Letter To My Younger Self: Rebecca Dutcher
Wow, we made it to the big 4-0 and we’re no worse for wear. As this milestone birthday got closer and closer, it got me thinking about what advice I might give if I could go back in time. Still, when I look at where life has us now, it’s pretty great.
You’ve always been a gal who knows what she wants and will do whatever it takes to get there – don’t change that a bit. We’ve learned a lot over the years and have lots to reflect on. If I could give you a few words of wisdom, they are:
You are a passionate person. That’s a great thing and will serve you well. Keep in mind that while your passion can ignite others and rub off on them, people probably won’t care as much about things as you do. That’s okay, but try not to hold it against them.
You take on too much. You don’t need me to tell you this – lots of other people will tell you that all the time, and that’s nice. It’s what you do, sitting still isn’t something we enjoy very often. Work on setting a few more boundaries as you grow. Work isn’t everything.
Make time for you. You’re a wife, a Mom, employee, daughter, sister and friend. You tend to put a lot of people before you – but you need to put you first. It’s not like you need to flake out for hours at a time or be totally selfish, but I have found that we’re not very fun to be around when we’re resentful of others. Resentful? Yeah, you!
How did that happen? Well, you watch others take time off, leave early for family or fun stuff, see them not worry so much, commute less, you name it – and it drives you crazy. You like to think it’s because you care more than they do – really it’s that you’re envious they’re making time for themselves and you aren’t.
So, leave a little early some times and go for a walk. Go to the gym at your lunch hour. Take time to grab that yummy coffee from Biggby on the way in to work – taking those little moments for yourself are better for everyone. Trust me, I’ve been there.
Learn to let “good enough” be good enough. Yep, I said it to you – good enough. We struggled for YEARS to be able to say those words, (thanks to a little outside expertise we got there). The thing is, your good enough is very different than it is for anyone else. And if you continue to strive to make those last few things perfect, or hold people to those super high standards, it will create other challenges and conflicts that just aren’t worth it.
It’s okay to cry. (Sometimes) I know, I know… you will still do this when you get older. I hoped that we’d outgrow it, and it is still one of the things you’ll wish you didn’t do. The key is to keep in mind those other things I’ve shared with you here, then you won’t get to this point very often. Still, your passion, drive and emotion are what make you who you are. Embrace who you are.
It’s funny, I found a folder of papers that Dad had stored away for 20 years or so (yep, back from High School). You’d written cool things about customer service, accountability and that your goal is to work for a great marketing company, leading others. You’re doing it – so good job to for knowing what you wanted then, and continuing to make it happen.
Lastly, use ALL of your vacation time. You don’t have to take weeks at a time or anything, but stop leaving that time on the table every year. You have a fantastic husband and a great little boy who like your undivided attention. The marketing world will be okay if you turn your phone off and focus on your guys for a day or two at a time. One of the best things you did this year was take a week-long vacation as family out of the country – meaning no cell phones, only limited Wi-Fi. You all had a great time, laughed, swam, played and reconnected. Do more of that – because that’s what this life is all about.
Yes, you’ll continue to great work and want to win. That is how you’re wired. Be sure the rest of your family wins too, let them get the best of you when it’s one-on-one time with them – not what’s left at the end of the day or the week.
You have one life to live, and you’ll have a ton of great stories and learning experiences (aka mistakes or outright failures). That’s okay – it’s your story, tell it like you mean it.
And one last bit of advice – when you climb up in that tree and think the rope swing is a great idea – DON’T DO IT. After 2 Achilles surgeries, 2 knee carts with bright pink baskets and lots of hopping around on one leg, being that daring just isn’t worth it.
About The Author: Rebecca is the Director of our Web Division at Team 834. She has over a decade of experience in search engine optimization, web development and overall digital marketing working with clients of all types and sizes. She’s passionate about her work, her family and her fitness. She lives near Gun Lake with her husband Steve, their son Brett and two dogs, Rhino and Leena. She has a stepson, Max who is in the Air Force. He lives on base in Idaho with is wife Megan and their fur babies). Feel free to connect with Rebecca on Twitter or LinkedIn.