Dear Me from One Year Ago:
Usually these letters to younger versions of yourself are addressed to the twelve or twenty-year old version. Enough has changed the last year to make me a different person than just twelve months ago, so this goes out to Ellen 2016.
So, since January 2016 the Menopausal Misery you suffered intensified and crystallized into a fairly straightforward problem. Not one to be solved with medication but by of all things, meditation. God, I know, Ellen From One Year Ago. I shudder too. I roll my eyes. So New-Agey. So crunchy. And to require a therapist to get better - shameful. Shame! Still, Last year's Version, you would be surprised at how effective the therapist is. I'm not fixed yet, of course. But, more than anything I wonder why you and I never developed these skills before. A) Sit. B) Notice what's bothering you. C) Put it aside a moment. D) Act on it or avoid it.
In addition to meditation and the Four Agreements (shudders, rolls eyes, questions ones very being), you learned more skills this year, more practical ones. Upholstery (or, re-upholstery - I don't know what it is when you take the beloved loveseat down to the studs). And of course, on July 4th you picked up jewelry-making, just like last Palm Sunday when you started reading music. But instead of keeping the jewelry-making to yourself, you put it out there for people who might want jigsaw or Cheeto-replica necklaces.
Speaking of jewelry, you have too many earrings. In early 2016 you will get your ears pierced at a tattoo parlor and then buy a pair every day for the next few three months then start making them. It's excessive. Also, speaking of appearance, you've gained back ten of the forty-five pounds you lost (though five of those were over Christmas and vacation). Nip that in the bud.
The front yard landscaping filled in - not surprising given that you planted weeds - and the backyard lawn has a path worn from Gary going to the feed box, and another from the food to the Sewer Raccoon Highway. Gary isn't giving up his new hobby, so you might as well embrace it.
You're going to go on some weekend adventures. You will visit:
- The dusty and peculiar Busch Conservation Area and the Weldon Springs Radioactive Site next door
- Big Joel's Animal Park and the Polar Bear Exhibit at the Zoo and the Eagles at Clarksville
- Saint Charles Downtown via a ghost tour, the Shrine of St. Rose Duschene, and various eateries
- A fancy grocery
- Creve Couer Lake for some kayaking
- Kansas City for the required BNL concert (Guess what. It'll be really fun. No surprises there.)
- Ikea (Surprise. You won't like it.) and a lavender farm (Surprise. No lavender.)
- The Grand Arts Center for ... everything. The Contemporary Arts Museum (twice), the symphony for the Michael Jackson tribute, the Sheldon for the Art of Time Ensemble concert, and nooks and crannies for the Fringe Festival
- Your friend Anne's for a monthly culinary adventure. Get ready for Beef Wellington in 2017.
So, next time, when you start a year in tears, don't wait six months before you get help. That's my lesson to you. Oh, and also, I've put this note in the luggage for whatever vacation we take in 2017 in case we forget AGAIN:
(Yes, Eggs Benedict Strikes Again. More about Nashville/ Asheville later.)
Anyway, Ellen 2016, you have a year of new things to learn and changes to make. Seriously. Meditation. What's next? Crystals in 2017? Drum Circles? Flat-out political rebellion since you seem to be a hippie now?
We shall see.