A letter to self

Have you ever written a letter to yourself? Your future self, or perhaps your past self? I'm sure everyone makes mental notes to themselves all the time, but a full-length letter analyzing your life at the moment is a whole other matter.

I had a fun thought today - what if you wrote a letter to yourself once a year, perhaps towards the end of the year when you tend to reflect on the past 12 months? You don't have to read the letter, ever, if you don't want to. Or you can store them in a specific box to be opened at a specific date when you're elderly. That way you can relive your life in your retirement years and analyze where you've been and how far you've come from the thoughts you had in your youth, adulthood, and the middle ages.

Well, the problem you may have here is the one I have - that you're already well into your twenties/thirties and you have no letters to show from your youth. But perhaps you kept a diary? Or have some other types of accounts from your childhood? Either way, you can still pick up the letter-writing habit now - it's still better than next year.

The reasons to do this are numerous. First, you get to reflect back on your life, as mentioned above. Second, it's a letter, so the length of it won't give you a heart attack at the age of 97 (like tackling a pile of diaries might). Thirdly, you only do it once a year, so it won't take much of your time.

And fourth, it gives you the perfect opportunity to look back at the past year, and ponder whether you want to change something.

No one else has to see the letters, so you can be as honest as you like. You can be yourself with, well, yourself. The more honestly and truly you write, the more sincerely you pour emotion to the letter, the more rewarding it should be to read. If you ever decide to read them, that is.

I think I'm going to try this. I can't know in advance if it'll work the life-reflecting way I described above, though. Ask me again when I'm 97.