I saw this on Facebook today and I loved it. It’s exactly the same reasoning that I use for “Old Lady Frogdancer” and it’s the reason why I’m selling my house and moving half an hour away. Future Frogdancer will need to be taken care of and she’ll be glad that I put things in place to do so… just like my boys were glad that I bought a house near their secondary school (one of the best in Melbourne) when my oldest son was just entering prep and we still had 7 years before we needed to be in the zone.The woman who wrote it is the author of “Eat, Pray, Love”, a book I’ve never read but I’ve heard about.
Dear Ones –
Whenever my family used to go on a trip, the last thing my mother would do before she walked out the door was to make her bed nicely, with clean sheets and everything. When I asked her once why she went through all that trouble to make a bed that she wasn’t going to sleep in all week, she said, “It’s a present that I give to my future self, because I know she’ll appreciate that, when she gets back home.”
I think this was the first time I grasped the idea of having a “future self” who is different from the person I was at the moment.
It was something about my mother calling her future self “she” — not “I”…an awareness that this future self was a totally separate being.
And it was definitely the first time I considered that you could be NICE to your future self — doing her favors, leaving her treats, making the bed for her…
We are often told to be kind to ourselves, but it takes a special sort of awareness to be kind to our FUTURE selves. Maybe that’s who we are really talking about, when we say that we should be kind to ourselves. Because your poor, innocent, sweet future self is the person who will have to cope with whatever choices you make right now. (As evidence by the mess I had to clean up around the age of 30, from so many reckless decisions I made in my 20s.)
I don’t want to be mean to my future self anymore. I don’t want her to have to deal with illnesses and struggles and catastrophes that my current self sets into motion. (I also don’t want her to have to face the sorrows of gum disease, which is the ONLY reason I ever floss my damn teeth. Every night, bored at the sink, flossing away, I’m like, “This one’s for you, future Liz!”)
When I’m doing preparation to write a new novel (like I am now), it’s such a drag to get myself moving on the boring tasks of compiling research…but as I sit there at my desk, reading dull books, filling out index card after index card of notes I say, again, “This one’s for you, future Liz!” And it totally pays off. For instance, when it came time to write THE SIGNATURE OF ALL THINGS, I had six boxes of index cards filled with notes and research to draw upon in creating my novel. It was so useful! Like some kind of magical elf had helped me so much! I started laughing one day at my desk, as I heard myself say aloud, “Hey, thanks, past Liz!”
And past Liz sent future Liz a friendly salute across time…and it was a curiously lovely sensation.
When all your selves — your past self, your present self, and your future self — can make friends with each other and be kind to each other, life somehow seems less fraught with suffering and anguish.
So what can you do today for your future self?
Something as small as making her bed for her?
Something as big as saving some money for her?
Something as totally life-transforming as quitting smoking for her, or getting out of a toxic relationship for her?
Whatever it is — big or small — do your future self a kindness today.
You are all she has.
Thermomix Recipe: Skinnymixer’s Lunchbox Chicken Loaf… The thermomix continues to surprise me, even after 4 years. I never buy this sort of meat, because of all the added fat that ‘glues’ it together, but I remember from when I was a kid how delicious it is. Imagine being able to make this and be able to make quick and (now) healthy sandwiches because you know what goes into them?