52 letters in 2018 (week 11): Write a letter to yourself

Week 11 (March 12-18): Write a letter to yourself.

This week’s challenge came to me in a dream.

Friends, I was struggling last weekend. Physically I’ve been dealing with back and knee pain, which has sidelined my running. And running is how I process pretty much everything. So instead of living in my body, I started getting a bit too inside my head, and that can lead to a spiral down into Dark Thoughts.

I was feeling the dark cloud building above my head, hearing it grumble, and watching it as it dropped down on top of me. I lived in that dark cloud all weekend.

I am not a religious person, but occasionally I do marvel at the way pieces fall together when I need them most.

Friday night, I had a dream that I took a postcard out of the mailbox, and I saw that I’d sent it to myself. I don’t know what was on that card, other than I saw it was to me, from me. And I spent a lot of time pondering this message, from under that dark cold cloud this weekend.

On Thursday, I had arrived home after work, with an overwhelming feeling of gloom and doom, and why am I still here, and what am I doing. I was feeling utterly lost and completely alone in the world. Under my mailbox sat a box, which I carried into my house and promptly opened.

You know how I love me some snail mail.

Inside that box was a gorgeous painting called Dream. My friend Lori mailed it to me. Our friend Amy painted it. This photo absolutely does not do the painting justice.

dream_smI promptly hung it above another one of Amy’s paintings, in my living room, where I can admire it every day.

dream2_smThat gift from two girlfriends helped get me through Friday night, which I spent alone, on my couch, reading. (Sidenote: Read The History of Love. It gutted me, in a good way. I plan to reread it soon.)

On Saturday, I dragged my hurting body to a hot yoga class, because I knew that, as much as I need to recover physically from what’s hurting, I also desperately need the mental boost I get from exercise. After that, I planned to lie on the couch all day feeling sorry for myself. Solid plan, I thought.

Then I got a phone call. A girlfriend needed me. I spent all afternoon helping her, feeling needed, and then that night we went out and saw a couple of bands together.

Sunday morning, I woke up and planned to spend the entire day on my couch, patiently waiting for my back to heal. Around noon, I got a text from yet another girlfriend who needed help. I messaged my girlfriend who had needed my help Saturday, and we pitched in all afternoon. I felt useful. My back was screaming in new places, but I felt needed.

At the end of the day, I returned a call to yet another girlfriend who had messaged me during the day. She said, “I need your help.” I said, “Ok, I’ll be there.”

So I’m not sure what my letter to myself said, but I know what I’d write on it now: You are needed.

And to my girlfriends I would write: Thank you for needing me, right when I needed you most.


  • Week 1 (January 1-7): Send a Happy New Year’s note.
  • Week 2 (January 8-14): Send a Thank You note.
  • Week 3 (January 15-21): Send a postcard from your community.
  • Week 4 (January 22-28): Mail a postcard or letter to another country.
  • Week 5 (January 29-February 4): Mail a Valentine to a pal.
  • Week 6 (February 5-11): Mail a minor.
  • Week 7 (February 12-18): Mail an oldie.
  • Week 8 (February 19-25): Write a note to a pet.
  • Week 9 (February 26 – March 4): Clear out clutter.
  • Week 10 (March 5-11): I see you.
  • Week 11 (March 12-18): Write a letter to yourself.