Wisdom Comes from Many Places [NOT 3/4/23]

Hi, friends!

It’s stupid Monday again.

Topic of the NOT is what’s some good insight/advice you got from an unexpected source? Like some rando at the grocery store or a song lyric that just resonated?

I was scrolling through tiktok videos the other day and there was some clip from The Kelly Clarkson Show (I didn’t even recognize the guest she was talking to) and Kelly said she was talking with her therapist and the therapist said “you don’t have to attend every argument.” Which is a really impactful statement that I needed to sit with. Like sure, we all know the aphorism “pick your battles” but this sentence about attending arguments feels more applicable to the day to day dumbassery that I deal with.

Anyways, thanks Kelly Clarkson’s therapist!



  1. I actually got a “battle-related” piece of advice recently. As I move through New York’s medical community, one health care provider at a time, I try to maintain a sunny disposition because getting angry at these folks won’t accomplish anything. Plus, I’m a cockeyed optimist by nature, just like Nellie Forbush.

    Recently I was in the office of one such new-to-me health care provider, and he had an image on his wall which was meant to be a heartwarming photo of a child surviving and thriving with something much worse than I was there for, and I said, “This is why I never complain. There’s always someone who has it so much worse.”

    And he said, “Don’t belittle your battles.” And this was profound. Just because there are people who have it so much worse than you doesn’t mean you give up your right to say and think, “In this instance my situation absolutely sucks and since my last name is not Windsor or Mountbatten-Windsor I will complain although explaining will take too much time.”

    By the way, did you know that the very same week in 1917 that the Windsors changed their names from Saxe-Coburg und Gotha the English branch of the noble German Battenberg family changed theirs to Mountbatten? I always knew that both families were traveling under assumed identities but learned only recently that they did it concurrently. It’s odd to think that if the Wars had not happened the current occupant of the British throne would probably be called something like Albert Edward Victor Frederick Saxe-Coburg und Gotha with a possible “von und zu Battenberg” thrown in.

    This, friends, is how I occupy my mind during waiting room periods, which can be quite lengthy.

    • Completely agree! I tell people bad things in your life aren’t the Oppression Olympics. It doesn’t have to be the worst thing ever to justify being miserable or traumatized by it.

      Also, it’s entirely relative sometimes. If I had an accident and blew out my shoulder, it would be annoying but not the end of things. I have friends who have babies and that same experience would be a complete misery for them to have to heal and not be able to hold their kids.

  2. A long time ago I had a job in college where I would sleep at a retirement home. Not a nursing or care facility — just basically a group home for old people who could mostly do for themselves but needed meals and somebody to count out their pills. I’m not even sure these are legal now because none of us were nurses — you took a first aid course and that was it. It had to be staffed 24 hours so there was a person there all the time and we switched out. I came on at 10 pm and left at 6 am. You basically pulled out the bed and went to sleep. If anybody needed you they came and got you. If they were sick you called an ambulance and made sure they got into it.

    One morning the day shift worker didn’t show up. It didn’t happen much, but you couldn’t leave until you were relieved. So the old people were wandering out and they start to complain. “Guess we won’t get fed.” “Nobody’s going to show up.” “Probably have to eat my socks.” Old people are cranky and overly dramatic.

    Except for Mr. Reynolds. He came out of his room, took a look at me, and said, “Day shift’s not here?” I said, no, Mr. Reynolds, but someone will be here soon.

    He sat down on the couch and said, “Well, I ain’t got a train to catch.”

    I think about Mr. Reynolds saying that when my impatience gets the best of me. Nope, I ain’t got a train to catch either.

    • Old people are cranky and overly dramatic.

      LOL, so true. I had mom and dad to deal with this weekend. As I get a little deeper into my 50s, I feel a tiny bit of the same.

      I like Mr Reynolds attitude.

      Same applies to being in the hospital. My friend wasn’t the demanding, crybaby patient despite waiting at death’s door. He wasn’t afraid to say something went wrong either, but the hospital staff rarely gave him a reason to (unlike his brother, sad to say.)

  3. One of mine was from the Hospitalist who released me from the Hospital where I ended up after my first *official* bout of pancreatitis.

    It was GOLDEN, and invaluable, tbh!

    Because I had the stupid lump inside my pancreas, blocking the duct, but it was small (less than 1 cm in diameter!), *and* I was walking around just feeling “a little bloated” but otherwise just FINE less than 4 days after my Amylase had been at 1228 (notmal is 25-125), she told me, “You are an interesting case, medically speaking, and ALL of these Doctors here are FASCINATED by you… No one here has ever seen or heard of something/someone like you, and they are ALL very interested in what’s going on.

    But being “medically interesting” is not always good for YOU, and you’re going to need to be *really careful* about who you let on your care team… Because I can tell you that *any* of these guys I’m working with right now? Even though they are good guys and great doctors?

    They’re more interested in *you the medical case* than *YOU the human being, with a medical condition*

    You’re going to have to be VERY careful, and you’re gonna need to find a Dr. who cares about YOU, and isn’t just *fascinated* by you medically… That can be HARD to do, and you can *already* see how some of them don’t actually listen to you.

    So be careful with this, and find the folks who actually listen to YOU, and treat *you* the person, ok?”


    SShe’s part of the reason why I trusted the surgeon i ended up *eventually* getting referred to–because not only did he listen, he put aside his ego, and was completely honest with me–that he’d NEVER seen a case like me before, didn’t know *anyone* else who had, either–and that he couldn’t say at all, what my lump was.

    The fact that a surgeon was 100% willing to level eith me, and *not* get caught up in his own ego–and that he was more than willing to refer me on to Mayo or any *other* hospital system I could think of, for a second opinion?

    Made me realize *he* was one of those few “GOOD Dr’s” that that hospitalist was talking about having on my care team😉

    And tbh, *HE* was my Dr for literally *years* before I had a regular primary care provider that I trusted as much!😁

    That woman Hospitalist gave me some of the best medical advice of my LIFE, and I have appreciated her & that advice many times over the years!

  4. Someone I worked with ages ago said, “we’re not saving lives, we’re just making food.” I use that all the time know but I change out the last part to fit the situation. It’s a very good perspective check for me.

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