a letter to my younger self

[ From my weekly newspaper column "Fully-Alive Living" ]

I have a birthday this week.

No presents, please. Just throw money.

Actually, I’m not a “birthday dropper.” Some people perpetually hint for a gift by mentioning their upcoming birthday. I like comedian Jim Gaffigan’s response to these indirect propositions:
“Hey, just want to let you know, next Tuesday is my birthday.” 
“Just want to let you know, I'm not getting you anything.”
When people find out it’s your birthday they inevitably want to know how old you are. I’ve always been comfortable with my age at any age, but noticed people grade it from where they’re at:
  • When I turned 21: “Oh, you’re 21? (pauses) Now… I remember 21… (stares off to look somewhere) 21… twenty-one… twennnn-ty-onnnne…"

  • When I turned 30: “Welcome to my world, sucker. Embrace the decade of love handles and treadmills. Muh-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha!”

  • When I turned 35: “Dude, you’re like… as old as my dad.”
People in my church like not knowing how old I am. It somehow lets me be old enough to speak wisdom into their life, but young enough that I can hang out on a road trip with teenagers. Apparently I can quote Kierkegaard and end my sentence with, “Like, you know?”

So if you’ll indulge me, I want to write a letter to my younger self. Imagine if you really could do this and they’d get it – what would you say?

(And no, you can’t just share stock investments and TV show plots.)

--- Read the rest: "A LETTER TO MY YOUNGER SELF"


  1. Great article Tony! It's assuring to know there is a tomorrow to help us through today, but also a past to help us make better decisions for the present. I would write more but for some reason I have an inkling to go floss.

  2. Ha! Thanks, Todd - I agree... heading up to my bathroom sink now. :)