My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, December 9, 2010

if I could turn back time...

If you could have visited your younger self from the future to give guidance along the way… at what ages and stages would you have visited and what advice would you have given?

I know right off the bat that I would have told Heather Sauls to go immediately to Heather Gant and stay there… regardless of legal attachment… keep the same name.
I would have told 18 year old pregnant Heather to ignore her doctor when he told her she needed to gain weight.
I would have given young Heather a Teflon exterior to let some of the harsh words that have been spoken toward her roll right off and never have the ability to take root and become part of her psyche.
I would have told me to exercise more and eat less.
I would have suggested that she spend less money eating out and more money on traveling.
I would have encouraged the girl to do a better job of saving and pay her bills on time.
The girl should have worn sunscreen and flossed. She didn't know.

The things that you would think I would want to change… I wouldn’t. I would have still married Robert and had the three boys I had, even as young as I did… I would have wanted to make their young lives easier but yet… I think the struggles we went through and the people we relied on to help us get through helped make them the cool people they are today.

So many of the things I would have wanted to be different weren’t in my power to control in the first place. I would have told younger me not to worry about what other people did to me… but to focus more on building a character that was so strong that if someone said something bad about me, no one else would believe it. I would have encouraged me to stay above the fray… to avoid gossip… to avoid bickering and to walk away from more arguments rather than trying to prove I could win them. I would not try so hard to have the last word because sometimes that last word is so harsh and shrill that you wish you hadn’t said it.
There are a few friends I would have worked harder to hold onto. A few people I would have let go quicker.
I would have laughed more and cried less.
I wouldn’t have gone to college. (does that surprise you?)
I wouldn’t have worked harder. I think life is meant to be enjoyed.
I would have allowed myself to feel less guilt about things like whether or not I made it to church every Sunday or whether or not my kids had matching socks or whether or not my carpets were vacuumed. Life is too short for guilt.
I would have shown more gratitude and less attitude.
I would have been more open minded when I was younger. I think I’m pretty open minded now and I credit Purple Michael for that. But I still won’t ever vote democrat. I’m glad younger me started listening to Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh back in the early 90’s. I feel much more informed than I would have been.
I’m glad younger me let her boys play in the dirt. I’m also glad younger me taught her boys to cook and clean. All three are good cooks. The jury’s still out on cleaning.
I’m glad I have sung at the top of my lungs regardless of what people said about my ability to carry a tune…
And I’m glad I’ve shared all of my craziness with you guys.


Anonymous said...

I'm glad you have too, Heather. And, I'm glad you've shared your optimism, your candidness, your strength and your life. You've become an essential part of mine!


Adirondackcountrygal said...

I sure regret a lot of what I did when younger too! Can't even begin to list it! :)

Big Mark 243 said...

I have never wanted to tell younger Mark to do this or that and not just because 'this 'n that' is not related. Made some poor choices but I also had the opportunity to overcome them as well.

Besides when you start altering one thing from your past you alter everything and not just the things you don't want to have happened.

Turn back time... not always a good idea. I want to say I understand but I just don't feel the turn back time thing...