The other night I was all alone in my house, no dinner to cook, no child to shuttle, just me and my Real Simple magazine. (I know, pitiful. Nothing racy or spicy here, folks – just a publication that fuels my every increasing OCD.)
And I happened to notice an ad for the USPS with all sorts of shipping tips spread across two pages. My first thought was ummm, hey – the USPS is funded by the government, and the government is funded by taxpayers, and I’m a taxpayer, so why the heck is my money paying for a two page spread in the front of Real Simple???
But I digress.
That thought was quickly overrun by the next thought as I looked at the picture of Nicole Gibbons sitting on the floor of her staged apartment, USPS Priority Mail boxes stacked neatly to her left.
Who, you ask, is Nicole Gibbons?
I had to ask the same thing. I laughed when I saw her title – “Lifestyle Guru.” Good for you, girl. Good for all the 20-somethings that can go out on the internet without a whole lot of life experience and call themselves an “expert,” a “guru,” or heaven forbid a “know-it-all.”
This is not a slap at Nicole. She is a beautiful young lady and I’m sure she knows more about decorating a dining room table for Thanksgiving than I’ll ever know. But being a “Lifestyle Guru” is completely different from being a “Life Guru.”
Has she hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for her family, her parents and her in-laws on a Thursday and buried her uncle on a Friday? I have. We ate on paper plates that year.
Has she gently unfolded the hand of her hysterical three year old son only to find he’d been clutching a wasp in his grasp the whole time? Been there, done that. I’ve played Nurse Momma many times, a role I never thought I could pull off.
Has she looked into the eyes of a coworker as she tells them the sickening news that the company is downsizing and that coworker is being let go? That was me, many years ago. One of the worst things I ever had to do.
Maybe Nicole’s answer to all those scenarios is yes, but she looks a little young to have worked her way through all of those real-life situations.
When I was in my 20’s I knew EVERYTHING – just ask my parents. Now, looking back, I realize I knew very little. I was the guru of the present age, having very little experience to draw from when I really needed it.
So the next time someone older offers you a piece of advice, listen. Or better yet, ask them for their advice. They’ve been there, done that in more ways than you can imagine.
“Remember the days of old; consider the generations long past. Ask your father and he will tell you, your elders, and they will explain to you.” (Deuteronomy 32:7)
I may not be a lifestyle guru, but I’m a 47-year-old life guru.
And I still have so much more to learn.
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