My post this week is a letter to my children. To my babies. You are growing up fast and soon you will leave home to go off into the world to make your own way. Before you get there, here are ten (10) things I want you to remember:
- Don’t be in a rush to grow up. I know right now it seems like you don’t have much autonomy but my advice to you is to enjoy these years while you can. Time flies and as I always say, if God blesses you with a long life, you will spend more of it as an adult than you will as a children or teens. Once you grow up, you will have lots of responsibilities and there is no going back. So, take the time to enjoy these years while you still can.
- It’s not that deep. At this age, there are many things in the world that concern you. Trust me when I tell you that a lot of those things will not matter in 2 years. So don’t expend too much energy worrying about them. Remember the words of the serenity prayer and focus on the things that you can control.
- Use social media wisely. You are growing up in a time where everything is online and everyone lives their lives on social media. Be careful of how you use social media. Remember that everything you put online stays there, forever. Things you do and say online now, could be used against you in the future. So, use wisdom when you interact online.
- You will make mistakes as you try to figure life out. Forgive yourself. Learn from those mistakes and move forward. Don’t beat yourself up if you don’t do things perfectly. No one is perfect and no one expects you to be perfect. So, you should not demand perfection from yourself. We would much rather you be a kind, loving, caring, thoughtful and generous human being than a perfect one.
- Make wise choices. Remember that some of the choices you make today will have a lasting impact on your life, so it is particularly important to think carefully before making your decisions. Never make a major, potentially life-altering decision when you are in a heightened emotional state. If you do, you will not make the best decision and may end up regretting it.
- It’s ok if you don’t know what you want to do with your life right now. If you do, that is great but if not, it is not the end of the world. Many people don’t find their purpose until mid-life. There is no right or wrong time to figure it out.
- Never stop learning. Formal education is not the only way to learn. You don’t necessarily have to keep going to school, but always seek out knowledge.
- Start taking care of yourself from now. You are important and valuable. You are worthy of protection. Spend time taking care of your mental and physical health. Make it a habit and be unapologetic about it.
- Be a person of integrity. Do what’s right, even if it is unpopular. You won’t please everyone, so make sure your conscience is clear. Having integrity is better than being popular.
- Celebrate the small victories. You will have successes and failures as you go through life. The failures may make you feel defeated but remember failure is a part of success. When you have small victories, celebrate them. It is quite ok to be proud of yourself, just don’t become arrogant.
Finally, and most importantly, my children, always remember how much we love you. We are proud of who you are now and look forward to the adults you will become.