It’s that time…time to Warp… Time Warp that is. My friend, Kathy Benson of Bereaved and Blessed, invites us to visit old posts and reflect on our life when we wrote them and what has happened in our life and journey since. This months topic is advice. Getting it, giving it, what do you think of advice and what is your favorite brand.
Advice, unsolicited, is all around. The one thing in these tough economic times that is free, yet, even with that low, low, low price, it is over valued. Unsolicited advice, in my humble opinion, is pretty much someone’s opinion being thrown your way, and you know what they say about opinions…well, let’s just leave it at that.
This brand of advice, you might say I am a snob but this brand, the one labeled unsolicited, well, I don’t like it…at all. In fact I won’t even buy it with a coupon. My brand is what I would call, sought after, yes, that’s my brand. What I prefer about my brand is that you go to a source you know and trust. It is usually advice of good quality, which is the result of more experience in an area, similar experiences, values, and usually a certain amount of mutual respect. The other brand I have found is somewhat watered down and seems to leave a bad taste in my mouth and a significant cramp in my stomach.
My brand can be difficult to find, but the other brand, well, that is everywhere. I know, Dear Readers, this is not so unique. I just think that I have enough circumstances in my life that make me a target consumer for the unsolicited brand. I seem to be top of the market for “guidance” in parenting, autism, and grief. Any advice that starts out, “what you need to do is” or “don’t you think it would be better if”, “I know they say he is autistic but”, or generally any statement about Johnny or Madeline that begins “you need…” The exception is if I say, “What do you think I need to do”, in which case I reverse my previous statement.
Autism and grief, on their own, carry a huge weight and require a strong back bone. Put them together and I pray I can somehow manage to stand upright. An incompatible pair, autism requires Mom to be on her toes, and never let her guard down; whereas, grief, causes me to have trouble staying on my toes and operating with a certain amount of distracted thoughts for my Baby Girl.
It is rough to stay on my toes with these heavy boots. I re-visit a post I wrote where I discuss advice about moving on a year after Madeline’s death. It is in its unedited raw state as I originally wrote this piece, “Progress?”.
A year and a half has now passed, and yes, I do still get that “other brand” of advice at times but I try harder to consider the source and their intention. It doesn’t make it easier but I know some well-meaning people just want to make things better, that simply cannot be repaired. Like I said in my piece “unless you’ve walked in my boots” but be “careful they are pretty heavy.” Now that, Dear Reader, is some of the best, trusted advice I have received from a very reliable source.
My boots are still heavy, but the weight shifts and some days they are a bit lighter to walk in. The body begins to adjust to this ever present weight. The path is still rough terrain but sadly, familiar.
I leave you with this, please remember, unless you have stood in someone’s boots and are sure you know their weight, think carefully and twice, that’s my advice…for what it’s worth.