A few years ago I bought a self-reflection activity book titled Letters to My Future Self. It's one of those reflective, self-progress things that required I write letters to myself in the future about specific topics I was dealing with at the time I wrote the letter to myself. Examples include "These are my roots...", "Where I want to go from where I am right now", and "This is what I live for: work accomplishments".
I haven't completed all the letters. Blank ones include "All the things I'd like to try someday", "It was an extraordinary day", "This is a letter about my love", "I never want to forget this", "Ten item gratitude list and letter of thanks".
My current dilema: I have several entries with past due open and read dates and I'm not sure if I want to open and read them. Those letters include "I promise to myself" sealed on 01/30/2020, to be opened on 01/30/2021. "There's no place like home" sealed on 10/04/19, to be opened on 10/04/2020. "A pep talk for the future me" sealed on 04/30/2018 to be opened on 05/14/2020. "Me from long ago to the more experienced me" sealed on 06/29/19 to be opened on 06/29/2020.
My memory of why I wrote letters on particular days is gone. I have no idea why I wrote "A pep talk for the future me" on 4/30/2018 and why I chose the date to open it on 5/14/2020, other than 5/14/2020 was my 49th birthday.
Part of me feels like opening and reading the letters should be a communal event, surrounded by friends and select family. You know, my tribe. I can't imagine anything lonelier than opening one of these letters and reading it to myself while sitting alone on my bed. That just seems pathetic.
So here is a new letter to myself dated 03/13/21 to be read today, 03/13/21:
My dear, you think you see the light at the end of this very black tunnel you've lived in since August 1st 2020, but the truth is you're working on a project that doesn't guarantee you a regular, full time job at the projected end date in 6-9 months. You are saving much of the salary you current receive which is a good thing because you've never made more money than you are now and you must remember this is a temporary gig.
Congrats on knowing about, accessing and using all of the safety net programs that you qualified for: Food Share, a tax credit off-set for health insurance through the Marketplace, energy assistance, COVID relief payments, and several tax credits we qualified for when filing our 2020 taxes. It feels weird to use the same social services benefits I've directed numerous clients to, but at least I knew about them and accessed them when my family needed to. There's NO shame in that.
Thank God I have parents who saved enough money to provide their heirs (me, my sister & my brother) access to inheritance money "while they're still alive" a quote from my dad. He keeps a ledger documenting which one of us has received a dollar amount to make sure the other two receive the same dollar amount whether that's for a new car or lakeside property, or a pontoon boat.
Last week Rog (my dad) told me Mark & I are due some money based on this pre-inheritance system and I told him to keep it in "our account" to be used for a future vacation once COVID vaccinations increase and travel is less of a hassle.
I hope to see the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco.I hope to see and listen to the Height Ashbury neighborhood that created so much of the music I love. I hope to walk among the Redwoods and Sequoias and be awestruck by their size.