A 2013 letter to the younger me

Dear kid,

Yeah, that's what you are. A kid. Get over it. When you're as old as me, you'll wish you were a kid again. Wait, no you won't. You'll know better.

Thing is, there's nothing wrong with being a kid and aching to grow up. Just know this: the growing up part? It takes forever and, if you're lucky, it never really happens.

I'm writing you from 2013. Yeah, seriously. I know you didn't expect to live that long. Said anybody over that age, or that other age, couldn't possibly have a life worth living. Guess what? I do. And it's better than the one you're living now, even when you factor in a sense of mortality that . . . oh, never mind, you won't get it.

You're just going to have to trust me on this.

In 2013, things are going to happen that you can only dream about now. And some of them are things you'll have a hand in along the way. Others, thankfully, will be completely out of your control. Some good, some bad. But together, everything that 2013 will bring to you (to me) will make it a year worth living. Just like at least half of the years between younger you and me.

And that's why I'm reaching out.

Whatever year you're in? Make it count. Start with a plan. Be ready to shred the plan along the way, but only when you've got a new plan ready to go. Don't wallow your way through the year hoping that whatever life brings will be "good enough" to make it worthwhile. I know that looks cool right now, and I get that "living for today" is the best way to go. But tripping through life without a handful of goals and a solid idea of how to reach them . . . Well, let's just say that's how you're going to waste some of the years between now and 2013.

Me? I've got some real plans for this year. Sure, some of them are the parts undone from 2012, but this is the second year in a row where, rather than making resolutions, I'm starting the year by saying, "Bring on a whole lot more of what last year had on offer. It worked for me."

I know you like lists. I've still got one or two of the old ones—yeah, like that one pinned on our bulletin board there. That in mind, here's a little gift.

A To Do list for this year:

1) Spend time with friends and family. Lots of it. They matter more than you'll ever know.

2) Write. Do it every day. It's what you're good at. Screw the self-doubt; it's completely unoriginal.

3) Read all the time. Believe it or not, some of that Hesse and Irving and Hardy will bounce around your brain for the rest of your life. (Yeah, even thirty years after you read it. Thank you, Mrs. Christensen.)

4) Learn how to cook something new. At least once a month. You like to eat and knowing how to prepare healthy food that tastes great will pay off daily. (No, being a regular at a few favourite restaurants is NOT a substitute for cooking.)

5) Keep your vices in check. A couple of them could kill you and that would ruin my ability to sit here in 2013 and write you this letter. Don't mess with the future.

Sorry, kid, it doesn't get more exciting than that. All the other stuff? The adventure, the learning, the challenges, travel, and hard work? You've already got a handle on it. You don't need me pointing the way. Just pay attention to these five things and work your plan.

I promise it will give you, me, a lot to look forward to, and much to remember.

Big hug. See you when you get here,