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19 Things Little Sisters Forget To Thank Their Big Brothers For

19 Things Little Sisters Forget To Thank Their Big Brothers For

When I was five years old, my brother held up an ordinary desk stapler and told me it was what the doctors used to close my chest during my heart surgery, that’s why I had the little half-inch scars under the “big” scar. He said they ran out of stitches so they grabbed the next best thing — a stapler. That damn stapler haunted me for what seemed like an eternity.

A few years later, he thought it would be funny to throw me off the top of the slide into the pool. Into the deep end, thankfully.

He put a snake in my Easter basket (I swear it’s true. It was the one year when snakes were more abundant than Easter eggs).

He once made me get out of the car and walk home… for five miles (he got in trouble for that one — big time).

He blamed me for things I didn’t do. Quite a bit.

The list is endless. But that was his job as my big brother. It’s what he was supposed to do when we were growing up. All that jazz helped create the bond we share today.

With all the silly typical sibling stuff behind us, I’d like to take a moment to remember all the amazing things my big brother did and still does do for me. He’s the best — and I really mean that — big brother ever. There’s no way to list everything, but I’ll put a few actions into words and, hopefully, he’ll take time from his day to read this and understand how much he means to me.

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So, this is for all you big brothers out there. Here are a few of the things your little sisters want to say to you.

1. Thank you for being my first “dude” friend.

You taught me how to be friends with dudes. Whether it helped me understand things like sports or cars or a host of other talents, you gave me a good foundation to interact with the opposite sex. This came in handy later in life.

“Because I have a brother, I’ll always have a friend.”

2. Thank you for teaching me things I couldn’t learn from Mom or Sis.

Things like how to play Atari games, or how to ride the Big Wheel off the roof into the pool, or how to have a party without mom and dad knowing. Or, when I was a freshman and you were a senior and you showed me around campus, helped me figure out my schedule, and introduced me to my teachers.

3. Thank you for driving me to and from school your whole senior year when I was a lowly freshman.

Especially when you were totally cool and lovin’ high school and I was … alternative… and hating high school. Yeah. That must have sucked, but you did it anyways and you were never embarrassed to cruise into the lot in your cool Volkswagon Scirocco with me in tow. Man, I loved that car. How come I got stuck with the station wagon?

4. Thank you for giving me confidence and courage I didn’t know I had.

Remember when I asked that senior to Sadie Hawkins (when I was still a freshman)? Okay, so we both knew he’d say no, but the point is you totally encouraged me to go for it. Not in a bad way either. You weren’t standing in the shadows, waiting to laugh at me. You were cheering me on. You were proud of my courage. He turned me down (politely) and, thanks to you, I totally survived the rejection. The end result is that Mr. Senior-Who-Said-No and I talked and laughed and joked the rest of the year in art class so, all in all, it was an awesome move on my part.

5. Thank you for covering for me.

So, I wasn’t an angel. You covered for me a few times. There are two times we still laugh at: the time I drove up the neighbor’s driveway and when I came home after hanging out with the college boys in Berkeley. You laughed your ass off, but you made sure I didn’t get caught. I’m glad I was able to return the favor… over and over again.

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6. Thank you for having cute friends.

No brainer. Older brother = older cute friends. Damn, they were fun to look at, hang out with and, er, kiss. That’s all I’m going to say on that subject.

7. Thank you for always being my spare date on New Year’s.

It was always a blast to spend New Year’s with you. You’re an awesome date and there was never that pressure at midnight to kiss (ew). And if either one of us got hammered, it was cool. It didn’t matter if we ended up spending the night at each other’s places. No one had to do the walk of shame in the morning.

8. Thank you for being the strongest one at Dad’s funeral.

You hugged me and consoled me. You told us funny stories. With effortless beauty and grace, you recited O Captain! My Captain! by Walt Whitman, which moved people to tears. You let my husband hug me first, but you hugged me second when Dad was being buried. To this day, twenty years later, you still call me on the anniversary of Dad’s death to make sure I’m okay. Because I’m your baby sister.

9. Thank you for being my first superhero.

You always had a baseball bat or golf club by your bed, ready to kick some ass to protect me. Of course, having your black belt helped. And I was always impressed when you went all Bruce Lee on us with your nunchucks.

“Sometimes being a brother is even better than being a superhero!” ― Marc Brown

10. Thank you for really caring, even though you sometimes acted like you didn’t.

I know… having a little sister was sometimes a pain in the ass. You acted like you didn’t care, but deep down I always knew you did care about me. You worried about me and you made sure I was safe and happy. You never wanted me to be hurt or sad.

“As we grew up, my brothers acted like they didn’t care, but I always knew they looked out for me and were there!” — Catherine Pulsifer

11. Thank you for all the talks.

You know the ones. When you talked about girls and came to me for advice or when I asked you about boys. You were there to pick up the pieces when some douchebag broke my heart. You never once rolled your eyes or complained. And you definitely supported me when I found “the one.” Even when it meant telling Dad I wasn’t going to that college he wanted me to go to.

“Here’s to real heroes, not the ones who carry us off into the sunset but the ones who help us choose our princes.” — E.M. Tippetts

12. Thank you for all the Saturday mornings together.

You and spent a ton of Saturday mornings in pajamas on the family room floor watching Saturday morning cartoons. Hey, that time wasn’t wasted. That was serious bonding time. Those Saturdays helped develop our friendship. Scooby Doo and French toast — nothing better.

13. Thank you for being the consistent guy in my life.

Before getting married, of course, you were the main guy in my life. You didn’t care how weird I acted or dressed. You didn’t care if I was blond one day or purple-haired the next. You thought my punk scene was intriguing, even though it was polar opposite to your popular world. You never failed me. I love you for that.

Even now, you’re second only to my husband. There’s no other guy I’d rather hang out with. You still “get” me.

14. Thank you for making awkward situations easier.

Anytime life gets awkward, whether it be with ex’s or people I’m not particularly fond of, you make it easy. You make the ex’s feel lame (in a nice way), you make me look good, and you make light of the situation. Whatever you do, I always come out looking fairly cool.

15. Thank you for being my family sounding board.

Oh my lord, thank God we come from the same family because no one understands the issues like you do. I’m perfect, of course. You recognize this, which is why I love you.

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16. Thank you for dropping everything to be by my side.

In person or in spirit. Because we’re blessed to live close, for the most part, you’re able to be with me in person. You’ve been there for my wedding, when I needed your help during all my crises, and for the births of both my children. You’ve been there for both my children’s major heart surgeries (ALL of them) and for most of my surgeries. You’re the most supportive brother I know.

17. Thank you for being an amazing uncle.

Not only am I lucky to have you for a brother, but I’m even luckier to have you as my children’s uncle. You’re adored and loved beyond belief by my children. Not a day goes by that they don’t mention your name. Thank you for being a prominent figure in their lives. I couldn’t be happier to share you with them or to share them with you.

18. Thank you for being a great guy.

For real. You make being a guy look so easy. There are a lot of jerks out there. Thankfully, there is you. You cook, you clean, and you hold the door open for people in general. You also fix things, can live with or without sports, and look pretty darn cute in a tux. Most of all, you care about people. You care about the environment. You care about… kittens (OK, I added that one in because you do like itty bitty kitties and I think it’s freaking adorable). All of these things aside, it’s refreshing to know there are great guys out there and you are one of them.

19. Thank you for making me a sister.

I love being your sister. Enough said.

“To the outside world we all grow old. But not to brothers and sisters. We know each other as we always were. We know each other’s hearts. We share private family jokes. We remember family feuds and secrets, family griefs and joys. We live outside the touch of time.” — Clara Ortega

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Missy Mitchell

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

For the original article by Celestine: 13 Helping Points When Things Don’t Go Your Way

“We all have problems. The way we solve them is what makes us different.” ~Unknown

“It’s not stress that kills us, it is our reaction to it.” – Hans Selye

Have you ever experienced moments when things just don’t go your way? For example, losing your keys, accidentally spilling your drink, waking up late, missing your buses/trains, forgetting to bring your things, and so on?

You’re not alone. All of us, myself included, experience times when things don’t go as we expect.

Here is my guide on how to deal with daily setbacks.

1. Take a step back and evaluate

When something bad happens, take a step back and evaluate the situation. Some questions to ask yourself:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. Are you the only person facing this problem in the world today?
  3. How does this problem look like at an individual level? A national level? On a global scale?
  4. What’s the worst possible thing that can happen to you as a result of this?
  5. How is it going to impact your life in the next 1 year? 5 years? 10 years?

Doing this exercise is not to undermine the problem or disclaiming responsibility, but to consider different perspectives, so you can adopt the best approach for it. Most problems we encounter daily may seem like huge issues when they crop up, but most, if not all, don’t have much impact in our life beyond that day.

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2. Vent if you have to, but don’t linger on the problem

If you feel very frustrated and need to let off some steam, go ahead and do that. Talk to a friend, complain, crib about it, or scream at the top of your lungs if it makes you happy.

At the same time, don’t get caught up with venting. While venting may temporarily relieve yourself, it’s not going to solve the problem ultimately. You don’t want to be an energy vampire.

Vent if there’s a need to, but do it for 15 to 20 minutes. Then move on.

3. Realize there are others out there facing this too

Even though the situation may be frustrating, you’re not alone. Remember there are almost 7 billion people in the world today, and chances are that other people have faced the same thing before too. Knowing it’s not just you helps you to get out of a self-victimizing mindset.

4. Process your thoughts/emotions

Process your thoughts/emotions with any of the four methods:

  1. Journal. Write your unhappiness in a private diary or in your blog. It doesn’t have to be formal at all – it can be a brain dump on rough paper or new word document. Delete after you are done.
  2. Audio taping. Record yourself as you talk out what’s on your mind. Tools include tape recorder, your PC (Audacity is a freeware for recording/editing audio) and your mobile (most mobiles today have audio recording functions). You can even use your voice mail for this. Just talking helps you to gain awareness of your emotions. After recording, play back and listen to what you said. You might find it quite revealing.
  3. Meditation. At its simplest form, meditation is just sitting/lying still and observing your reality as it is – including your thoughts and emotions. Some think that it involves some complex mambo-jumbo, but it doesn’t.
  4. Talking to someone. Talking about it with someone helps you work through the issue. It also gets you an alternate viewpoint and consider it from a different angle.

5. Acknowledge your thoughts

Don’t resist your thoughts, but acknowledge them. This includes both positive and negative thoughts.

By acknowledging, I mean recognizing these thoughts exist. So if say, you have a thought that says, “Wow, I’m so stupid!”, acknowledge that. If you have a thought that says, “I can’t believe this is happening to me again”, acknowledge that as well.

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Know that acknowledging the thoughts doesn’t mean you agree with them. It’s simply recognizing the existence of said thoughts so that you can stop resisting yourself and focus on the situation on hand.

6. Give yourself a break

If you’re very stressed out by the situation, and the problem is not time sensitive, then give yourself a break. Take a walk, listen to some music, watch a movie, or get some sleep. When you’re done, you should feel a lot more revitalized to deal with the situation.

7. Uncover what you’re really upset about

A lot of times, the anger we feel isn’t about the world. You may start off feeling angry at someone or something, but at the depth of it, it’s anger toward yourself.

Uncover the root of your anger. I have written a five part anger management series on how to permanently overcome anger.

After that, ask yourself: How can you improve the situation? Go to Step #9, where you define your actionable steps. Our anger comes from not having control on the situation. Sitting there and feeling infuriated is not going to change the situation. The more action we take, the more we will regain control over the situation, the better we will feel.

8. See this as an obstacle to be overcome

As Helen Keller once said,

“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experiences of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, vision cleared, ambition inspired and success achieved.”

Whatever you’re facing right now, see it as an obstacle to be overcome. In every worthy endeavor, there’ll always be countless obstacles that emerge along the way. These obstacles are what separate the people who make it, and those who don’t. If you’re able to push through and overcome them, you’ll emerge a stronger person than before. It’ll be harder for anything to get you down in the future.

9. Analyze the situation – Focus on actionable steps

In every setback, there are going to be things that can’t be reversed since they have already occurred. You want to focus on things that can still be changed (salvageable) vs. things that have already happened and can’t be changed. The only time the situation changes is when you take steps to improve it. Rather than cry over spilt milk, work through your situation:

  1. What’s the situation?
  2. What’s stressing you about this situation?
  3. What are the next steps that’ll help you resolve them?
  4. Take action on your next steps!

After you have identified your next steps, act on them. The key here is to focus on the actionable steps, not the inactionable steps. It’s about regaining control over the situation through direct action.

10. Identify how it occurred (so it won’t occur again next time)

A lot of times we react to our problems. The problem occurs, and we try to make the best out of what has happened within the context. While developing a healthy coping mechanism is important (which is what the other helping points are on), it’s also equally important, if not more, to understand how the problem arose. This way, you can work on preventing it from taking place next time, vs. dealing reactively with it.

Most of us probably think the problem is outside of our control, but reality is most of the times it’s fully preventable. It’s just a matter of how much responsibility you take over the problem.

For example, for someone who can’t get a cab for work in the morning, he/she may see the problem as a lack of cabs in the country, or bad luck. However, if you trace to the root of the problem, it’s probably more to do with (a) Having unrealistic expectations of the length of time to get a cab. He/she should budget more time for waiting for a cab next time. (b) Oversleeping, because he/she was too tired from working late the previous day. He/she should allocate enough time for rest next time. He/she should also pick up better time management skills, so as to finish work in lesser time.

11. Realize the situation can be a lot worse

No matter how bad the situation is, it can always be much worse. A plus point vs. negative point analysis will help you realize that.

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12. Do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it

No matter how bad your situation may seem, do your best, but don’t kill yourself over it. Life is too beautiful to worry so much over daily issues. Take a step back (#1), give yourself a break if you need to (#6), and do what you can within your means (#9). Everything else will unfold accordingly. Worrying too much about the outcome isn’t going to change things or make your life any better.

13. Pick out the learning points from the encounter

There’s something to learn from every encounter. What have you learned from this situation? What lessons have you taken away?

After you identify your learning points, think about how you’re going to apply them moving forward. With this, you’ve clearly gained something from this encounter. You’ve walked away a stronger, wiser, better person, with more life lessons to draw from in the future.

Get the manifesto version of this article: [Manifesto] What To Do When Things Don’t Go Your Way

Featured photo credit: Alice Donovan Rouse via unsplash.com

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