Writing letters to my younger self … Hopefully, I remember to check the mail

Have you ever wished you could go back in time and tell yourself something? Maybe a vital piece of information or a few words of encouragement? After packing our things and enduring the three day move from Colorado to Maine, I realized I had a few words of advice for my past self.

-Dear self in 2007, 2009 and 2012,

Nasal Decongestant

You already have Afrin. It might be stuffed in a small box in the linen closet, in a pile of junk in the nightstand or crammed into the corner of the medicine cabinet. You don’t need to buy more. How do I know this? I’m from the future, silly.

And you should be careful with that stuff. It’s really addictive.


Your slightly older and still congested self


-Dear self in what I assume to be the early 1980s,

Fish artwork

The piece of art you are crafting today will one day be considered for display in the very prestigious Windram House. I believe your use of neutral seashells, contrasted with hot pink and yellow felt are the work of a mixed media genius. Yes, this piece has been hidden away too long in an oversized box in our basement. It’s time to let it shine.

So continue cutting and gluing that seaweed, little one. And don’t let anyone tell you those floating seashells should be on the ocean floor.

Best wishes,

Your much, much older and wiser self


-Dear self one year and six months ago,

Birthday card

Hey, there! So, you’re like going to receive this birthday check from Logan’s parents. Don’t … I repeat … Don’t set it on that stack of magazines by your feet. I know, I know. You’re in the middle of writing that super amazing novel and can’t be bothered. But if you set it there, it will never be cashed. Nope. You’ll find it as you’re packing to move Maine. Yes, that’s right. You’re moving to Maine. Crazy, huh? And a few extra bucks would be really helpful, but you can’t cash the check a year and half later. And asking for them to reissue it would be in poor taste. I think.


Your older and $50 poorer self


-Dear self in the last two decades,




Stop buying so many tank tops. I know they look cute on the rack, but you’ll hardly ever wear them. All those shoes, too. One of them even still has a sticker on it! Then there’s the jeans. Self from 2010, yeah I’m specifically calling you out. You need to give up the dream of fitting into those size 8s again. Just let it go. Trust me, if you stop the buying and the wishful thinking, you’ll have more money in the bank and spend less time weeding through all of this when you have to pack.

Why do I have a feeling you’re not going to listen to me?

Thank you,

Your older and now wearing size 12 jeans self


-Dear self two months ago,

You’ve made it through the move and I have some last minute tips to share:

Camden Harbor

Camden Harbor

-Don’t fret so much about the cats. They’ll be fine. Great, even. They end up sleeping most of the way. Sure, you have to disassemble the bed in one hotel because you couldn’t get MoJo and Olive out from under it, but other than that they were perfect little angels.

-Schedule Logan a dentist appointment now, or begin saving up some big bucks. Three weeks after you arrive he ends up with a dead tooth and needs a root canal. Looking on the bright side, you’ve already found a new dentist!

-That extra set of car keys that you unexplainably keep in the car, you should start carrying those in your purse. Logan will manage to lock the keys in the car in Coralville IA, while the car is running. It would be super helpful to have those keys on you when that happens.

-Plan your meals on the road. Otherwise, you’ll end up at eating at McDonalds every day. I’m serious.

Happy travels,

Your older and currently shopping for winter boots self

24 thoughts on “Writing letters to my younger self … Hopefully, I remember to check the mail

  1. Marcy says:

    As usual, you had me laughing from the first one about the Afrin, we have all been there. I do hope you frame that lovely felt picture with the fish, how did I not get that masterpiece? Clothes and shoes I don’t wear, been there too. You did learn a lot from that epic trip across this vast country. Sorry about Logan’s tooth, bad luck, but did find a good dentist, good luck. I would not have left a 50 dollar check uncashed, I hoard every penny! Great post.

  2. Carrie Rubin says:

    Glad you survived the move. I think I mentioned to you my step-dad is originally from Maine. He has a condo on Old Orchard Beach, and I love to visit there though it’s been a while. New England is wonderful.

    I hear you on the tank tops. I have several in my closet, and I never wear them. Never. And yet I don’t give them away either. I’m not sure what I’m waiting for. A hundred-and-fifty-degree weather? Who knows.

    Fun post!

  3. lindsaycummingswrites says:

    Afrin amd most of its nasal counterparts are highly addictive! I would know… (oooo I want some).

    I loved every sentence of this post. It’s clever, funny and genuine. If only we had some of that insight ahead of time!

    I can’t believe that about the keys. Lordy.

    • jennifer Windram says:

      Thanks, Lindsay! Yes, we stored the extra set of keys in the glove compartment in case someone wanted to ‘borrow’ the car.

      I once had a patient in the hospital almost lunge out the bed to get her hands on a bottle of Afrin. Of all the detoxing patients I took care of, she might have been the angriest. Hmmm… or maybe it was all the patients not allowed to have caffeine? They were pretty frightening as well 🙂

  4. fudgeandpoppy says:

    I think I am the same with Vicks Vapour Rub. I buy a tub of it every couple of years and then find several other tubs festering away somewhere. I also misplaced a cheque for some tax rebate years ago, it was only about £30 odd but I then found it down the side of a sofa when I was getting ready to move house just over 6 months later – too late to cash it! Annoying isn’t it?
    Glad that you guys got there OK, despite all the Big Macs and dental issues! I’m sure I would tell myself several things if I had the chance!

    • jennifer Windram says:

      We frequently misplace things only to find them when they can no longer be used. We had tickets to the water park by our house that expired at the end of the season. We looked and looked and couldn’t find them. Two days after the park closed for the season, we found them. But it sounds like it’s not just us 🙂

  5. Jeff | Planet Bell says:

    If only we could do this. I am impressed with your cats. I drove mine two hours to live with his Grandma and he cried the whole way. And btw, you should have cashed the check. That isn’t bad form at all to do so.

    • jennifer Windram says:

      The cats cried for about 1/2 hour. Then I think they just gave up and were hoping they could sleep through the awfulness and wake up at home.

      Really, a year and a half later? I didn’t think the bank would still cash it, although they don’t really have an expiration date on them, do they?

      • Jeff | Planet Bell says:

        I think you should cash it. If your friend gets overdrawn it is their fault for poor management of their account. I also have an advice column that only has 3 followers, which is strange, because I give excellent social advice.

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