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Dear Self… What words of advice would you give yourself?

 

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Recently we had a family member pass away. He was a wonderful man – so full of life. My husband posted on his own Facebook page how “hugs were not an option” referencing our relative who passed away. Its true. It didn’t matter who you were – friend or relative – our deceased loved one always hugged everyone. Even the first time I met him he made me feel like we have known each other for years.

Not only was he the Fire Marshall he was also active in the community. He was well loved and respected by many. The line to pay your last respects and the funeral home was literally out the door (no exaggeration). The funeral procession from the church past his old fire house had to be at least 80 cars long. It was amazing.

My husband and I were talking about the number of people who came out to pay their respects. That got us both thinking about our own morality. Death has a way of making you think about your own passing.

This whole situation made me want to compile a list for my present and future self – another words giving myself some words of advice to live by.

Never pass on the opportunity to say “I love you“.

Life is so short. It truly is. And you never know from one day to the next if it will be your last – or the last day of someone who means the world to you. Always tell people that you love how much you love them as often as possible.

Heart

Spend as much time with those you love as much as possible. 

It’s very important to spend as much time as you can with the people that mean the most to you. Over the years relatives and friends seemed to drift away from my life. We always want to get together but life, family, jobs and other commitments seem to keep us apart. It’s important to find the time and spend as much time as you can together. Even if it’s something as simple as a cup of coffee. Or if it’s a friend or relative who lives far away pick up the phone and call them or go on Skype. Text messages, Facebook and e-mails are NOT ways of spending quality time together.

Always let your true self shine through. 

One thing I really need to work on is confidence and self esteem. I am a very shy person and often feel awkward in social situations. I wasn’t always that way. It just seemed to sneak up on me the older I got. I just need to get over it because it’s preventing me from doing so much with my life.

I know being overweight is a huge issue for me. It prevents me from being “me”. I don’t let people see who I really am inside because I am so concerned about what people are thinking about my “outside”. I am making effort to get past that.

I recently went for not one but two job interviews (same job – two different people). Normally I would be so freaked out by the thought of going on a job interview that I’d probably throw up and lose sleep the night before. Not this time. I went into both interviews as “me”. I let the real me shine through. I didn’t let the fact that I am overweight hinder me. Simply by being “me” I felt more confident about the situation and I think the interviews went well. From now on I’m going to be “me”. If people don’t like me because I am overweight then that is their loss, not mine. I don’t need people like that in my life anyway.

I may be overweight but my weight is not who I am. Not only that NO ONE IS PERFECT. Everyone has flaws. I need to stop comparing myself to others because they are not me and I am not them.

Live the life you want to live.

I have a beautiful bracelet that has those words of advice engraved on it. I wear the bracelet almost daily. Its a constant reminder for me not to give up on my dreams. No one is going to create a life for you – you need to do what it takes to create the life YOU want for YOURSELF.

Flowers

Take time to enjoy and appreciate the world around you.

Stop and smell the flowers. Walk through grass in your bare feet. Close your eyes and focus on how the breeze on your face feels. Take time to notice the rhythmic music your neighbors wind chimes make. Enjoy the softness of a kitten’s fur. Amaze in the wonder and beauty of the night sky.

These might seem like little, insignificant things but they are not. What if you got into an accident and had to have your legs amputated? Wouldn’t you wish to feel the grass between your toes again? What if you lost your hearing? Wouldn’t you love to hear those wind chimes or even the sound of a baby laughing? If you lost your site you would probably yearn for the opportunity to gaze at the night sky again.

Make a difference in someone else’s life. 

Life is not just about you – its also about the people in your life and the people who cross paths with you, even for a brief moment n time. The things you say and do can have a negative or positive impact on other people’s lives. When you are gone you’ll want your legacy and memory to live on in others.

I am a firm believer of “Random Acts of Kindness” and I try and accomplish at least one daily (more whenever possible). Even if it’s something as simple as holding the door open for someone or letting someone in front of you at the check out line.

I have had people do amazing things for me – things I will never, ever forget. They really had a positive impact on my life. For example, total strangers helped raise money for us to pay for our son’s leg braces when he was little because we didn’t have the money to pay for them and our insurance didn’t cover them.

Another great example is my blog. The fact that you are reading this right now is all thanks to the huge heart and amazing generosity of a wonderful woman name Alison (BeingAlison.com). I owe her the world. I hope to some day repay her kindness – with interest! :-)

Whenever you can do something for someone else even if it’s mere smiling at someone. For all you know that person might be having the worst day ever and your smile might be the one thing that helps them to feel better.

Live in the moment

Enjoy every moment life has to offer. There is nothing you can do about your past (trust me, I’ve tried). You can’t “un-do” mistakes but you can learn from them and move on with your life.

Stop stressing about tomorrow. Tomorrow will take care of it’s self. If you are too focuses on what tomorrow might bring you will miss all the wonderful things that today has to offer.

I am guilty of focuses on the future and not being present in the moment. For example, I want a house more than anything else. I watch home and garden shows. I read about how to plant and grow a garden. I even have things pinned on Pinterest for my future house. All this thought and effort should be used in the “here and now”, not for something that may or may not ever happen and if it does it won’t be for many years from now.

If you don’t live for today you’ll regret it tomorrow. As I said earlier you can’t un-do you past, even if it only happened yesterday. Not only that, what if tomorrow never comes? Life is short and can be ended in a heartbeat. This is why you need to be “present” in the present time.

What words of advice do YOU have for yourself? What is the best words of advice anyone has ever given you? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section.

Clouds

I took this photo one day when I was out with my husband and children. The sky literally took my breath away. It was too beautiful for mere words.

Kimberly

*This post was inspired by Red Envelope‘s Past, ‘Present’ & Future project.” There was no compensation. The opinions expressed are entirely my own. 

 

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About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family, five cats, dog, a tank full of fish and snails. She is also a freelance writer and photographer.