For my future self: remember these things for tomorrow

For my future self: remember these things for tomorrow

Just outside the back door, there is a giant blue umbrella. As far as outdoor umbrellas go, it’s pretty high end. A few years ago, the wind destroyed the old green one, along with the roof. Remember that insurance replaced it all (after the deductible).

You used the full amount that insurance allotted to buy an umbrella in a dazzling periwinkle blue. You’ve looked up into it and have relaxed and have been at peace. 

Remember that blue umbrella, because you tend to see the world in black and white, but the world isn’t black and white. It’s red and yellow and green and gray. And periwinkle blue. Even if you can’t see these many colors, trust that they are there. Let the black and white go. 

People have made a difference in your life. They have believed in you and encouraged you. They have treated you with respect and have been gracious. Not all of them, of course, but you know the ones that really matter. In some cases, you can’t quite imagine your life without their intervention in your own. Remember these people.

As you remember them, consider that you have been this person for other people. For a stranger and a student, a friend and another person with cancer. You haven’t been this person for everyone, of course, but for enough that you matter. Don’t forget this.

Treat yourself the way your friends treat you. Be accepting and forgiving, generous and patient. Kindness matters so much, and you owe it to yourself. You would never judge others the way you judge yourself.

Let go. Of expectations and disappointments, of hurt and loneliness. Remember that you have laughed a lot in your life—full throated, head tossed back, and loud. You will laugh again, I promise. 

Remember that interview on NPR many years ago about a woman who had built a program that saved the lives of many women and children? She said, “You change the world one person at a time.”

We live one day, one moment at a time. We write one word after another. We listen to one person at a time. We pull one weed, adopt one dog, make one phone call at a time.

Remember that when you’re discouraged. You have just this one life. No more. This life matters and this world needs you. So, rest and re-set. Breathe.

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