I have three siblings. We're all incredibly close, even though we live on different coasts. All three of my siblings live on the West Coast, and here I am on the East Coast. They live in the north, and I live in the south. Still, we talk daily.
When life throws us a curve ball, we call each other. When we have a celebration, we call each other. When we're mad at our mother, we call each other (just kidding, Popo).
But for years, in our twenties, we spent time not talking to each other. We went through phases of shunning one sibling or another, or, perhaps more accurately, one sibling would opt out of the family for a while and do his/her own thing.
We talked about each other behind each other's backs. We had opinions. We judged. We loved and then said unkind things. We thought, in our youth and as children of a somewhat disjointed childhood, that love was reflected in depth, and we thought depth meant getting all up in someone's business - good or bad.
The twenties weren't our finest moment.
But as the years have gone on, and as we've all grown and matured (we hope), we've settled into healthier ways of relating, with each other and with the outside world as well. We're all a little calmer. We've all been humbled by the world, so we judge less. We all love each other very much.
Now, I think our relationships reflect not so much our personal insecurities but our genuine love for each other, which is just about the greatest gift I've ever been given in life.
The one thing I think we've all realized, the four of us kids, is reflected in a friend's witty and wise quote, which his wife retells often:
Sometimes, the best quotes don't come from philosophy books or famous writers.
I think of these words all the time when I'm given information that doesn't need to be passed on, when I am tempted to offer my opinion or judgement where it's unmerited or unwanted.
I try. Obviously, I fail miserably on the regular, but trying to keep up this sort of philosophy, the idea that the pot doesn't need stirring, has helped my relationships so much.
Do you have any words of wisdom from the people you love? What sayings or expressions have been passed on that resonate and keep you on the straight-and-narrow?
It's a sunny Saturday morning. Sandy is asleep across my legs, her paws right here on the keyboard, just centimeters from the keys. I'd take a picture, but she's actually lying on my phone.