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This Is Why Having A Sister Is Better Than A Significant Other

This Is Why Having A Sister Is Better Than A Significant Other

I am one of seven children. My three sisters and I grew up in a smallish bedroom with two sets of bunk beds stacked up against the walls. We shared a closet, a dresser, and just about everything else.

I had friends who were only children. I looked longingly at their perfect dolls and toys placed carefully on their perfect shelves in their perfect little girl bedrooms. Every day their moms would sneak in while they were at school and put everything in order, like a hotel maid. These little girls would come home to everything just perfect.

These same little girls had beds with canopies. They had bathrooms to themselves. They could sleep in on weekends and some even had TVs in their rooms. Their moms were their best friends. They could leave school just to get their hair done.

Our bedroom always had stuff hanging about. There just wasn’t room to store the paraphernalia of four girls who had definite ideas about how they wanted their space to be.

As a result it was a jumble of all of our stuff, all over the floor, all the time.

All of us girls shared a bathroom with our three brothers. We could never sleep in because the house woke up when it woke up and there was din until nightfall.

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My mom did my hair, and when I turned ten I grew it long and hid behind it. It stayed that way until I grew up and went to beauty school. I could finally get a professional haircut because I was able to give one in trade. And I was good at it.

From a very young age, I really thought I was hard up.

Today is the third of July. I am getting ready to go to a mad family reunion. My family is nothing if not a little bit unusual. It will be a huge rush of humanity, all trying to catch up on communication that should have occurred over the past year but, for whatever reason, it did not.

I always look forward to seeing them again because, like them or love them, they are my sisters.
I have come to realize that there are so many reasons that sisters rock the universe but I can only give you a few here.

1. They get you

Your sisters have grown up with you so they know the ENTIRE back story of your situation and everything leading up to it.

They may not agree with you all the time but they never wonder why you do what you do or say what you say.

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To this day I can go to my sister Bess and say, “What’s happening mujere?” (pronounced Moo-hair in our Wonder Bread vernacular) and she will respond as though I have not said anything unusual.

2. They have seen your naked butt.

This may seem like a completely random statement, but there is no bond like the one forged when you catch a glimpse of your sister’s naked rear quarters as she streaks from the bathroom to the hall closet to claim a forgotten towel. There she is, dripping wet, and she looks up just in time to see your laughing face as she scrambles with the knob on the hall closet door, frantically trying to get it open.

Before you laugh too heartily though, don’t forget that you have forgotten your towel too and the chances are very, very, very great that she has seen your butt naked as well.

3. They have suffered with you through awful times.

I know sisters love to say “I told you so,” but they really do suffer when you suffer. I know that when one of my sisters is unhappy, I am unhappy too. They are family, they are blood, and they are connected to you.

Yes, there are moments when you feel like kicking each other to the curb but just wait until some non-family member tries to injure you. The claws will come out!

4. They have cheered you on.

Sisters do get jealous at times but, even so, they are happy that you are doing well. They were there when you got married. They called to check on you when your kids were sick. They gave you “atta girls” when you made some bully eat dust, and they rejoiced at your new bonus as long as you took them out for drinks and fattening appetizers!

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5. They do girl stuff.

I am a mom now and I have two boys. I love these dudes immensely but they NEVER like to get their nails done! They also don’t like to shop for shoes or dresses. I have been known to borrow a friend’s young girls because we love shopping together. When my sisters and I are together, we shop. We eat. And we laugh about really dumb things. It is the best time ever.

6. They are on the same diet you are.

We are women in a world where thin is equated with beauty. No matter how unjust this is, we are always on diets. There is nothing like a sister to call and whine about how you want an ice cream cone and can’t ever have one again. When you do this, you know that they understand perfectly what depths of despair you are going through.

We rejoice with each other’s loss of ounces and frown at each other’s pounds of gain. In the end we forget the whole diet concept and go out for cake. Then we are all happy.

7. They are aging at the same rate.

As we get older, we change, and not always in ways we love. However miserable this can be, it is heartening to know that someone shares your misery and is on the same conveyor belt to Hell that you are.

Sisters can talk with perfect understanding about love handles that have sprung up over night, a sudden wild whisker hair that has appeared on your lip, weird bumps and growths that appear out of nowhere and jeans that no longer button up like they once did.

They know what you are going through because they are going through it too. There is no one who cackles as heartily at you trying to get your stiff hips up out of a chair than someone who looks as bad or worse when she tries it.

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The last and best thing about sisters is that they are stuck with us. We can have our upsets and misunderstandings but we always come back to each other.

Looking back, my “only children” friends had nice things. They had designer beds and beautiful bedrooms, but I always had someone to play with, someone to talk to. Even if everyone hated me, one of my sisters did not and that was all I needed.

My sisters and I made up games and went around the neighborhood begging for old dresses and petticoats so we could put on plays in our garage. We made up each other’s faces and rated each other’s ability to movie kiss by watching as we practiced on our pillows and gave helpful critiques as though we knew what the heck we were talking about.

Our house was the center of activity for the whole neighborhood. We had sleepovers in sleeping bags on the lawn every Saturday night during the summer. We had dance shows and baseball games in the street. We had rope swings and caught pollywogs from the creek. In short, we had everything we ever needed because we had each other.

I know many people reading this have had upsets with their sisters or you wouldn’t be reading this. All I can say is communication fixes everything. If you miss your sister, tell her so.

If you have a BFF that has stuck with you through thick and thin, adopt her as your sister and keep her close to you. One can never have too many sisters.

I know I don’t say this enough but Sissies, I love you wacky dudettes!  Hey! I have a hankering for margaritas and something fattening and fried. Who’s in?

Featured photo credit: Beautiful Girls Having Fun in the Park via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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