Autumn has a funny habit of making me think about the future – particularly in recent years. I’m not feeling as young as I once did and, the older I get, the more I worry about what life has in store for us all.
Hopefully, of course, I’ll live a long and healthy life and be there for Dylan, Xander and Amelie until they have adult children of their own.
But what if the worst happens? Compare the Market’s Letters of Life campaign is encouraging parents to write letters to their children to share words of advice for the future.
Here is an extract of my open letter to Dylan, Xander and Amelie.
Live life to the full. Remain kind to others. Surround yourselves with people who make you happy and who you want to see happy. Speaking of which, don’t hang round with people who won’t allow you to be yourselves. Friendship doesn’t have an agenda and people who do are a bit weird and best avoided.
Visit new places, try new things and never stop learning. Listen to good music, eat good food, laugh a lot and never take yourselves too seriously.
Do what you want to do in life and don’t let anyone trample on your dreams. Ignore people who tell you you’re wasting your time or that there’s too much competition. They’re not worth your time.
By the same token, don’t remain associated with things that make you miserable. Boys, remember when I was in that old job that I hated and you hardly ever saw me during daylight hours? And remember how much happier we all were once I told them to do one? Yeah, that.
Do have kids. Words can’t fully articulate how fantastic it has been being your dad and you’ll all make awesome parents. Don’t fret about it too much. I’ll let you into a little secret here. I’ve been winging it since day one and you’ve all turned out okay. Having the confidence of your convictions is key here – it doesn’t matter if you make mistakes as long as you learn from them.
I can honestly say that, even though I felt sad at first, writing my Letters of Life contribution was an uplifting experience. Although I hope to impart all of my advice and plenty more in person, it’s comforting to know that it is there for them if needs be.
What advice would you want to pass on to your children? Why not write a Letter of Life yourself?
This is a collaborative post.