And now comes the coulda woulda shoulda.
I think I may have touched on my hesitancy toward regret — seems like wasted energy, right? But if I could hop in that Wayback Machine, there may be a few instances in which I would pull myself aside and offer some advice:
To the high school me: Don’t be such a ‘fraidy cat. Sometimes I wonder if there really is an actress buried deep within, but just unable to come up for air. I think it’s more the creative gene trying to find ways to express itself, but I’m so tightly wound when it comes to putting myself out there I can’t imagine I could ever tap into that interest. That fear of failure probably got in the way more often than not and I do wonder what else I could have accomplished if I hadn’t been afraid to try.
To the college-aged me: Sensations after midnight is never a good idea. Also? Neither are Doritos by the bagful while drinking.
To the young adult me: Slow down. I have no regrets. I REPEAT. NO REGRETS. But I also know I could get wrapped up pretty easily in what was next — marriage, apartment, house, pets, kids, etc. I don’t necessarily want to go back to our tiny apartment and relive sharing a closet. (I don’t even know how we did that.) I just wish I would have taken a breath or two in the midst of it and practiced a little more gratitude for what was in my present instead of my future.
To the middle adult me: It’s going to be OK. There are times in the middle of parenting toddlers and young kids that you think there is no way you’ll survive the night. Sleep deprivation, disappointment, missed opportunities, feeling like a failure. It’s all a part of it. But the kids really are all right.
Really — there’s no desire to try to reinvent myself or reach for that lost opportunity. I am not signing up for acting classes next week. But there are chances along the way to be tap into happiness and I can only hope those younger than me take advantage of them.
Day 1: 50 Days, 50 Thoughts, 50 Books. Book recommendation: The Bitch is Back
Day 2: There Aren’t Any Do-Overs, Are There? Book Recommendation: A Place for Us
Day 3: Is Pop Culture Circling the Drain? Book recommendation: Live from New York
Day 4: Perimenopause in the Age of Trump Book Recommendation: Where’d You Go, Bernadette
Day 5: Take A Knee at the Altar of Common Sense Book Recommendation: How Not to Be a Dick
Day 6: Perspective is the Gift That Keeps on Giving Book Recommendation: A Fine Balance
Day 7: The Accidental Editor Book Recommendation: Theft by Finding: Diaries (1977 – 2002)
Day 8: The First Last of the Firsts Book Recommendation: The Little Book of Hygge
Day 9: All Kinds of Tired Book Recommendation: Believer
Day 10: Overthinking is Anxiety’s Bitchy Best Friend Book Recommendation: Let’s Pretend This Never Happened
Day 11: Where Would You go with a Wayback Machine? Book Recommendation: A Little Life
Day 12: Fall in my Favorite Chicago
Day 13: On Having It All Book Recommendation: Lean In
Day 14: Where Were You When … Book Recommendation: The Nix
Day 15: 5 Things to Purge Before you Turn 50 Book Recommendation: The Art of Tidying Up
Day 16: A Labor Day Salute to Bad Bosses Everywhere Book Recommendation: Steve Jobs
Day 17: Do You Validate? Book Recommendation: Less
Day 18: Identity Crisis Code Purple Book Recommendation: Amp’d
Day 19: Character Really Does Count Book Recommendation: Believer
Day 20: Death Before Public Speaking Book Recommendation: The Gifts of Imperfection
Day 21: 15 Things You Should Do Before You Turn 50 Book Recommendation: Drop Dead Healthy
Day 22: Calling BS on “Sticks and Stones” Book Recommendation: Love Warrior
Day 23: My Feet Are My Favorite Part of Me Book Recommendation: Born to Run
Day 24: Self-Help Books Aren’t Half Bad Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy
Day 25: Going for Gratitude Book Recommendation: The Gratitude Diaries
Day 26: Past Self Meets Future Self Book Recommendation: A Wrinkle in Time
Day 27: The Book is Always Better Book Recommendation: Big Little Lies
Day 28: Three Cheers for Volunteers Book Recommendation: A Secret Gift
Day 29: The Social Network Book Recommendation: The Circle
Day 30: 50 People Who Can Text Me Before Trump Does Book Recommendation: Purity
Day 31: I’ll Take My Joy Where I Can Find It Book Recommendation: The Book of Joy
Day 32: Humor is My Sixth Sense Book Recommendation: Sick in the Head
Day 33: Anger Comes Second Book Recommendation: The Leftovers
Day 34: Hypocrisy, Much? Book Recommendation: The Favorite Sister
Day 35: Girl Power Book Recommendation:Girls
Day 36: The Kids are All Right Book Recommendation: Ohio
Day 37: Banned Books Week Book Recommendation: the Banned Books list
Day 38: An Open Letter to Congress Book Recommendation: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Day 39: The Importance of Guilty Pleasures Book Recommendation: The Actress
Day 40: On Stories Never Told Book Recommendation: After Visiting Friends
Day 41: Thank You, Judge Kavanaugh Book Recommendation: Missoula
Day 42: With a Little Help from My Friends Book Recommendation: Bad Feminist
Day 43: Life Doesn’t Flash ... Book Recommendation: Shotgun Lovesongs
Day 44: Crazy Love Book Recommendation: To Be Sung Underwater
Day 45: Simplify, Simplify, Save It Book Recommendation: The Immortalists
Day 46: Ready (or not) for 50 Book Recommendation: The Snow Child
Day 47: The Best Part So Far Book Recommendation: The Light Between Oceans
Today’s recommendation: Life After Life by Kate Atkinson. That girl just kept trying until she got it right.
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