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Back to the Future

Sunday, January 27, 2013

For my Spark friends who aren't participating in the BLC -- I'm writing this blog as part of a Weekend Challenge Assignment for the Panther Team in the BLC21. Our theme for the week is "Back to the Future" and one of our challenge areas is to reflect on the person we were at age 16 and give her advice now that years have passed.

This has been a fun reflection. Honestly, back then, I was much like I am now. Extremely involved in lots of things and truly enjoying life in most ways. I focused on honoring my commitments which often left little "down" time. Many of you would probably say, "she hasn't changed a bit," but I will tell you that I have learned to say "no" without fretting over the decision and because of that, am much happier. Yes, there are occasions when long-term commitments have events that land close to the same time, so I occasionally have days that are a bit overscheduled, but most of the time, things are manageable.

What would I say to my sixteen year-old self?

1. Continue to focus on the future and do things that will lead to the most possibilities, that way you'll have choices as you arrive at the all-important forks in the road.

2. Know that you cannot please everyone. Busy people are always asked to do more because they are known as "do-ers." It isn't possible to do everything that everyone asks you to do and do it well. Set your priorities and say "no" when a new obligation will bring undue stress or doesn't fit with your goals in life -- unless, of course, it offers something "fun" that allows you to relax and enjoy life for a moment.

3. Know that it is okay not to be popular with all the kids in the school. The "friends" that you had to separate from last year because they were choosing to experiment with drugs and too much alcohol are heading down the wrong path. Though you perceive them as "cool" and "popular" doesn't mean that they will be successful adults. Their struggles will come when drug and alcohol-abuse become demons in their lives that they have to overcome. Do continue to be kind to them, though, and offer friendship if any of them decide that it is time to step away from the "in crowd." They will need it.

4. Take care of yourself. Make sure that you're building time into your schedule to get enough sleep, as well as build time to relax. It is okay to have time that you do absolutely nothing.

5. Be sure to frequently tell your parents how much you appreciate them. Your mother is always focused on keeping you healthy. She makes wonderful, healthy meals and only asks that you show up at the table. Being the linguist in the family, she also is willing to give you feedback on your written assignments and helps you hone your writing skills. Your dad, always has time to help. Most kids don't have parents who understand upper-level math and science. Your dad is more skillful at it than most of your teachers. Appreciate that you don't have to slave over your homework, but instead can ask your dad to reteach the things you didn't get in class.

6. True love will come. Though your heart is broken right now because the love of your life decided that you aren't the love of his life, you are still young. Your present broken heart will one day help you to appreciate true love when it does comes along.

There are surely other things that I might say to my sixteen year-old self, but these are the big things.

To the Weekend Challenge "author," thanks for a great reflective assignment!

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
1EMMA2011 2/2/2013 7:05PM

    This is an amazing blog from an amazing friend! So proud of you. Great advice! You are a sincere and loving leader! Thank you for your inspiration now and always!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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    emoticon Blog!

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KRZYKAT3 1/27/2013 11:37PM


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JMCADE 1/27/2013 8:57PM

    Great blog Diane - you did some major reflection.

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    What wonderful wisdom to give to any 16 year old. Thanks for sharing.

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GORIANA 1/27/2013 4:35PM


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KALIGIRL 1/27/2013 4:25PM

    Definitely the BIG and important things!

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LIZARDG7 1/27/2013 3:50PM

    What a great blog!

You are very special!

Hugs, Lizzie

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RHONDALYN10 1/27/2013 3:41PM

    Great blog!
I am so different than I was at 16.
You have great insights.

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LRSILVER 1/27/2013 3:00PM

    emoticon emoticon

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1TRULYBLESSED 1/27/2013 1:21PM

    "It is okay to have time that you do absolutely nothing." -- boy, did that line speak to me, Diane! Having a outrageously high type-A husband, I find myself feeling guilty when I'm relaxing while he's still working. I have to keep reminding myself that his choices don't have to dictate mine, and he is NOT judging me when I choose to take time for myself.

Oh, to have had all this wisdom when we were 16, or even enough wisdom to listen to the wisdom of those who have "been there, done that"! But, we got through it and grew stronger for the experience...may our children be as blessed!

Thanks for sharing! emoticon

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_LINDA 1/27/2013 12:18PM

    What an awesome challenge! You responded to it very well! There are some creative minds on that BLC team!!
One of the hardest things for a female to learn is to say 'no'. We are conditioned to be the nurturer, caregiver the go to person when something is needed. You have done well to be able to control that impulse!
I would say you passed your challenge with flying colors!!
Enjoy what is left of your weekend!

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RICKISMOM1 1/27/2013 12:10PM

    Very Nice and oh so true!

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WENDYDANCER 1/27/2013 11:20AM

    emoticon very interesting & well thought out!

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CAPTHAMMER 1/27/2013 10:52AM

    All great advice.
emoticon The loss of Prince Charming and the promised "Happily Ever After" may be one of the hardest to convince our 16 year old self will eventually be okay.

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REDHATSHAPELY1 1/27/2013 10:43AM

    Loved your blog! What great advice. Too bad teens are not usually open to
much guidance from adults at that stage of life. However, I think part of growth involves making some choices that are not the best and experiencing the pain that results. Then we may be able to make a course correction. Thanks for sharing.

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MASTERCARE 1/27/2013 10:15AM

    I loved this....I do. Thank you for taking the time to share this.

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