As always, you guys come up with some pretty amazing questions. This one from Vicki was enough to bring tears to my eyes…
If you could travel back in time and visit your younger self, what message would you give yourself?
I don’t like having regrets. I made my choices in life and I can’t change the past, so there’s no use regretting it. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t things I wished I’d done differently.
I stayed in a job I hated for years because I couldn’t see a way out.
I started a new career I wasn’t positive about because I listened to the advice of others.
I didn’t take care of myself when I was younger because there was no immediate threat to my health.
The list goes on. And on. And on.
But if I could go back (that’s me and hubby at our engagement party over 13 years ago), I’m not sure I would change anything. Everything in my life has brought me to where I am, and I love my life. Yes, there are things I’d like to change today, but changing my past would mean I’d change my present, and I can’t complain too much.
What message would I give myself though? That’s easy.
Live every day with love.
What do I mean by that? That’s a little harder.
There are a lot of different kinds of love. If we all live our lives with love, the world will be a better place.
Love yourself, for me, means taking care of myself but also accepting myself and loving me for my imperfections as much as my perfections.
Love others means caring about the people around you. Your family and friends, of course, but also the people you don’t know. For me, that means yelling at my kids less and forgiving that jerk on the road who cut me off (instead of swearing at them!).
I’m fortunate that I love my job, but I spend too many years in a job that was destroying me. When I was fired, three months before I intended to quit, it hurt, but it set me free. I know I wouldn’t have actually left on my own. I would have been too scared. I’m very lucky to have a job that makes me happy.
Loving God, because I’m Catholic and God is an important part of my life, means accepting when He tells me no and listening to His guidance. I’ve struggled at times with my career and my religion being at odds, but I honestly feel God has told me I’m in the right place. I love that I have His support, and I try to thank Him for that on a regular basis!
There’s a lot of violence and hatred in the world right now. I do my best not to bring it home with me, but I know I’m not nearly perfect. Focusing on love every day makes my life so much happier and I know would have made it easier at times too. Hopefully I can listen to my advice going forward, even if I can’t actually go back!
Thanks so much, Vicki, for your question! If you have a question, send me an email (mary (at) maryethompson (dot) com) with Q&A in the subject, or post it in the comments below, and I’ll answer your question right here on the blog!