So lately, my youngest sister and I have been spending a lot of time together. During our teenaged years, we weren’t close but I’ve come to really appreciate our growing closeness. As I get older, I realize that family truly means a lot.
Enough with the sappy-ness. Here are a few lessons I’ve picked up from the younger “Robe”, my bighead-in-crime.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Wind down. Be silly! Be sillier! If you feel like singing at the top of your lungs to some of your favorite lyrics, do it! Let down your hair and just embrace your silly inner child. Don’t hold back because the crowd is watching. They are all awaiting a similar permission to be free. As we Jamaicans would say “be fool fool and nuh watch nuh face.”
Be unapologetically you. Sometimes I spend a lot of time time trying to fit into the image that people have of me. To my mother, I’m the responsible daughter who factors her family’s needs into all decisions. To my coworkers, I’m the one who always delivers, sometimes at the expense of myself. To my friends, I’m the one with the advice who seems to always have it together.
Honestly, being all that all the time is exhausting. One of the things I’ve come to recognize is that despite putting your all to meet others expectations, you will still end up not meeting all. On top of that, people will forget all the great stuff you have accomplished, the moment they think you slipped up.
The best strategy then is to live for you. Be you! Live for your expectations! Anything else is just pure madness.
Use the brakes. This one will always be a joke between us. My first driving lesson, I took a corner and panicked when I realized there was a car on the curb that I couldn’t bypass quickly enough. My sister kept yelling “Brake! Brake!” as the car connected with the one on the curb. Over time, I’ve come to utilize the warning “brake” in my daily life.
Now, what does “brake” mean? It means, stop because danger may be ahead. It means don’t work yourself to death. Stop and smell the roses. Stop to have a chat. Enjoy the sunshine. Enjoy the water caressing your body. Enjoy the sand between your toes. Enjoy the ache of a good workout. Make time for you. Make time for your friends. Brake.
Work will never be finished. You will always have a list of neverending commitments but “brake”.
Be kind even to the ones who don’t deserve it.
Slow your pace. Enjoy the moment. We did my sister’s first 5K a few days ago. Normally, my objective during a 5K is to finish by a certain time. This means I will run/power walk at a pace that would leave my friends behind if they are going too slow. This time, I walked with my sister and you know what?! We had a blast. We celebrated every time we finished a kilometer! We chatted and laughed and just relaxed. Though, we finished in an hour, what would generally take me 40mins, it is not a moment I regret.
Slowing your pace truly gives you time to make fabulous memories.
I guess it’s still possible to learn lessons from the younger generation. So tell me, what are some of the lessons you have learned from your siblings or kids?