Wednesday, January 9, 2013

To Myself, at 63

from Kristina Wright

Hey there. I bet you hardly remember me, huh? The you of eighteen years ago, when your kids were still little. Sure, I'm middle-aged now-- and I feel it some days more than others-- but I'm guessing I probably seem young to you. Younger, certainly. Do you miss me? Don't. Your body has done some pretty amazing things so far and it's a good one. Not perfect, not even beautiful, but strong and resilient. Even at 63, I'm guessing.

Why am I writing this when you're 63? Oh, it seemed like a good age. At 21 and 19, the boys are mostly grown and they should be enjoying their college lives-- lives of their own that likely have little to do with you. Does that make you sad? Or do you feel liberated? I feel mixed emotions as I write it, but of course right now they're only 3 and 1-- such sweet little boys who need me. They won't always need me, will they? (It's okay, you can lie to me and say they will.)

Sixty-three is the age I imagine where I'll feel like I did pre-children, more free, more... me. I hope that's true. Is that true? Are your days built around your own needs and interests the way they were until you were 42? I'm planning trips now for you when you're at an age where you can go wherever you want and do whatever you want and not worry (too much) about the boys. I hope you'll go on some of those trips. Sure, the boys can come if they want. I'm planning some trips like that between now and then, of course. I want to show them the world. But I want to see more of it myself, too.

Forty years of marriage this year, right? Wow. Forty. Of course, sitting on this side of the screen, it's already been 22 years and some days that seems like forever and some days it seems like a few years that flew by in a blink. Forty years sounds like forever, but I know it won't seem that way when I'm sitting where you are. It was meant to be, it was the best decision you ever made. You two have always been so perfect together. Right. Forever is really all that makes sense for you.

I envision a writing career that is still consuming your time in the best possible way. I hear of writers who quit-- who wake up one day and don't ever write another word. That won't be me-- us, I mean. It's what I was born to do, and I know you know it, too. Maybe more than ever, now that the boys are grown and you've been married for nearly two-thirds of your life. Marriage, motherhood, a sense of family and belonging... they're wonderful, aren't they? But the writing... that's what sustains me. That's what will always be there.

I wish you could write me back and tell me what you're doing. What direction your life has taken, what you're passionate about in this current moment eighteen years from now. But half the fun in this life is the anticipation of finding out what's around the bend in the road. How the children will turn out, how your relationships will ebb and flow, where life will take you emotionally and spiritually (and certainly physically, as I haven't been unscathed by health issues)-- it's all a part of the mystery of this life. It's wonderful, isn't it?

I hope you're happy. I feel that you are, in this weird in-between place where past, present and future connect. I feel that you will always be happy, some days (and years) more than others, but consistently so. Stay happy. For me.

3 comments:

  1. Kristina, I'm almost as old as your future self, and I think your prediction looks accurate. You will prob. have more time AND more money when your sons are grown. It will be bittersweet to know they no longer need you as they used to, but it will also be a relief. You have much to look forward to!

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  2. Kristina, this is as much an affirmation of who you are now as it is of who you would like to become.

    I suspect your visions are mostly accurate.

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  3. Thank you, Jean and Lisabet. :-) This was harder than I thought-- and I started to write to my younger self first, but I've done that before. So looking forward... imagining me in a couple of decades. It was an interesting challenge.

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