National Write a Letter Day – Writing a Letter to the Pre-COVID You
Happy National Write a Letter Day! We thought we’d add a little twist to this fun event and write a letter to our pre-COVID selves! This year has brought a lot of change and those changes have left an impact on us all. While difficult, this year has also allowed us to take the time to ask important questions and focus on what really matters.
You have so much anticipation for 2020 because of how hard 2019 has been for you. Little do you know that 2020 has even more in store than you can possibly imagine. Shortly into the year everything changes. It changes your family. It changes your business. You change.
But as I sit here and reflect on what I have learned from this year, you will be proud to know that YOU ARE RESILIENT. You are loved. You are well cared for. You are strong. You are surrounded by goodness.
You’ve discovered that a slower pace is more your speed. You’ve learned that baseball can be a salvation for your family. You’ve learned that walking is a great way to decompress and change perspective. You’ve learned that drinking too much is not a solution. You’ve learned that there’s no substitute for nourishing your family around the kitchen table.
At Choice you learned that change is good – that building a new team in the midst of chaos and transition is where you are strong. Every client is in crisis simultaneously and you shine. You re-evaluate your business model this year because of a pandemic and double your business and your team because of it. You are winning at work because of the challenges that come. The Summit will be a salve this year that you weren’t expecting. Your connection to new colleagues and other female entrepreneurs will change your trajectory.
Hug Matt every single day. Love him deeply and well. Be grateful for him – and tell him. He is your rock and the reason that you have so much stability. He brings calm to your chaos.
You will never believe this. Your mom and dad are moving five minutes away! You will see joy emanate from both them and Dixon and Thackston, who absolutely lose their mind over this.
You really learn the value of friendship and connection this year. And in a year where your focus was to “Be the Invitation,” you’ve learned how to do that for yourself as much as for others. While you’ve been looking for a best friend, you’ve discovered how much you really like YOU. You learn what it means to really take care of your body this year…and it shows.
In a year with so much pain and sorrow and loss, you will be abundantly grateful. You will start noticing more of what you have right in front of you. Be like Thackston in that way – a noticer. Pay attention to how insightful and wise DIxon is. Also, he towers over you now – get ready to look up to your 13-year-old.
You will value the life that you have built for yourself. And you will understand how important the three guys in your own home are as well as how much you actually love the home that you worked so hard to care for. Love them well. And by all means, buy some extra toilet paper.
Kerry, this is the year you will tackle so many things you didn’t plan on. Your need for control will be tested, and by the end of the year, you will feel lighter and happier knowing you can’t change the past or predict the future, so you might as well enjoy this moment you have right now. Your relationships with your family and friends will look different than they ever have before, and you will close out 2020 with people who make you laugh until you cry, lift you up when you are down, and who stay connected even without physically being together. You will round the corner to year four of marriage, and it will be the best year yet. You and Jake will stand side by side as you take on physical, mental, emotional, and financial issues that you never imagined. That sounds hard and scary, but it will be really, really fun and you will laugh the entire year together, growing even more in love than you could have ever imagined. Isolation, uncertainty, unrest and pivoting will be the words in the national news, but your personal life will be filled with words like peace, stillness, time, growth, love, and happiness. Take every single moment in as you navigate 2020. You will be a different and better person for each and every one of them.
Kristina, You were prepared for a new start and all of the beautiful things 2020 had in store for you. Little do you know, everything you had planned and ready to check off your list this year would change. If you hear anything before this year starts, hear this: Stop stressing over what hasn’t happened yet and let God control what comes next; his plans for you are more generous than you imagine. The world outside seems scary, but when you genuinely take a second to stop and be still, you will realize just how beautiful the life you have made for yourself is. Never take for granted the time spent with friends and family. You will be desperate and longing for that time together this year! Lastly, when the entire world stops, never forget to continue to believe in yourself, be proud of who you are and what you have accomplished.
P.S. Stock up on toilet paper, and cleaning supplies. It will come in handy!!
Sarah, you have built a life rooted in service to others and are doing a great job raising your boys and cultivating life in your marriage. Try not to be so hard on yourself when you feel like your job is pulling you away from your family. You have been given a gift in the ability to work and your boys will grow up to see a strong, courageous, multi-faceted woman raising them along with their daddy. You are intentional with your time with your boys and shower them with LOVE, intentionality multiplies your time with them. I wish you only knew what God has in store for you in the next couple of months, what is to come may seem scary at first but, I promise, there is order to the madness and you are about to get 6 months with your babies at home. Work life balance can be a priority and there are companies out there that will see the stage of life you are in and will value all that you bring to the table-even while you are in the thick of growing a family and pouring into your marriage. Stay faithful, strong and confident!
Olivia, things are about to change – drastically! It will be hard, mentally exhausting, and will be lonely at times. But you are strong and have an amazing support system. Rely on family and friends and make sure you’re that rock for them too. Don’t get too hung up on the “what ifs” and keep as much of a routine as you can. Even if it’s as small as taking a walk every day. You are always stronger than you think and I promise everything will be okay.
I wish I could prepare you for what’s to come, but don’t get too worried, past experiences have proven how resilient you can be. This year will be like no other. You will be tested emotionally, physically, and mentally. But the good news? God’s got you. Appreciate the little moments, pour into everyone around you, and don’t take the cheerleaders in your life for granted. Love on your neighbors a little harder, we’re all facing uncertain times and a little support can make a huge impact. My biggest advice would be to cling to your faith like never before. You probably won’t believe all the blessings coming your way even in the midst of such a crazy year! Girl, you’re in for one hell of a ride, but God’s promises are sure and he will take your worries and give you incredible peace.
With lots of hugs + kisses,
You are a planner and you value structure so there is really no way to prepare you for the uncertainty that is about to unfold. This is a pivotal moment in your life, you are graduating from college and are about to launch your career, but I’m here to warn you that you are about to face unexpected challenges in the coming months and you may begin to doubt yourself. In these moments, bear in mind that you worked HARD to get where you are today, and even though post-graduation life will certainly look different than how you envisioned, your accomplishments over the last four years are not invalidated and your ability and ingenuity are not going to expire. Be patient. Life is going to slow down but remember, you don’t need to overwork yourself while the world is stalled to prove your worth. Your day will come, this is not a race. Appreciate this time because it won’t last forever. One day, we will return to a sense of normalcy, and the tenacity and grace that you demonstrate during this time will define what “normal” looks like for you long after.
Congratulations on graduating college. Well done, sis! But, If I told you what life looked like seven months from now, you absolutely would not believe me. I know how anxious, scared, ready for change, ready to launch your career, ready to put yourself to the test you are. But, I promise, if you will take a step back and let the Lord guide you in all that you’re longing for, you will be EXACTLY where you need to be. (Sorry for the cliché, but I guess that’s why things are cliché– they’re true). Keep pressing in and clinging to the promises you have from the Lord. Trust that intuition you have that something better IS coming and relax. Enjoy the time at home with Mom and Dad– it’s the last time you’ll have that. Enjoy the people and experiences around you, GO TO A CONCERT BEFORE MARCH, buy more sweatpants (you’ll thank me later), and let yourself feel everything that’s coming. It is and will be okay.
Hannah, get ready for what is about to come. You know that we don’t do well with changes, and oh boy are the changes about to come your way, but hold tight to who you are, whose you are, and where your strength comes from. Plus, you’ll come to realize that the circumstances of the world don’t dictate your happiness, and definitely don’t dictate what you can accomplish. I’ll let you in on a little secret, you will accomplish quite a bit during this time. A new job, a new house, a new puppy, and the year hasn’t even ended yet. Above all, I encourage you to enjoy this time. While it’s weird, and yes, “unprecedented,” you will have more time to spend with your family, more time to sit back and enjoy the little things, and more time to dream up what is next in your life. You’ve got this.
If I could tell pre-COVID Hayley anything, it would be to hold on and know that you are loved. Things definitely get a little crazy this year, but there are a lot of good things that come together. The anxiety and feeling of being lost doesn’t last forever. You are going to learn to lean on the people in your life and be more open and honest. This is a good thing. Know that your people care about how you’re doing. Hug everyone a little tighter. Accept that invitation to a party. Stay up late with your roommate watching movies. Do all the things.