Please forgive this bit of self-indulgence; I justify it by pointing out that a healthy attitude and a healthy outlook will only enhance a healthy body and spirit. With that said, I am going to indulge away… (ahem):
Dear Twenty-year-old Self,
Today you turn 40. In the zeal and ignorance of youth, you thought this day would never really come. You watched friends reach it, and you heard siblings complain about it, but you didn’t think it would ever happen to you. Well, my friend, it happened. Here we are.
Now don’t you feel sorry for me, Twenty! I’ve earned every one of these 40 years, and I’m celebrating! That’s right, I’m celebrating the fact that I’ve reached the big Four-Oh. More importantly, I’m celebrating the fact that I’m no longer you, Twenty.
I’ve graduated from college and am midway through a master’s degree; I’ve completed two triathlons and a half-marathon; I weigh what I weighed in high school; I have a successful 20-year marriage going, three astonishing children, a lovely, comfortable home, and I have met so many more truly wonderful people in the years since I was you, Twenty! I’ve snorkeled the technicolor waves of Aruba, ferried across Canadian waters alongside a pod of Orca whales, parasailed in Mexico, and explored the cobbled streets in Spain. I’ve published a book. I ski down Colorado’s sunlit slopes regularly, and run and bike the trails under its clear blue skies along the river. You, Twenty, could not say any of the above. I’ve read so many more books, made so many more friends, sung so many more songs, and learned so much since I was you. Please don’t be offended, but I would never be you again. The only thing you were, dear, was younger—and that’s no accomplishment. I don’t want you back… well, maybe I would take your skin, but that’s all. And even then, please leave me my stretch marks because I treasure every moment that formed those silvery badges of honor!
The truth is, Twenty, that I love being Forty now. Thank you for who you were then, and the decisions you made that brought me where I am today. You did the best you could, and I appreciate it. I know I never won that Oscar, that Grammy, or that Nobel Peace Prize you thought you were destined for, and I would say I’m sorry but I’m not. Those things aren’t going to happen, and that’s okay. It’s better than okay, it’s right. You set me on a good path, Twenty, but the truth is that I’m over you. Where I am now, who I am now, is just better. No hard feelings, alright? You had your day.
Your Forty-year-old Self
Doctrine & Covenants 89: 18-19
"And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow to their bones; And shall find wisdom and great treasures of knowledge, even hidden treasures."