Time Warp Tuesday: Advice

by Kathy on July 9, 2013 · 6 comments

in Anxiety, Blog Hops, Communication, Friends, Game Changers, Inspiration, Life, Optimism, Reality, Relationships, Time Warp Tuesdays

Let’s do the Time Warp again!

Welcome to the 33rd installment of my blog hop/writing exercise called Time Warp Tuesday!

For those not familiar with Time Warp Tuesdays, which I host on the 2nd Tuesday of every month, here is the background of how and why I came up with the idea. If you are here to participate and link up, you can do so with the Linky Tools at the end of this post (or if you have any difficulty, you can share the link to your post in the comment section).

The gist of  Time Warp Tuesday is to revisit and share some of our favorite blog entries from our archives, as well as others’, and reflect on our journeys since we wrote or read them.

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The theme for this month’s Time Warp Tuesday is: Advice

Sometimes we appreciate receiving good advice from mentors and other loved ones. In other cases unsolicited advice can come off as condescending and judgemental. Choose a post from your archives OR another blogger’s in which you or they wrote about advice. The blog entry could about helpful or not so helpful advice that you or the writer gave or received. It could also speak to how you feel about giving or receiving advice. Then write a new post on your blog about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since it was written.

Participants can write about whatever you want in your new blog entries. However, for those who might have needed some help and inspiration to get started, here are some questions to consider:

Why did you pick this post? Has your perspective changed since the day you wrote your original post or read the other blogger’s? Do you think you would still feel the same way if you were writing or reading the post today? What have you learned about yourself, your family and your life since you wrote or read the original post?

Note: If you have an idea for a future Time Warp topic, theme and/or writing prompt, please feel free to share it in the comment section or send me an email. If I choose to use your idea, I will give you credit and link to your blog that week.

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Time Warp Tuesday: Advice

My thoughts about advice, both giving and receiving it, have evolved over the years. I used to dole out a lot of unsolicited advice, as in many ways I believed I had an obligation to do so with my family and friends. I was an honest person and thus, why wouldn’t I share openly with them what I really thought about any given topic which I had experience with and/or an opinion on?!

However, the older and more mature I become, the more I reserve my advice for only when others request it or I feel very strongly that I should share my perspective for some reason. Even then, I try to choose my words wisely. I realize now that though I know a lot about, and have experience with, various things, that doesn’t necessarily make me an expert. Also I have learned that what works for me, may not work for others and I get that. I continue to re-learn this concept more and more, as my life goes on.

I know it sounds cliché, but we all do walk different paths in life. Though there may be similarities within our experiences, we never truly know what it feels like to walk in another person’s shoes. So the things and advice that work for us, don’t always work for others and I really try to keep that in mind before I open my mouth or communicate with a loved one via email, Facebook or another social media channel.

That said, this month I decided to reflect on a memorable post from another blog, written by my wise friend Lori (from Lavender Luz). In Lori’s post she actually shares some advice that her father gave her and her sisters when they were growing up. For some reason Lori’s post and her father’s advice have stuck with me ever since I first read their words. I keep coming back to the advice in recent years and think there are very few people who can’t benefit from understanding and appreciating the concept Lori explains in:

Perfect Moment Monday: Draw a Wider Circle (April 2011)

This post is especially timely, as this weekend I will be celebrating my 20 year high school reunion in my hometown with old friends. As much I as I am looking forward to the events that are planned (which I helped to coordinate, as a reunion committee member), there is certainly a level of anxiety I feel when I think back to the highs and lows of my high school experience. I hope believe that most everyone will be friendly and nice to each other this weekend, even those who didn’t get along way back when or may have felt “too cool” or “not cool enough” to hang out together.

Going into this weekend, I intend to take Lori’s father’s advice to heart, as I interact with old friends and acquaintances, remembering both literally and in spirit to “draw a wider circle,” trying not to exclude anyone who wants to be a part of our reunion celebrations and conversations, even me. I want to remember that in some instances I might assume others are intentionally excluding me, when really I am just leaving myself out of the circles they are in.

I love how Lori explains her experience with and take on her father’s advice in this part of her post:

Draw a wider circle.

This was said to us whenever we’d whine The other kids won’t play with me! or They’re leaving me out! or Nobody likes me! My parents knew, wisely, that often it was the case of us excluding ourselves, making assumptions about others. Dad counseled us to instead assume that the other kids were just WAITING for us to join them, to just join in gleefully and confidently.

I didn’t really get that back then, as a kid, but the advice has served me well  as an adult. Dad’s voice would whisper to me at work gatherings when I was the newbie and surely everyone else had all the friends and colleagues they needed. At cocktail parties where I felt I’d rather hug the wall than interrupt a formed group.

Draw a wider circle. Include yourself in it.

When I reflect on my life and friendships at different stages of my life, at pretty much every stage I would have benefitted from having this advice and putting it into practice. Most of my life I feel like I have been a very inclusive person. But there certainly have been times when I have not been as inclusive as I could have and probably should have been. Likewise, I can think of occasions when I wish I tried harder to include myself, when feeling excluded.

Even as an adult, I appreciate how relevant “drawing a wider circle” is, whether I ponder it from the perspective of a parent who is teaching my children how to be assertive and good friends/human beings or I apply it to thinking about my current relationships with loved ones. I see how this advice can be incorporated on a larger scale in our world today with such hot topics as immigration reform, marriage equality and other civil rights. I get that it is not that simple. I understand there are many challenges associated with trying to get others to buy into wider circles and to motivate ourselves to be more inclusive.

Another part of Lori’s post that I enjoyed revisiting was the conversation in the comment section, including my own words. It is always interesting for me to see what other commentors and I said years ago about others’ blog entries and to think about if I would write something similar now. My favorite comments included a brief interchange between Lori and Mel (from Stirrup Queens):

Mel: “I’m trying to act on your dad’s advice. But it’s hard. Sometimes we don’t even know what tools we should use to draw that wider circle.”

Lori: “Every kid should be issued a purple crayon.”

Yes!

As I said in reply to their discussion:

I agree distributing purple crayons is a fabulous idea!

As with many things in life, I believe that change is often most successful when it starts small, in our own corners of the world. I know there are so many issues in my personal life, as well as globally and in the professional world which can be solved or at least improved through drawing a wider circle. So I will continue to bring my purple crayon with me, wherever I go, in effort to do my part to be more inclusive and “draw a wider circle.”

Do  you try to draw wider circles in your life? Why or why not?

Are you assertive when it comes to joining others’ circles?

How do you feel when others in your life choose to draw bigger or smaller circles?

Thank you for reading and for doing the Time Warp with me this month! I look forward to your feedback about this post, as well as reading and commenting on all of yours.

Please feel free to comment even if you didn’t write your own Time Warp Tuesday post. It is not too late to participate if you are interested, click here for the details.

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The topic for the next Time Warp Tuesday (on August 13th) is: Peace

How do we cultivate peace in the midst of chaos brought on by infertility, loss, illness or other unexpected circumstances? After a whirlwind summer season for many, and as some of us (and/or our families) prepare to begin another school year in the coming weeks, let’s take time out to reflect on what brings peace to our lives. Choose a post from your archives OR another blogger’s in which you or they wrote about peace. It might be a post about what peace means to you (or another blogger). It could also be a blog entry about how you or they find peace in day-to-day life. Then write a new post on your blog about why you chose the post that you did and what has happened in your life since it was written.

Participants can write about whatever you want in your new blog entries. However, for those who might need some help and inspiration to get started, here are some questions to consider:

Why did you pick this post? Has your perspective changed since the day you wrote your original post or read the other blogger’s? Do you think you would still feel the same way if you were writing or reading the post today? What have you learned about yourself, your family and your life since you wrote or read the original post?

Note: If you have an idea for a future Time Warp topic, theme and/or writing prompt, please feel free to share it in the comment section or send me an email. If I choose to use your idea, I will give you credit and link to your blog that week.

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For those new to Time Warp Tuesday, here is a quick recap of how it works:

1) Browse through your old blog entries or another blogger’s to find one that fits the topic for the given month. The topic is shared at the end of the previous month’s “Time Warp Tuesday” post here on my blog (see above for next week’s topic).

2) Write a new blog post in which you introduce, link to and then reflect on your journey since you wrote or read the older blog post and put it up on your blog on Tuesday. Please include this link http://bereavedandblessed.com/projects-regular-series/time-warp-tuesdays/ in your blog entry, so your readers can find their way to my post with the list of other participants, in case they would like to read more or participate themselves.

3) Share the link to your new post here on Tuesday and then visit, read and comment on the other blogs.

4) After you have done all of these things, you are welcome to grab the code for the Time Warp Tuesday button by clicking here and put it on your blog. The link will take you to a Google Doc where you can copy the code. If your browser does not allow access to your computer’s clipboard, you can use Ctrl-C for Copy and Ctrl-V for Paste, or use your browser’s Edit menu.

5) Check back here on the 2nd Tuesday of the month to find out the new topic, theme or question for the next Time Warp Tuesday (I welcome your ideas and suggestions) and then return to Step 1 of this recap to participate. Please let me know if you have any questions and I hope to see you back here next month: Tuesday, August 13th (the 2nd Tuesday of the month), when we’ll “do the time warp again!”

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Thank you again for reading, commenting and participating in my Time Warp Tuesday blog hop. Link up below and click through to visit others who are doing the Time Warp! (If you have any trouble with Linky Tools, please share the link to your blog entry in the comment section. Also, please don’t forget to comment on my post here, as I do not have a link to this (my own) post below, but I would still really appreciate your feedback. xoxo


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