I’m on week 5 of my Lively Woman journey. Our most recent homework was to write another letter to ourselves, a version of me five years down the road. Enjoy.
To a slightly older, possibly wiser, and hopefully less tired version of myself,
You have survived. For five years you have rafted rivers of grief and slogged through the trenches of parenting small children, but you have lived to see the other side. Remember those days when you felt that 5:45pm could not come soon enough because the day had contained more dirty diapers and spilled bowls of oatmeal than one person could ever handle? Now you have an eight year old and a six year old. Remember that these are the days that you longed for. The baby and toddler phase were never going to be a time where you would thrive, but this is what you looked forward to. Teaching these small people and watching them grow. Hallelujah.
Then there is the uncomfortable ease of grief to consider. There are still those days where your chest feels tight and it is hard to breath, but those days are fewer. They catch you more by surprise than they did five years ago. I imagine that the somewhat seamless way that life has continued on makes you feel guilty – it even does now, despite how sometimes I feel as though I am functioning in molasses. But the strength that you feel now does not mean that you miss her any less, just that she has given more of her strength to you than you ever realized.
And you, Rachel, you have grown. Hand-in-hand you have taken your education and your health and made them your own. These aspects of your life have continued to grow and intertwine. You have used your base of knowledge and excitement about nutrition to assist others in their own journey – while eating delicious baked goods along the way.
But truly, this is all that I can imagine for you right now. Today I am having a hard time seeing past the end of the day, much less the end of the week. When you look back at where I am today, offer your memories grace and forgiveness. This has been an ugly year but you have survived it.