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.


Disturbing the Water — My Notes to Young Women

Day 173

Once, when advising my daughter, she replied ‘…Mom, I wish I could learn from your mistakes, but I have to make my own…’ I always keep that in my mind and try not to advise people on the life-choices they make. I do have some general thoughts for young women. Thoughts I wish someone had shared with me.

My mother died when I was 19. It was hard. I went through all my big life moments without my mother. My wedding, the birth of my children, divorce and all of life’s heartaches, my mother would not be there.

When menopause hit, there was no family history for me to gauge what this would be like. Both my sisters had hysterectomies fairly young and the HRT hid the normal symptoms.

No, I would never advise anyone specifically but my suggestion is to at least consider the notes I am about to share.

  • You do not always need to go with the flow. Sometimes it’s okay to disturb the water.
  • Stay young in mind and thought. Don’t let anyone tame your spirit. Coaching behavior in women starts at a very young age. Sometimes it’s okay to just let your hair fly free and get your feet dirty.
  • Move your body — walk, dance, play volleyball, swim — just move.
  • Take care of your skin.
  • Avoid chemicals as much as possible. In your food, in your clothes, in your home and on your body and your face.
  • Minimize the alcohol. It ages you inside and out.
  • Plant a garden — even if it is small. You can learn a lot about life by caring for plants.
  • Learn to love good food. Take a cooking class if you were not taught to cook at home. Learn about the power — good and bad — of food in your body.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
  • Care for your appearance, of course. But remember the inside of your body — the machine — needs constant nurturing. It is, after all, what keeps you alive.
  • Value yourself more than your sexuality.
  • Choose a career or path you are passionate about.
  • Remember it is okay to change your mind.
  • Read.
  • Earn your own money and save some for the future.
  • Travel as much as you can. There is no better way to learn about people than to get outside your own culture.
  • Love yourself.
  • Be honest with yourself.
  • Be authentic.
  • Invest in friends you trust.
  • Be with people who make you laugh more than they make you cry.
  • If someone abuses you, leave NOW.
  • Sing — even if you can’t carry a tune.
  • Respect your partner and insist they respect you.
  • Have a child or don’t have a child. Just do not minimize the choice of other women.
  • Find doctors you trust and see them regularly.
  • Be kind.
  • Most of all, enjoy this life you were given. It’s up to you to make the most of it.