A Few Things I’ve Learned from My Sister

Today is my sister’s birthday. Two decades ago, her curly blonde head popped into this world (shout out to our mom, who was a big part of all that) and made everything a little brighter. My sister can unapologetically down a box of Cheez-Its in one afternoon, she has the most perfect comedic timing, and her love for BeyoncĂ© is unmatched. And she’s got all kinds of big thoughts in her beautiful head that I learn from all the time. Here are a few of the things she has taught me:

1. Strive to be Safe, Happy, Healthy, and Productive.
My sister believes that, if you strip away all of the unnecessary aspects of our lives, those are the things that matter. Staying safe, being happy, working to be healthy, and making productive decisions are the goals we should all have.

2. Know what you need.
Sometimes a day is just a bad one. Sometimes people are mean, the weather is dreary, and all you need is a good cry. Or some retail therapy. Or a nap. Or maybe all three. My sister is a believer in each of those options and she is really good at knowing how to pick herself up and dust herself off after a rough patch. Figure out what makes you feel better when you’re feeling your worst and honor that.

3. Eating your feelings can help.
My sister is a stress eater and so am I. When our bellies are full, it’s harder to get so upset. Cheez-Its, as I’ve already mentioned, are a hot commodity in our household. The good old standbys like chocolate, peanut butter (which I will eat straight out of the jar), and ice cream are also good to have on hand. Things can’t seem so bad when you’re eating something so yummy, right? While you probably shouldn’t make a habit of this practice, it has proven to be quite helpful throughout exam weeks and days when it rains continuously.

4. Always buy the best smelling soap.
Smelling good is one of my sister’s strengths. Her hair smells good even if it’s not newly washed, she manages to smell pretty after a workout, and every item of clothing I’ve ever borrowed from her has smelled fresh and floral. I don’t know how she does it, but I do know that my sister delights in pleasantly scented soaps. When it’s time to buy new body wash or hand soap, there is an in-depth smelling process involved in picking out a new one. Always the reasonable no-fun buyer, I rarely pick out specially scented soap, but even I have to say that there is a certain joy that comes with dousing yourself in something that smells so nice. It’s like a treat!

5. Don’t be afraid of tough love.
Tough love is something my sister and I practice when necessary. We want each other to be as good as we can be, and sometimes that requires more of a push than a nuzzle. My sister can take the tough love like a champ and she does a good job of taking it in stride. She dishes it out as well, powerfully pointing out when I could do or be more. I do think the tough love we share makes us better people and those interactions should be embraced.

Happy Birthday to you, sweet chicken! I’m so glad you’re mine.

I’ve also learned a few things from my parents. If you haven’t already, check out some of the wisdom from my mom and my dad.

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