Showing Kindness to My Future Self

Twins at Happy Simple Living blog
Twins in Sorrento, Italy - photo by Jens Karlsson

Years ago we paid a lot of money for an artificial Christmas tree of the “pre-lit” variety with 1200 little white lights. (We weren’t very green back in 1998, but that’s a topic for another post.) I remember at the time thinking how much time it would save us to have the lights already wrapped around the tree, and it didβ€”for a few years. Then the lights started burning out.

If you’ve ever removed the Christmas lights from a pre-lit fake tree, raise your hand now.

Removing Christmas lights at Happy Simple Living blogUndoing the tightly-wrapped wires, twisting the clips loose and cutting the plastic zip-ties is a tedious, painstaking job that takes an unimaginably long time. One strand of lights took me more than an hour to remove, and this tree had, of course, 12 strands. So each year, I’ve removed one or two strands before packing the tree up for the season.

This year the tree was down to its last two burned-out light strands, but I was anxious to move it out of the living room and un-anxious to spend two hours on the loathesome task. Suddenly that little voice of reason in my mind said, “It’s a hassle, but this is a gift I want to give you next December. You’ll be happy when you open the box and the tree is finally free of those burned-out lights.”

I sat down for a moment, intrigued by the concept of giving my own self a gift that would make me happy at the end of the year. I soon began a list entitled “Things I Can Do Now to Bless My Future Self.”

Want to try making your own list? Here’s what I came up with:

– Regularly contribute to my Roth IRA. I pay taxes on the earnings now, but when I retire the income will be tax-free.

– Continue to declutter and get rid of unused items, so when I’m older I won’t have to deal with too much stuff.

– Exercise each day and eat foods rich in calcium, so my future self enjoys strong bones and good health.

– Meditate, pray and seek God each day, so that as I age I might grow in wisdom and understanding.

– Floss my teeth daily, so I enjoy a nice smile and strong teeth in my old age.

– Seek sources of passive income, so I can have money coming in even if I’m not working.

– Treasure and pursue relationships and friendships, so my older self enjoys a rich social life.

– Find ways to stretch my brain by trying and learning new things, and embrace challenging puzzles and problems.

You know I’d just love to hear your thoughts about this subject.


The signature for Eliza Cross

About Eliza Cross

Eliza Cross is the author of 16 books, including Small Bites, 101 Things To Do With Bacon, and BERRIES. She enjoys sharing ideas to simplify cooking, gardening, and home projects. She is also the owner of Cross Media, Inc. and founder of the BENSA Bacon Lovers Society.

17 thoughts on “Showing Kindness to My Future Self”

  1. That’s so clever! My husband has taken on the task to learn about and get involved in passive income. I like everything on your list and it gives a whole new meaning to the mundane tasks that have to be done. I’m going to redo my task list and put in a rewards column. That way, I can look ahead to what kind of reward I’ll look forward to when I complete the task.

    Right now, all I want to do is cross off each item on the list just to get them over with, but this will be more fun. Nice post!

  2. I love that you shared this. Paving the way to treat yourself better in the future is something so many people forget to do. I love your list; thanks for sharing!

  3. Thanks for this great post Eliza! It is such a great reminder to know that many of our actions today will create our tomorrow….What I’ve been doing for my “future self” is writing down my own thoughts and inspirations in my blog

    P.S. I LOVE the photo of the twins!

  4. Love your list…I would have a very similar list but I will add…the gift of a close relationship with our two children. In the far off future, I see my hubby and I sitting on the verandah with a granchild on each of our laps…laughing and telling cheeky stories about their mummy and daddy.

  5. Great list. My daughter had a pre-lit tree a couple of years ago and when the lights started going out she just trashed it. She said it was a nightmare to take them off so she gave up on it.

  6. It’s so true the saying – “Do something today your future self will thank you for” – this is a great post and such a fabulous reminder! Just discovered your blog. Great site!

  7. I love your perspective. I was just thinking yesterday…our purpose for maintaining a healthy, disciplined lifestyle changes as we mature. At one time, it was all about “looks”. Well, I know that as the years go by, I’m becomimg more and more aware that that is no longer my motivation. Now, the reason I do what I do to stay healthy and keep life “in order” is just what you wrote about. I want to be kind to the person that I will become in the next 20-30 years. I want to still be enjoying a walk in the woods in those days. I’m preparing now.

  8. Interesting post. The image at the top is a bit disturbing πŸ™‚ Number 4 on your list is something I don’t do enough of.

  9. Thanks for sharing your ideas. I agree with all of them. We really should invest for our future, not only financially but physically and spiritually as well. It will help us have lives worth living and not full of regrets. πŸ™‚

  10. What an inspiring one’s, For me the photo is the real image of what a great kindness is. They show that even it takes long time.. being kind to one another will never been fade.

  11. Just found your site and love this post. This idea really resonates with me. I usually find writing to a part of myself a great way to illicit info so I plan to do just that to write to my future self and ask her what would be helpful for me to be doing. Also the idea of blessing is so lovely, it’s all too easy to forget to extend that sentiment to myself.
    Thank you X


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