Thursday, December 29, 2011

Letter to My Future Self

                              

The new year awaits. Can't stop it. Can't slow it down. At this time of year, I always enjoy the year-in-review stories and predictions about what may be. The past and the future simply fascinate me like nothing else. I'm not too proud about that, but it's where I live, most of the time. What about Time Travel? Should I go backward or forward? And why? Going to the past seems, well, a bit awkward and who wants to revisit adolescence, anyway! Onward to the future? Well, that could be terrifying. What if I am dead?! Still, I’d like to make a reservation to tour the terrain at each of these destinations, and I’d certainly have advice to give my younger self and (hopefully) even have things to learn from an older me. For me, living in the present is not always easy. That is partly why I am ending this inaugural year of my blog with a letter to myself, the Wayne that will be on January 1, 2014. Future Wayne, that is. A few years back, my daughter Esther showed me the 'futureme' web site and said she was sending an email message to her future self. I didn’t think much of it until we got that letter a few weeks ago, dated April 19, 2009. Esther is gone now so you can imagine how excited we were to “hear” her voice once again. Of course, her mother and I went into full panic and fresh grief mode so it wasn't all a “puppies and roses” moment for us. But worth the sobbing. She was so wise. I hope there are more such emails to come.

Over 1.7 million letters like that have gone out and now I’ve been inspired to do the same! So, in two short years, an email will arrive in my inbox from a younger version of me! What advice will it contain? Well, definitely, and primarily, I hope I am a wiser and better human being and that I have continued to do what mattered, caring a little more, loving more deeply, marked by a growing generosity. I will then have been married to Lori for almost 30 years! Have I been kinder, treasuring her daily, as I once did?  I have two amazing daughters, who will be 24 and 22, and who will still need my emotional support. Am I their biggest champion? Graham is almost 18 and Abe is 10. Am I the best dad ever for them? Have I leaned into a grace big enough to lead these boys on toward a healthy young adulthood? Esther’s book has been out for a while. Did it inspire readers to aspire to greater things? I sure hope my money worries have subsided! If I’m not taking better care of this body, I will have no excuse, as it has been so good to me…

In this Letter to My Future Self, I go on to offer some other, specific advice which you’ll just have to wait until New Year's, 2014 to read! The main thing is that I’d choose wisdom over revelation any day. I already know too much and without the appropriate application of knowledge (which is wisdom), such toxicity would lead to a spiritual and emotional collapse. I think the best advice for Future Wayne is to keep working at being here, in the present, rooted and grounded in today.

However, without hesitation, I’d still love to travel in time, in either direction, if I could. A police call-box just dropped in from the sky, you say? I'm in! Until then (or until a certain, unavoidable rendezvous brings me, unhindered, into that Mystery), I remain ready to ride, to do my duty, and that must be enough for now. May you be encouraged to live a brighter and bolder life in 2012, which is just around the corner, waiting, with childlike wonder...

That's me! Age 4.