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Advice or Advise?

Day 181

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Sometimes the best advice we can give is no advice at all. I am learning (yes, still learning at my age) that we are all at very different places in our lives.

What worked for me when I was a first-time mom 40 years ago simply may not work today. Every recommendation from doctors has changed as far as babies’ eating and sleeping is concerned.

When my newest granddaughter was born, they discovered the five sounds that newborns make. It is pretty amazing and it seemed to prove true. Check our the following video:

They also have an app called Wonder Weeks that maps a child’s growth and development. When babies get cranky, it could mean your child is in a developmental leap which includes ‘storms’ during which the child is very fussy. After the ‘storm’ the child exhibits new skills. It worked remarkably well.

It is all so fascinating. As mom, I still get called on for advice when it concerns the heart. They don’t have an app for that. Even so, I still try not to give advice. I like to be the listener – the sounding board for them to come to their own conclusions. I can advise without giving too much advice.

I am also learning to serve in a similar role for my friends. I will always be there, but giving advice is dicey. Listening, sharing experiences and just being there — those are the attributes that make us good friends.

I don’t know if you should quit your job. I can tell you if I think your partner is abusive. I can share my thoughts on counseling. I can tell you where I stand on moral issues. But giving device, no, that’s not my job.

Listening is key. It makes us better people. I don’t have the capacity or the expertise to dole out advice. I am a pretty good mom and a trustworthy friend, though. And for me, that’s enough.

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13 thoughts on “Advice or Advise?”

  1. I will share my experiences in life, but I am always aware that they are MY experiences and not someone else’s because I am not anyone else, and I honestly don’t want to be. I will encourage people to do certain things like supporting an anti-bullying program, but that is not really advice. I know my life was never like my mother’s life and I never wanted it to be, but at the same time, there are things I have inherited from her – good sense with money, and knowing how to make a budget. So I guess sharing what we do know from our own experience in life, while it may not be helpful for some people, might be helpful for others. We never really know unless we do it, and I don’t see sharing as being the same as advice. I guess we all have to do what we know best and what works best for us in the long run. I have learned a lot from other older folks and inspirational people I have met in my lifetime, and I am so grateful to them.

    But at the same time, when I had cancer and a lot of different women wanted to give me advice, it confused me more than helped me, and there were things I just had to think through and do what was right for me. In the end result, I didn’t do what anyone else advised me to do. I did not take radiation for five days a week or anti-hormonals for five years. Here I am today at 77, still standing and cancer free. So there are times when I guess sharing our wisdom learned from experience is good, and sometimes when it is better for us to travel our own paths. Thank you kindly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, Anne, I am willing to share my experiences but want to encourage people to take from my experience what serves them and then make their own decisions. I think we are saying similar things.

      Congratulations on your battle with cancer. Is your journey documented somewhere? I would be interested in reading about your decisions and how you got through it all.

      Thank you for continuing to read and comment. I appreciate your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you most kindly. I have never documented any of it, but I can say that, like having a baby, if you know absolutely nothing of what to expect or how to take care of yourself of the baby after you have it, it can be quite overwhelming. My mother did not tell me anything about having a baby, and the ladies who did tell me anything about cancer only told me about being sure to take the chemo and the radiation. But somehow it did not do anything to help me at all, so I decided I had to do my own research and reading up on everything so that I could make a good decision. I read up on all the potential medicines that they could give me and the reading was really scary because there were so many side effects.

        But the worst was the radiation. I had seen a glimpse of what it can do with a friend who got a cancerous skin lesion, and had radiation as it was going up a nerve into her brain. She lost her eye and her hearing in one ear, and they could not even give her an artificial eye because they had to take so much of the area.

        I read in all the research that there was a danger if you had breast cancer on the left side of the radiation causing a heart attack. I was 74 at the time, and decided that I did not want to take that chance.

        My particular cancer was Stage 1, so they gave me a lumpectomy and a lymphectomy. I was in and out in a day, and the next day I want with my significant other and we spent some 10-1/2 hours at a music festival in our town. I got up on the stage with the other ladies and danced as they asked us to do to help stimulate the other people at the festival to get up and dance. So I got well quick and have had no return of the cancer. I decided if I did, I would tell them to go ahead and take the whole breast or breasts as needed, for at my age, they have served me well. I breast fed all my babies, and they were there when I was younger, so now I am settled and my significant other will still love me with or without them.

        The ladies who worked in the cancer part of the hospital were all very jovial and kept us all laughing, so that made it all easier. When I went for my first visit back to the young oncologist, he was trying to encourage me to do the chemo and the radiation, and I told him again no. Then he told me that a big number of people do get cancer the second time. I asked him how big and he told me 1 – 2%. I laughed to myself, for I understand percentages, and 1 – 2% out of 100 is a very small amount. And that treatment would have really prevented me from finishing up my degree. At the time, I believed I was going to be able to work when I was done.

        So I am still kicking and having fun in my life, and I don’t intend to give in to anything like that without a fight. I did not get to be a mentor/advocate for the juvenile delinquents (I had worked with them in the school system before, so I knew what I would be getting into).

        As you said though, what I learned from the whole experience is that we all need to read up and understand what is what, and then we need to make our own decisions. This is one case where it is extremely important to read up because to make an unwise decision (say if you are stage 2 or 3) could very well shorten your life. But that isn’t exactly giving advice. It is just sharing something that is important which is to learn all you can, not from others who have been through it, because each one experiences it quite differently.

        I am glad I made the decisions that I did. The only thing I have had since then is that I get tired easily, but then at 77, I guess I can afford to take a nap now and then. And I do a lot of things and enjoy my life fully. I like to feel that I have control of my life and can make my own decisions. Thank you for asking, and I hope that this clarifies things.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. I appreciate your view on this topic. Personally I love advice from friends. Well maybe input is a better word. People who have done things I have not are wonderful source of needed information to me. I adore reading your wisdom.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Receiving input from friends is always welcome. I know there are people trained to give advice, but I certainly do not fall into that category. I will share my experiences and give my input but I am trying really hard not to dole out advice. I appreciate your comment, but I never consider myself wise.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ok first of all, my dear friend, you are very wise. Second, I appreciate your imparting your knowledge as it is never given with the inference that I or anyone else SHOULD do A or B. You are a trusted friend who has experienced some things I have not and vice versa. We are all on this path called life together. Glad you are on the path with me. Gentle hugs.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Maggie, you ARE wise beyond measure. You also have a very soothing manner, which has helped me SO many times. I am grateful for our lives joining in family and friendship! Love you.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I appreciate the thought, but I just spew out experiences. I do try to be calm. What I think helps us all is having someone we can talk to who is truly invested in hearing us.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Advice is tricky. I like to nudge. Mostly to get people to take action. Like, look into it, explore some possibilities, cause I think having options is the BEST feeling in the world, lol! I think that’s why I’m a go-to girl, cause I don’t tell people what to do, I just offer ways they may come to their own conclusions.
    When I was coming to terms with my anxiety I took ALL the advice in and tried most of it. More often than not, things that had helped other people did help me. It was like a buffet of help.
    My mother doesn’t give advice ever, which is terrible, because she has all the wisdoms, and awesome because it has made me more self-reliant.
    You aren’t kiddin about early development. I am wowed by our increase in knowledge every time someone has a new baby!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Joey, advice can be a slippery slope. I am all about sharing my experiences, but am consciously trying to steer clear of giving out advice — especially when no one has asked for it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

I appreciate those who read and enjoy your thoughtful comments.

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