Dear Future Me: A letter to myself

It’s been a month since my last blog, and I’m feeling very out of practice as I type this.  So to get myself back up to speed, I’m going to take on a challenge set by Erin, to write a letter to myself a year from now:

Dear 44 Year Old Me this time next year,

How’s it going?  I have to tell you, it’s weird writing this.  As you know, I’m not one to tempt fate by looking too far into the future. Hell, I don’t even like making packed lunches the night before, just in case something goes wrong – so it’s freaking me out writing this.  Hope everything’s ok with you all there in 2017.

Anyway, I guess the first thing I should do is apologise for the decision I’ve just taken – which is also the reason why this blog hasn’t happened at all in the last month.  Do you remember? You probably do.  You’re probably screaming ‘Damn right you should apologise, after the year I’ve just had!’ And you’re probably right.  So why have I done it?  Why, just at the point where I realised that all I really want to do is write, and when I’ve finally freed up some time to concentrate on it, have I gone and taken on a temporary promotion at work which is going to involve more hours, more responsibility (ie stress) and probably a lot less time to focus on doing what I love?

The answer is complicated.  In a way I’m mad at myself for taking this job on.  But at the end of the day, it was a vacancy in the team which had to be filled.  I’m not very good at bigging myself up, but frankly, I’ve been working in this sector for over 15 years now, I know I can do the job… if I didn’t apply, what would have happened? Someone from outside, someone who would almost inevitably have less experience, would have come in and filled the post.  And you’d have spent the last year sitting across the office from them, watching them do the job you’re perfectly capable of doing.  And how would you have liked that?

I think ultimately, changes that we choose to make for ourselves are easier to deal with than changes which are forced upon us. In an ideal world maybe things wouldn’t have changed at work for the next year or so, and I would have been able to devote all my mental energy to my writing.  But that’s not an option.  If I’d done nothing, if I’d chosen not to apply for this temporary role, my role would still have changed. A new member of the team would, inevitably, have had an impact on my role, and possibly not a positive one.  So, even though it’s all looking a bit stressful and scary, the best thing to do is to take a deep breath, accept the new situation and make the best of it.

Remember that quote from Machiavelli – one I didn’t include in Erin’s “Three Days Three Quotes” challenge (because after all, who the hell gets inspirational quotes from Machiavelli?) –  “The one who adapts his policy to the times prospers, and likewise… the one whose policy clashes with the demands of the time does not”. Well this feels a bit like one of those situations where you have to move with the times, and adapt your policy.  If you try and stand still, you get left behind.  So again, I’m sorry, but I do (somewhat resignedly) think that this was the right decision.  I promise you now that I will do my utmost in the year ahead not to neglect all those things – writing, family life, fitness – which I know I need to prioritise.  And I’m also going to do my utmost to move up a gear, and tackle all the new challenges at work head on.  By the time you read this letter, you will hopefully have some additional experience which I don’t currently have on my CV. And at the very least, you’ll have had a bit more money in your pocket for the last few months, and I hope you’ve had some good retail therapy out of it.

All the best,

2016 43 year old Me.

One of the rules of this challenge is apparently that you should nominate other bloggers to take part… but I’m not sure who to nominate and wouldn’t want anyone to feel pressurised.  So if anyone reading this has a burning desire to say something to themselves 12 months from now, please consider yourself nominated!  And tag me, so I can read it! But if not, then that’s cool too.

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14 thoughts on “Dear Future Me: A letter to myself

  1. You did it, yay! I’m honored to have helped you break your blogging fast.

    I know what you mean about nominating people–it feels intrusive and some people like it whereas others are annoyed. I think I’d do more of these if it weren’t for the nominating part.

    I need to read up on Machiavelli. Sounds like he could see through much BS, even if his guidelines aren’t known for optimism.

  2. I really liked this idea, and then I thought what I might have to say to the 62 year-old me next year and it seemed to be ‘keep on doing more of the same’! Life is clearly even more different after retirement than I thought. The one thing I might mention to next year’s me – becoming a grandfather in the summer – felt too much like tempting fate… I will try this thought experiment one day, though.

    • Wow that is very exciting news for the year ahead, I’m really happy for you. Totally agree about not tempting fate though! Maybe in the next couple of years you can start reviewing children’s literature on your site as well!

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