I’d like to consider myself pretty well-rounded. I have really great parents, and a great family – most members of which have expertise in one area or another. I’ve been fortunate to learn from them about most things in which I take interest. My parents and I are musicians, and we discuss music all the time. My mom and two of her sisters are retired teachers, so I often engage them in conversations about education, my kids and their development, and their progress in school. My grandmother and aunts are excellent at decorating and entertaining, and anyone who knows me is well aware that I LOVE entertaining and cooking!
Several years ago, my parents purchased a piano for my family’s home. It had been so long since I’d had one, so I sat down and started writing a chart for a song I’d heard on the radio. There was one chord I didn’t hear right away, so I called my dad over, and he told me what it was immediately. I could’ve taken an extra minute and done it myself, but I wanted to be sure it was right (and when it comes to music, he’s ALWAYS right!).
A couple years later, I was having a gathering at my house and needed to keep some food warm.
“Aunt Kathy, what’s the usual temperature of a warming oven?” My grandmother has one in her home, but she was in another room. Of course, I could’ve Googled it, or just chosen a low temperature, but I wanted her opinion. I knew she’d know immediately. I often seek her opinion on organization and decorating as well. Just last week (at my mom’s suggestion – they’re sisters through and through!), I gave her a budget and a deadline to find me a new patio dining set, because while I’d found a couple that I’d liked – NO ONE can do research like she can. I was thrilled to find that she came back with the two between which I’d been deciding!
My mom and I speak almost daily, and I regularly bounce ideas off of her – whether it’s about my house, work, or my kids. Her long tenure in education, coupled with her excellent perception make her a great person to go to for help. We’re also best friends, which definitely adds to the conversation!
Do I NEED these opinions? No.
But I love getting them. They have the potential to give me a fresh perspective, or a boost of confidence in the decision I’m making or the opinion I’ve formed … and who doesn’t like positive reinforcement?
But really, my favorite part of asking those I love and respect for their opinion on something is because it makes memories and strengthens our connections. Life is short and time is precious, and it’s important to savor every moment, because we don’t know when it will be our last.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m strong-willed and opinionated, so sometimes I don’t WANT to hear what anyone else has to say!
Sometimes we have to learn by getting our own bumps and bruises along the way. But if I have the opportunity to seek help from someone I respect who’s walked in my shoes before – whether it’s playing the piano, choosing a throw pillow, or making corn soup – you better believe I’m taking it!