When you live by yourself as I do, you learn how to do a lot of things for yourself.
It just becomes second nature.
I don’t like to bug people to ask for help, so my first instinct is see if I can do it on my own.
When my husband was alive he was not really handy around the house so I took over some of the outside chores and I also took over the bills as his illness took away much of his energy. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not complaining; just explaining how a shifting of duties can slowly happen and how the new responsibilities blend into becoming a part of your daily life.
You just keep doing things and moving forward because you need to.
It’s a worthy goal to try and be independent but these days I’m also learning that I don’t need to and shouldn’t try to do everything myself and that I need to learn to graciously accept a helping hand when it is offered.
I had a light bulb moment about this yesterday when I received a pleasant surprise from my son and his fiance who offered to clean up the kitchen (THE BEST!!!) after a small celebratory brunch for their upcoming wedding. My first instinct was to tell them that it was okay and I would clean up the kitchen later but then I stopped myself, thanked them and let them go to work loading the dishwasher and putting the food away.
It sounds like a small thing but it’s really not. It freed me up to spend more leisure time with my future in-laws and chat and laugh some more. Offers of help are gestures of caring and wanting to make things easier for the other person. If those offers are continually denied or ignored, somebody is going to eventually get annoyed or frustrated because they are being denied the opportunity to give.
Accepting help is not admitting that you can’t do whatever task you are trying to do. Everyone who knows you is aware that you can do it. But why should you have to do it when others are ready, willing and able and offering to roll-up their sleeves to pitch in?
I am reminding myself that I am one very lucky person when kindness comes my way and accepting help is keeping myself open to accepting love, friendship and caring support!