My “Little Brother” is not so little anymore. He’s in his thirties, and today he celebrates his birthday, adding a candle to his cake and another year of experience to his life. We have always been very close. We have truly “had each other’s back”, as the old cliche goes. Since I haven’t posted anything in weeks – life has gotten very busy – I thought it fitting that I’d start blogging again on his birthday and allowing him to be my inspiration. So here goes…Jason, this is what you have taught me over the years (there’s more, but these are my top lessons):
- Listen more, speak less: this is a tough one for members of any self-respecting Colombian family. Colombians love to talk – loudly. Preferably, that talk shoud include some kind of funny anecdote, a great punch-line or a wise life-lesson. Jason was always a little less loud than those around him. He’s always been quiet – preferring to allow others to take center-stage. This is by no means a lack of confidence…on the contrary, he doesn’t need to boast or shout to the world his accomplishments. I teach for a living…I am used to talk, talk, talk all day long. So when I am in a social situation, I take a page out of my brother’s book – talk less, listen more. It is amazing what you can learn and how much more enriching the experience becomes.
- When all else fails, smile…charmingly: my brother has a knack for ingratiating himself with others and making people feel at ease. His smile is sincere as is the twinkle in his eye. He got that from our dad. Simple and it works.
- Take care of yourself: this one might sound a little obvious, or perhaps a little selfish, but it isn’t – in either case. Jason always puts himself and his needs first – and, never in a way that makes one feel he is self-absorbed. He knows his boundaries, what is good for him, what he needs to be the best version of himself and he is true to that – always. Now that I am a mother I see just how critical that is. In taking care of yourself first, you will always have the energy to take care of others without feeling empty. This is one of my favourite lessons that I take from my brother.
- Play: take the time to play your favourite sport – in his case, soccer; take the time to play with your friends and loved ones. That “To-Do” list can be put off and the world will not end (really?) – Yes, really.
- Shrug it off, but be persistent: yes, get angry when things don’t go as planned, but don’t stay angry. Shrug it off, look at what happened and go at it again from a different angle. Or, sometimes, don’t get angry and just shrug it off…what are you going to do, change the past? Nope. Keep going – it can only get better from here. When he wants to do something, he will do it. Regardless of how long it takes, he will get it done.
- Inspiring this blog post: thanks for existing and having a birthday today! I’ve been feeling guilty about neglecting my blog and you helped me write one today – so thanks!
Sometimes we don’t have to look very far for inspiration, for feeling so moved we have to write. I am grateful for all the life lessons and look forward to many, many more. Happy Birthday Little Brother!