Lately I have been getting slips of paper included with graduation notices and bridal and baby shower invitations asking me to share my advice/guidance/knowledge. The funny thing is, I am probably the last person to ask for advice – I’m almost 56 years old and I still haven’t figured out the meaning of life, the key to success or how to raise a child perfectly. I suspect that all of the folks being asked for the same advice are just as clueless.
When I got married 34.5 years ago, I had a scrapbook filled with how my “perfect” marriage would be. We would dine on fine china with candles glowing every.single.night. I think that has happened 3 times. We would NEVER fight – ummmm, yeah, that lasted the first 9 days of our marriage.
In the business world, I have been slighted and looked down upon many of my so-called esteemed business colleagues. At first, that bothered me – I wanted to be a part of the clique group (just as I longed to be in the cliques of high school). I finally realized that while they didn’t want me in their group, I really didn’t want to be in that group of snobby, pretentious people. I don’t stick my pinky out while drinking tea (I don’t even drink tea)- and I don’t pronounce tortilla correctly but I can walk out onto the pavement of a truckstop and feel at home chatting with a group of drivers and their families.
The same rule applies to parenting. You have to work things out and try new techniques until you discover what is best for you and your children. There’s no such thing as a perfect parent or a perfect child– no matter what the posters on Facebook claim.
So, I guess that if you really want my advice, “Don’t let anyone try to force or shame you into being someone that you are not.” March to the beat of your own drum – in other words, be the drummer. Make your own music – groove to the beat of your own tune, maybe it will be a sultry and moody blues, or it could be sassy and salsa inspired. A twangy country ditty or a techno pop, funk style. You decide what is best for YOU and don’t let anyone else’s opinion sway you if you feel that you have found what works for you.
Be the drummer and rock the heck out of whatever path you decide to embark down – whether it’s one that has been used before or if you choose to trailblaze a new one through unchartered territory.
And never, ever let anyone make you feel that you are not smart enough or incapable.
Drum on my friends, drum on.