A Guy’s View: An Open Letter To My Younger Self

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If I had a Hot Tub Time Machine to go back in time with the benefit of hindsight (like Marty McFly, who left a note for Doc Brown in Back to the Future) I would write this letter to my younger self.

Dear Younger Me,

Please don’t be alarmed when you look in the mirror in your 50s and see more forehead and less hair, and while you’ll still be in pretty good shape and able to play basketball, softball, run races and lift weights, you’ll also notice some extra padding around the middle, and that you have more aches and pains after a workout or game.  It’s OK. That’s how it is meant to be.

You’ll also notice some additional lines around your face, make sure they are from smiling.  Smile a lot. You’ll find it’s contagious and that people will return the favor. And not just smile but, be silly and laugh, tell corny jokes just like Dad always did.

Expand your horizons and explore that all life has to offer. Binge watch your favorite tv shows (you will get that term one day)  play the accordion, watch WWE, or go skydiving if these things make you happy, Just Do It. I encourage you to opt for the guitar over the accordion….chicks love guys that play the guitar.

There will be all this great technology like cell phones and wifi and instead of utilizing the Dewey Decimal System at the library for a research paper, you can simply Google what you need.  All that is great but please don’t walk around with your head in your phone. If you are at a game or concert, stay in the moment and have experiences. 

When you’re in a place that sells specialty coffee (the name will be Starbucks), don’t always order ahead on your cell phone. Take the time to say hello to the Barista and learn his or her name.  Despite what George Carlin said, tell people to have a nice day. Open doors, let women on elevators first, and be respectful of elders.  Give up your seat on a train or bus to someone who needs it more than you.

And speaking of women – Do Not argue with women.  There are two theories on how best to do that, and neither work.  You will have better luck trying to keep the Patriots out of the AFC Championship game. You will have relationships with women.  Some will be successful, passionate, fulfilling, fun, and some will be challenging with heated moments and disagreements. No matter what, each time is a learning experience.

Be very appreciative of being a Boston sports fan during this time and seeing 11 championships in 18 years.  You know that fans in every single other metropolitan area in the country would trade places with you in a heartbeat.  Belichick, Brady, Big Papi, Pedro, Paul Pierce..some you know know and others you will know soon enough.

Don’t ever be a bully, judge, shame, mock, criticize, diminish or bash anyone whose values, beliefs, ideas, or lifestyle varies from yours. Everyone is entitled make choices. 

Keep in mind that it is OK to fail — at relationships, getting into a first choice college, not getting that job you really want or making a high school team.  Its OK. Dust yourself off, be resilient, and persevere –all will make you a stronger person.

Watch the following repeatedly – Jaws, Animal House, Rocky and Caddyshack. Be able to quote all of these movies.  The Godfather, too. Also be very familiar with the works of Will Ferrell, Eddie Murphy and Bill Murray.

In 2016, please vote Democrat.

You will be many things – A son, husband, brother, uncle, cousin, but, nothing will be more important than being a Dad.  Make sure you prioritize being a Dad. Coach their teams and go together to see Marvel superhero movies. Play hoop and beat them until they turn about 17, and then they will beat you consistently. Make sure they know that even if you don’t live with them full-time now, you love them and will always be there for them.

Family needs to be cherished.  Spend time with your parents, they will both be gone sooner than you would like and is fair. Don’t only think of the times that Dad was in the hospital or Mom in hospice.  Remember them giving you a dollar for the Penny Candy Store or birthday parties at Paragon Park, or the cold nights they sat and watched your little league games. 

Don’t take things personally.  Other people will say stupid things and spurn negativity….please refer to my vote Democrat comment above.  Don’t worry what people say or think, just be authentic. Not everyone has to love you or even like you. If you have one or two close friends or a partner, you’re doing great.  

Don’t wait until you turn 40 to take your fitness seriously,  lose weight and start to run the Boston Marathon.  Get in and stay in shape if possible when you are younger, I’ll give you until you graduate from college. Forget about Atkins, or South Beach or cleanses. Eat healthy, watch your portions and exercise regularly.  It may not seem important when you are in your 20s and going to Dad’s Diner at 11 PM, but at 53 when a late dinner is 8:30 pm, you’ll feel so much better living half your life as a fit person.

Try to use words like us, we, our, not me, I and mine.

Act like you’ve been there before.  Be a good sport, don’t celebrate or gloat at the expense of your opponent…..with the exception of Fantasy Football, where trash talk is encouraged. 

You will live an abundant life.  Full of ups and downs, good times and bad.  You will laugh and cry, You’re going to be inspired and will experience amazing things, you will make your own path and will be unique. Enjoy the ride!

And lastly, during the U2 concert at Gillette Stadium, you may want to rethink that last Jagermeister shot.  

 

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About Author

Scott lives in Needham, just a few miles from where he grew up in Newton, and is the proud father of teenage boys. When not working, Scott can be found doing something to do with sports, either playing basketball or softball, watching a game on TV or in the past, coaching his kids. He also enjoys lifting weights and running, having finished 8 Boston Marathons. Scott enjoys a well chilled extra dry martini, and likes to cook, considering himself a nacho connoisseur.

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