Why do we discount the advice of our loved ones? As if they have some ulterior motive in suggesting a course of action, I often immediately disregard what they say but take it up as gospel when I hear it from a stranger, Dr. Oz, or, in the latest case, a fictional character.
Take running for example. I am not an athletic person. The only sports I have ever done well in at all are swimming (once I had goggles and could tell which way I was going), karate, and judo. In the last two, falling was involved. To me, running appeared to be an opportunity to wheeze and sprain an ankle.
My husband, on the other hand, is very athletic. He thrives on physical activity, and the price of the gym is the price of my sanity because he is a different person after physical exertion. For years, he has been swearing that I would be too. For years, I have been full of excuses and downright defiance. Sometimes I try a little, but the only exercise I have done consistently is walk, which is usually done with the aid of a cell phone and a good friend or sister on the other end.
But in November, I got hooked on Sue Grafton novels (I know! It was shocking! I generally hate bestsellers and one reason I left Waldenbooks was that the manager wanted me to read more bestsellers to "have more in common with our customers." I left after reading Message in a Bottle. If our customers liked that, I was not interested in having more in common with them). After reading Kinsey Millhone's repeated rhapsodies about her 3-mile run, I was becoming curious. If I decided to take up a new form of exercise, I might consider running.
Of course, it wasn't strictly Kinsey Millhone. We got videoconferencing up and running, and my sister-in-law took one look at me, forgot "hello," and went right to "boy, you've gained weight!" That certainly did help.
So now I'm running, or at least, I was running until we got to Korea. But now I think that we have a schedule and I should be able to run at least three days a week. AWESOME! I even have a place to do it, if rain, children, and/or other various and sundry circumstances do not impede the path (literally).
But back to our loved ones. Perhaps the reason we discount their advice is that there's a lot of rough thrown in with the diamonds. For example, my mother-in-law had a great idea about the us tickets yesterday morning that I was likely to discount, although it did turn out to be a great idea. But she also tells me (and the boys) not to drink too much plum juice (your teeth will rot), not to eat too much chicken (it will make your legs week), not to drink too much milk (apparently her family doesn't suffer osteoporosis the way mine does), that dryers are dirty (and the clothes that have blown off the drying rack onto the lawn are clean?), and many other gems. This is not to single out my mother-in-law. My own mother can be the same way. She may tell me to keep some gem, but this is a woman who only just threw out an outfit she began to sew before I was born.
As I contemplate my run this evening (it's far too hot to go now), I also remember today's events with wonder as my in-laws are exclaiming over AJ's sudden use of Korean. For almost 2 weeks, I have been telling them it's in there. I have been saying that the change was too much and that when AJ needs Korean, it will come out. I told them that the same thing happened with English in America. I tell them this daily. Yet today's events were like a complete mystery to them.
Again, not to point out my in-laws. I had a similar experience with BJ and the school in the spring when we came.
And so I wonder. Should I just give up? Is it the way a prophet is never honored in his own hometown? Or is it that I am simply nagging too much? Perhaps I should keep more "advice" to myself and only share the truly golden nuggets?