Lessons learned at the Homestead – Week 13

Now sometimes front row seating is peaceful, calming.

Bench by a pond

While at other times it’s just plain more fun to be right there up close to the action.

Girls playing soccer

Yet …occasionally being too up close and personal is just a wee bit constraining.

Case in point: the ol’sister and I were up last night a little later than normal, and we {that being the royal we} discussed perspective. Or, rather I discussed how sometimes being under ones microscope 24/7 in such proximity to one another allows us the opportunity to more frequently offer advice. However, such advice, while valuable, perhaps truthful, can be … ahem … irritating.

So she’s like “so you’re saying you don’t want to talk about this?”

Yup…that’s what I said.

She’s “ok, that’s weird”.

Fine. Whatever it is, we are no longer discussing it…capiche?

And that was that.

What I learned from this exchange was invaluable. The following illustrates a few key take-aways:

How to avoid getting in a fight with your sister

{especially when you’ve both had perhaps one too many wobbly pops and one of you has to go to work the next day}

1. First and foremost, try to steer the two of you away from subjects that annoy you. Make every effort to accomplish this through peaceful and thoughtful means. You’re challenge here will be to somehow figure out a way to say what you need to say without insulting, bashing, lording over or utilizing otherwise terse, condescending inflections or overtones.

2. Know what triggers you – cause you can be dang sure your sister will know what they are and sometimes use this knowledge to her own means. Knowledge is POWER.

3. Keep a calm, thoughtful demeanor at all times. One little chink in the armour can hurt you at this stage. So it is essential to maintain that calm throughout the entire exchange. Any ire or otherwise errant emotions could damage all your hard work.

4. Don’t let her outsmart you. Don’t be dragged into explaining why. Doesn’t matter why, does it? I am just not interested in discussing that topic this evening. End it there. Look her in the eye with all that calm demeanor, wipe the “go f yourself” from your eyes, and maintain your stance.

100B1652Ok, so seriously, what is it that she insists on advice concerning the dog? Please. “WE ARE NOT DISCUSSING THE DAWG“. My father once said with his southern drawl, and by golly, I stand by that.

I’m rather ashamed to say it has only taken me 40+ years to figure this out. Since she is 5 years younger there has always been a certain layer of competitiveness to our relationship. Hard to avoid with two girls. Girls can be VERY competitive with one another. Sisters have this unique bond that often trumps the general level since SHE has inside information.

Now, move in with said younger sibling when you’ve had a downturn in your life, hence becoming a party to every discontent, every mess and muster that a family can manufacturer any given day, and let me tell you, this is one form of front row seating I can’t recommend.

I will say this, it challenges one to find means for which you can get rid of some steam, privately if possible. Though privacy can be in short supply sometimes.

Sisters 2006I guess the key I’ve found is to be compassionate, and keep thy mouth shut concerning ALL family discussions, heated or otherwise. My advice is just try to make one as invisible as possible during particularly difficult times of the day . ie. the Morning.

Most importantly, contribute in meaningful and positive ways. This I’ve learned is not the time for perhaps constructive, though unsolicited, advice. Given the fact I am not a mother, I don’t feel qualified to offer unsolicited child-rearing tips. Therefore, I am not open to constructive dog-rearing tips from those who have never owned a dog of their own.

ahem.

nuff said

“It is a far better thing to be thought stupid, then to open ones mouth and remove all doubt”….some wise person once said.

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