What an exciting moment it is when we stumble upon something near and dear to our hearts that has long been forgotten – an old photograph from your teenage years or a diary entry you wrote when you were little. Though part of the delight of these moments is the element of surprise, planning for these time-capsule events can be just as meaningful.
Writing a letter to your future self is a great DIY project for an afternoon activity with the kids. You can even make it a yearly event by using holiday cards or birthday cards, so you can fondly look back on your children’s growth. Here are some ideas on what to include in a future-self letter:
Trinkets of time
It’s amazing how dramatically things change with time, and writing a future-self letter is a great way to keep track of these fun details. For example, do you remember when gas was cheaper than a dollar per gallon? Today, the U.S. average for regular gas per gallon is just over $2.71, according to InflationData.com. Consider recording today’s gas price in your future-self letter to make it easier to see how things have changed. You may even want to record other prices, such as the cost for a meal at your local fast-food restaurant or the price of your favorite candy bar.
Your five-year-old self is probably much different than your current self. Have your kids write down some of their likes and dislikes, so they can look back and see how they’ve changed. Ask your kids what their favorite colors are and what they like to eat. Who are their best friends? What do they like to do for fun?
A message to the future
Time capsules provide a unique opportunity to communicate with your future self. Instead of just recording the past, use the letter to write a message, too. What do you want yourself to know in five years? Do you want your future-self to remember the value of friendship? Maybe you want to remind yourself about something, such as an item you’ve left in the attic.
You can also write a thoughtful message to your kids. Maybe they’re too young to read now, but in a few years, they’ll be able to see the value in a handwritten note. Plus, it will give them something to keep for years to come and even pass on to their own kids.
Once you’ve completed the letter, seal it shut in an envelope to eliminate the temptation of opening the note before you’re supposed to. Write the designated opening time on the envelope with specific date. Avoid simply putting “open in one year,” or you may forget the date you actually wrote the letter. Then, store it some sort of time capsule. Use a plastic bin or sturdy shoebox to account for the wear and tear of time.
Turn your time capsules into a fun summer project by taking an afternoon to write future-self letters with the kids. Your family will have fun thinking of all the neat things to say.