A letter to my future self

Future Jeff,

You may be reading this thinking things are a little backwards. After all, people typically write letters to their past selves, memos of how they wish they would have done this, or done that, but I thought it was more appropriate to speak to my future self. You know, considering the future is ahead of me, and not in the rear view mirror.

Nonetheless, I want you to know what I’m doing now, this very day, to make your life better in a lot of ways.

First, I am working my tail off to help you function better. Yes, from a physical standpoint. When I turned 30 I realized my focus should turn from working out for my personal self, into I should work out to help better my quality of life today, and down the road. I truly hope you are reading this and are enjoying a life which has no physical boundaries. If not, then you must have messed up somewhere along the line! I’m kidding.

In the gym, and with this physical body, is not the only area where I am working hard. Depending on when you read this, my teaching career, although strenuous at times, has been one which has led me to a great deal of fulfillment. Sure, there are obvious pitfalls with such a vocation, but the job has done more than just pay the bills, it has given you a chance to be a huge part in many people’s lives.

On top of that, the ability to support your family has always been paramount. At this stage, I’ve done a lot just to keep things copacetic from a financial situation. Working full-time as a teacher, managing a major sports website, and even cutting grass on the sides…all to provide. Hopefully as you read this letter, the appreciation is evident from the family, and kids, for the work I’ve done all these years — for them. Hard work pays off, and hopefully my hard work now has allowed you to relax more than I am currently.

Speaking of kids, the four children you have should be treasured, if they aren’t currently being appreciated. No, it isn’t always easy, but each one of those kids has been their own joy and pleasure in your life. At this point, they are likely grown, but whenever things get rough, or you get frustrated, just remember those days when they were little. When their innocence and wonder dominated any bad attitude or smart remarks you could possibly experience. You come from a family of stubbornness, but don’t be that way with your children. Be quick to forgive and forget, but more importantly, always be willing to show your love to all of those four children, both publicly and privately.

Children are treasures which should be enjoyed. Don’t wait too long to realize just how precious and special they are. Time goes by way too fast.

Now for that ring on your left hand. And by that, I mean your wife Nicole. Regardless of which stage of life you are reading this, please understand just how important she is in your life. She is the rock you have built your house on, and without that rock the house could have been swept away years ago.

Even at 34, the age which this article is being written, don’t ever forget what you’ve been through together. The key word there is together. You’ve experienced death, divorce, unbelievably difficult medical emergencies, foreclosures, as well as purchases and selling of property, all of which you can put into the giant bag of “been there done that”. It hasn’t always been easy, but would you have had it any other way? I realized long ago it were these trials and tribulations which brought us closer together, not further apart. Keep that in mind if the waters get rough. Cling to each other to stay afloat, not drift away from one another.

In summation, I hope I have done my part, at this time, to set you up for success. Success is a word which often times has extremely rigid borders and boundaries. For instance, success in sports is usually only measured by whether you win or lose, but in this case, it is about so much more. It is about building a life. Not just a life worth living, but a life to be proud of. I know I am proud right now, and you should be proud too, if by chance you forgot how good you have it somewhere down the road.

Lastly, and certainly not least, never forget how good God is. He is the one who blessed you with that wife. He is the one who gave you those four beautiful, albeit ornery, children. And He is the one who breathed life into your body. Until that breathe leaves you, never forget all we have, and all we have built, is because of, and to honor, Him.

All the best,

34-year-old Jeff



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