Monday, June 9, 2008

An intriguing question

Given what you know now, what advice would you have offered your younger self if you had the opportunity?

It's an intriguing question. And apparently others are thinking about it, too. Parade magazine’s “Advice to the Young Me” Sunday featured celebrities revealing what they would have told themselves. And the new book “If I'd Known Then: Women in Their 20s and 30s Write Letters to Their Younger Selves” explores the same subject.

With recent college and high school graduations in my house, I’ve thought a lot about the counsel I wish I'd followed and should pass on to my sons. It is:

“Don’t be afraid to take risks.”

After so many years of wishing I could keep my children safe in bubble-wrap, these are difficult words to say. Voicing them is a risk in itself. But just maybe it also means it's not too late for me to take my own advice.

How about you? What advice would you have given yourself?


Rosemary Harris said...

Since, like Mary Poppins, I am practically perfect in every way, it's hard to think of what I would advise the younger me to do differently. (That's a joke. A huge one.)
Still,I'm pretty happy with the way things have worked out. I guess if I'd known how much fun writing is, I might have started earlier. But then I'd have missed out on the things that I did do and the people I did meet.
So I'm going to play it safe and say "wear sunscreen."

Candy said...

My always-worrying, over-protective self can't quite bring myself to say "take more risks." But I would tell my younger self not to stay with the same thing for too long--to try something new, to push myself to learn new skills, to seek more challenges. That's certainly what I'd tell my kids.

Pat Remick said...

“I wish I had been more considerate of my parents. Having two sons in WWII they were so worried all the time. With good reason. When my brother Jim was shot down in the Atlantic and we were notified, it was a watershed for all of us. My Mother's health broke and my Dad could not understand why, when he had tried so hard, this awful event happened to his Son. They were always very religious but the heart went out of them. It was a week later that we discovered he had been plucked out of the Atlantic, and was recuperating in Florida. We were very relieved, but our lives had changed, we could never get back to the way we were.” – P

Pat Remick said...

Whoops... the last comment was made by someone else and I posted it wrong... It's not from me...just posted by me...
I'm going to also share some other comments below that were sent directly to me... but also so worth sharing...
Here are some comments sent directly to me and worth sharing:
“I would have convinced my younger self to worry less and to actually believe that there will be a positive outcome, regardless of how dire the circumstances seem at the time. "

“Be more patient with myself and others, and don't sweat the small stuff. I don't know if I could have followed that advice, but it's probably what I needed to hear and didn't.
My mom has always given me good advice--the best was to take clerical classes and be good in typing--you can always get a job in that field--she was ever so right! I am grateful for that advice.”

• When you’re not sure how to engage a person, ask them about themselves.
• Don’t take your health or your youth for granted.
• A smile makes all the difference in the world – (try it at the grocery store one day!)
• Honesty, Character and Integrity MATTER
• Be grateful” – K

Anonymous said...

I'd up my liability insurance. You never think you'll get sued -- especially over something that at first appears very minor. The agony of waiting for the whole thing to be resolved would be a lot easier if I'd anticipated this. A friend told me "nobody sues these days for less than a million dollars." I'm scared to death I'm going to lose everything I've worked for.

Maggie Toussaint said...

Hi Pat,

I saw your notice about your topic on the SINC loop and came over to comment. I've made some whopping big mistakes in my life, but I wouldn't be the person I am now without having taken that journey.

I have thought about this topic a great deal as my children matured. I wanted them to benefit from my wisdom, but I quickly learned that they didn't benefit in the way I thought. My revised plan was to only benefit them if their ideas were life-threatening. Since I made that decision ten years ago, my daughters have grown considerably. And miracle of miracles, they now think I'm smart.

What would I tell my younger self? Live life to the fullest. You only get one shot.

author of mystery and romance

Sheila Connolly said...

Don't sweat the small stuff, and stop worrying about what everybody else thinks.