Tag Archives: life

Asking For Help

Asking For Help itsadomelife.com

Asking for help doesn’t come easy for me, but I am getting better at it with practice and maturity. I’m more of a stubborn problem-solver, preferring to work alone until I figure out a solution. I think some of this comes from being introverted and enjoying the time to process problems, experiment with solutions, and discover what works and what doesn’t in my own time. Working alone is easier because there aren’t as many opinions or disruptions in the thought process. Some of this comes from being a shy kid and just being afraid to ask for help. Having to ask for help filled me with so much anxiety and dread that I learned to avoid having to do it at all by adopting a stubborn, “I can do it myself,” attitude. In some ways it has served me well.

I’ve moved heavy furniture by myself by putting a sheet under it and sliding it around until I got it into position. Due to my limited sewing ability, I once figured out how to reupholster a couch with fabric, a hot glue gun, and a prayer. I’ve piled things on top of other things to create a makeshift ladder when I didn’t have access to a real one. I was able to reach things I never thought I’d be able to reach. Basically, I have found a way to get what I needed without asking for help. I am what people call independent and there isn’t anything wrong with that, unless you really do need help, which happens to all of us eventually.

Being “independent” has been my mode of operation for most of my life. Then, along comes Tiny-Small. She has no fear of asking for help. She’s actually quite the opposite of me. I often find myself telling her to at least try to do something by herself first before asking for help. I want her to be a good problem solver when she grows up and not be totally reliant on other people. The funny thing is I sort of get her point, why should she struggle for hours when someone else can show her how to do something in a couple of minutes? Or why should she do it when she can get someone else to do it for her? Asking for help certainly saves time and energy. It also creates bonds between people. Helping someone seems to make us care about each other more. When we help someone it’s like we are investing in them so we want to see the fruits of our labors pay off. Not to mention, that old saying, “I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine,” didn’t develop out of thin air. There is a lot of truth to that. When you help people they are much happier to help you in return. We are social creatures, I mean, that’s what the scientists keep telling us, right?.

So, here we are, Tiny-Small and I have different skills and different strengths, but we are teaching each other how to live happier and more successful lives. I mean, just a few days ago I was showing Tiny-Small how she could use a lawn chair to help her climb onto a slightly out-of-reach swing and then kick the chair out-of-the-way once she is ready to start swinging. Meanwhile, almost daily, she is teaching me the importance of reaching out to other people and asking for help. She’s teaching me there is no shame in not knowing how to do everything or in relying on the expertise and strengths of other people at least some of the time. In some ways she is teaching me how to be a better friend or how to even make new friends. Not too long ago we visited a new park. Tiny-Small was up on a jungle gym when she saw another little girl was afraid to cross a bridge, so she went right up to her, held her hand, and brought her across the bridge. They were instant friends. It’s kind of strange to think that a three-year old child is teaching a 38-year-old woman how to make friends. You have no idea how much relief I feel when I see her making friends so easily. I’ve been so afraid that she would be shy like I was as a child. I’ve outgrown most of that now, but I am still not great at making new friends. I am so glad she is. Her childhood will probably be much happier than mine was. This makes me happy and sigh deeply in relief. Phew!

I thought as a parent that I would be doing most of the teaching. I thought I would be showing my daughter how to live a good life. It turns out this relationship is a journey filled with mutual growth. I am quite certain she is teaching me more about how to live a good life than I will ever teach her. Most importantly, right now, she is showing me the importance of asking for help. I am asking for help more often now and that slight change in behavior is opening doors for me, doors I never thought possible. It’s also making my life richer. I am really grateful to have Tiny-Small in my life. She is one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Age Is Not Just A Number

Age is not just a number.
I wrote it down so I wouldn’t forget.

Ever notice how people who say, “Don’t worry about it! Age is just a number anyway.” are usually not a day over 28 years old and if they are, they are usually a middle-aged guy trying to date someone under the age of 28? Age is not just a number. The proof is in my aching muscles and constantly complaining back. The proof is in my decreasing elasticity and inability to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Oh wait, that just means I’m probably not a super hero.  Anyway, my point is, this body will not let me pretend that I am still young. It laughs at me when I try to be ageless and forces me to pull a muscle or break off one of my dry, brittle finger nails. Which totally just happened as I was writing this by the way. See, my body even knows when I am just thinking about pretending to be young again.

Seriously, the fact that I cannot stay up past midnight and be functional the next day is not imagined. Neither is the fact that my hair is thinner than it used to be and nor, sadly,  is my inability to lose that annoying belly fat no matter how many crunches, laps around the couch, or squats I force myself to do. I also have wrinkles and spots that don’t fade. My teeth are not quite like they used to be. I mean, I still have them, but they are not exactly gleaming anymore. Not to mention, I am more tired than I have ever been and less able to sleep than I used to be. Sweet sleep…the elixer of youth. I miss you so. I’d remember you better if I wasn’t so old and still had all of my memories.

Age is not just a number. It is real. I can feel it creeping in slowly and quietly and permanently. It’s really starting to sink in now. I am not getting any younger. There is nothing I can do to stop it either. I mean, at some point you suddenly realize that the dull ache in your joints is probably as good as it is going to get from now on and that all of the wrinkle cream in the world is not going to restore your face to what it once was. Unless, of course, you want to look like Joan Rivers. I’d rather look older than like the newest version of  Barbie. Have you seen what they have transformed Rainbow Bright into? Just picture that, but older and creepier. Anyway, sooner or later you realize that sitting on the floor for more than five minutes and getting stiff is just your new normal. Wearing glasses and turning the TV up a notch or two becomes second nature. I mean, even my toes are becoming permanently squished together by some old(er)-age magic. My feet look like aliens attached to my legs. I don’t need funny slippers as a fashion accessory…I’ve got my feet for that.

So when my feet hurt a little too much, and my back is sore from picking up a three-year old kid too much the day before, and my knees hurt for no apparent reason, don’t tell me age is just a number. I won’t believe you. I’ll just know you are too young to understand what I am talking about or just trying to make me feel better. It’s not going to work. Unfortunately, no matter what my mind chooses to believe my body continues to serve up the proof that age is not just a number. All I can say is getting older beats the alternative. Chocolate helps too.

 

 

Life Long Lessons I Learned In The Army – Jim’s Corner

Life Long Lessons I Learned In The Army

1. Never volunteer to do anything you have never heard of. Example: “Any volunteers for KP?” (sounds good but means washing lots and lots of dishes and mopping floors).

2. Always have your buddy’s back and he will always have yours.

3. You never know when you will need a special skill – learn as much as you can about everything you can.

4. Never go AWOL (in any situation like relationships, jobs, etc.)

5. Showing off just gets people hurt (or killed).

6. ASSUME: Make an ass out of you and me.

7. Get caught taking a short cut or cheating and you just have to start all over again.

8. Never ever fall asleep on guard duty (or when you’re driving).

9. When someone who outranks you tells you to do something, do it.

10. Lead, follow, or get out of the way.

11. Nobody likes a whiner. Just suck it up.

12. Do as much as you can when you’re young so you don’t have regrets when you’re old.

13. Stay out all night while you are young. You can sleep when you are old.

14. Ask that girl (or guy) out. All she can say is “no” but if you don’t ask you’ll never know.

15. Never turn down an opportunity to travel to another country. What you will experience will far out weigh the costs or risks.

 

Happy Veteran’s Day! I decided to share Jim’s Corner on Monday instead of Friday this week since it was so relevant to the holiday. Thank you to all of the service men and women and their families for making big sacrifices for our country. We appreciate you!

Did you learn any life long lessons while you were in the military or by being part of a military family?   -Lillian