Saturday, January 3, 2015

Dear Emily: A Letter To Myself For The New Year

I was in Miami, Florida on New Year's Eve 1999 (partying to Prince's song, too) with a college roommate named Chrissy.  At midnight, she and I were actually slightly disappointed that the world's clocks, VCRs (remember those?), and ATMs didn't come to a complete stop at 1/1/00!  The next day we were also disappointed in Alabama's 35-34 loss to Michigan at the Fed Ex Orange Bowl.  

Fast forward 15 years and I hardly recognize the girl from that weekend.  She was young, careless, and fancy free.  (She also had an awful bob and shimmery crop tops.)  Today I have three children, crow's feet and bills to pay.  But all is not lost; just like that not-so-fateful night at the turn of the century, a new dawn arose and a new year presented endless possibilities.  In honor of this new year, I decided to follow the inspiration from one of the newest blogs I enjoy and write myself a letter to be reviewed 12 months from now.  

Dear Emily,  

Last year was a great year to be a Morris!  As a family we enjoyed vacations at the beach and Disney World.  We spend a weekend in Atlanta and Houma, LA. Bobby and you traveled with the Tide to the first and the last football game of the season, as well as a few in between. This coming year, too, we should travel as a family.  The memories we make will be ones to cherish forever.  But "as a family" are the key words.  These children are young for such a brief moment in time.  A resolution, of sorts, is to include the kids in many, many family events - dinners, shows, vacations, etc.  They need to always feel like integral parts of a whole set, rather than be "burdensome little people".

Emily, you have a great husband in Bobby.  Why do you need to be reminded? You cannot even put a name to all the ways he helps you with child raising, household chores, entertaining, etc.  Those times that you doubt he is still in love with you?  It could be that you don't love yourself like you should.  

On that note, you have a lot going for you.  You are compassionate, funny, empathetic, generous, and delightful...when you want to be.  You have to be a friend to have a friend.  You have to be a lover to have a lover.  You know the times when you feel doubtful, disappointed, scared, or simply unsure?  Gather yourself together and move forward.  Use your best qualities to lure out the goodness in others, including your husband and your children.  Model for them the kind of relationship you wish to have.

Emily, you were meant to be a mother.  You have the children you always dreamed you would have.  Perhaps life didn't exactly imitate art, but God makes no mistakes.  He didn't give you a strong-willed daughter by accident; He gave you the kind of offspring that requires patience, understanding, and creative discipline techniques.  He gave you sons with energy and imagination.  He gave you the family He designed for you.  This past year there were extreme highs and extreme lows in parenting.  The kids are at their best when they feel included, heard, seen, and loved.  The kids are at their worst when they are made to feel as if they are in the way.  Take the time to truly see life through their innocent eyes.  Again, model for them the best qualities you wish them to possess.  And always, always offer them the respect, grace, and mercy you long for in return.

Professionally it has been five years since you and your mom partnered up and formed this powerful micro-company that is SEE Jones, LLC.  Five years!  Like everything else there were good times and tough times in 2014.  Remember that just because you and your mom approach daily tasks from different perspectives doesn't make one version right and another wrong.  As a team, Emily and Carole can truly bring out the best in each other.  Her strengths are your shortcomings.  Together this coming year can be the biggest yet.  Who needs that silly gold rectangle?  Heinemann and HMH are where all the cool kids like to play!

Remember when you used to rock a bikini like no one's business?  36 is not too late to look your best.  So on a closing note, jump on the bandwagon and make the most popular of resolutions actually stick:  get healthy.  You have an arsenal of powerful weapons in the war against cellulite.  The best thing you can do is love yourself in a selfless way.  Take care of your body, mind, and spirit.  The insides will radiate outward and create happiness you can share.  In the words of Elle Woods: Exercise gives you endorphins.  Endorphins make you happy.  Happy people just don't shoot their husbands.  They just don't.  

In summary, 2014's best moments included the following:

  • Working hard and seeing the tangible (sales) results.
  • Exercising, running, and taking care of your body really worked when you worked at it.
  • Your family like is most pleasant when you are an active, conscientious, Christian matriarch.

2014's worst moments which should be eradicated asap go a little like this:

  • Yearning for the past only makes you regret things you cannot change.  Forgive yourself.  Forgive others.  Look forward.
  • Don't yell and curse so much.  It takes away from your ability to listen and respond.
  • Sugar, sweets, and Diet Pepsi are not your friend.  Do not believe their pleasantries.

With all my love for you, hopes and dreams for a great new year,

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