'm interested occasionally, but there are too many other things that grab my attention.

2. Don't stress so much. You cannot take life or yourself that seriously. Who cares what others think or say. Wear what you want to wear (as long as all the important parts are covered).

3. Forgive and let the small stuff go. There are stupid people in this world, and you can't always fix them.

4. Be kind to others, even when you don't feel like it.

5. Jettison friends or acquaintances who constantly belittle or bring you down. Don't feel like you have to continue these relationships because you've invested time and energy. Spend your time and energy where it's appreciated.

6. Don't isolate yourself. You need friends, confidants, and healthy relationships. Balance the social media with real human contact.

7. Enjoy life. Marvel at the sunrises and rainbows. Don't miss the fun because you're preoccupied with the small things. Unplug once in a while.

8. Keep all of your life in balance.

Enjoy what's left of your weekend. It's going to be in the high 50s here in Central Virginia. (That's a gift for December.)  I'm going outside with the Pair of Jacks to play.