Below is Connie's version of "Letters to my younger self." These are nuggets of advice that she would give herself when she was my age- 23.
· Stay away from processed food, and especially stay away from sugar -- it makes you susceptible to illness, makes you age prematurely, and makes you feel like crap.
· Treasure your sister. She will always be there for you when you need her most.
· Have more fun. Travel. Make time for friends. Work your bucket list.
· Know when to quit (when you have kids, teach them how to quit, too. If your child is playing on a sports team and she simply hates it, let her quit. She might just pick up a guitar and be the next Taylor Swift). Quitters aren’t losers, they’re winners (quitters know when to sell the business before they go bankrupt, when to leave an abusive marriage before the kids start getting beat up too, when their job is sucking the life out of them and when it’s time to move on to bigger and better opportunities). Which leads to…
· Don’t let the expectations of others dictate your life. Follow your passion – not theirs. Which leads to…
· Work your goals. If you are not working your goals, you’re working someone else’s. Which leads to…
· Don’t let fear dictate your life. Go for it.
· Stay out of tanning beds unless you want melanoma and prematurely aged skin.
· You can’t do everything. It’s OK if you don’t dust this week. It’s OK if there’s a science experiment growing in your fridge. You might think you can be Superwoman, and maybe you can be for a while. But stay away from her – she gives you thyroid cancer and early menopause.
· Accept help from others. I learned the importance of this when your daddy had his stroke. At first I felt guilty for accepting help, but I finally realized that by accepting help, I was helping the other person fulfill their calling.
· Work your marriage. I used to think marriage shouldn’t be this hard. And in some cases that may be true. But even the healthiest marriages slam into brick walls now and then. That’s why it’s important to work your marriage, to cherish each other while things are going good. Doing so builds up your marriage muscle, and at some point you’ll need that muscle to hammer your way through a brick wall. And one last thing about marriage. When the two of you are lying in bed sharing a conversation, treasure those moments, because they don’t come with a lifetime guarantee.
I cherish her wisdom and advice so much and will forever enjoy reading back on this post. Thank you, Connie, so much! I love you.