Asking for help
Thursday, May 24, 2012
Asking for help doesn't come naturally to most people, especially for go-getters like us right! Unfortunately it also doesn't come naturally to people who need it due to crisis. I facilitate a grief support group on Tuesdays and asking for help is often identified as one of the most difficult things for the members to do. They know their life is changed, they know there are tools to deal with the challenges they face, and they know they might need help getting through the grief journey. But knowing how to get that help is often beyond them. To close this week's group we all identified something we could ask for help with and there was a universality to their hesitancy - no one wants to become a burden. Sometimes support systems are small and we feel like there are only a few people available to ask, and we don't want to exhaust them either. But more often than not people are looking for ways to help, and it only takes a request to get them into action.
I'm terrible at asking for help, and usually spare no effort in trying to do things on my own. I regained a lot of independence while my husband and I were separated, and I've been clinging to it even when life would be easier for everyone if I just asked for a little help. I had a potluck last night with my Pink Gloves Boxing group, and due to working late Tuesday knew I wouldn't have the opportunity to make something prior to the dinner. I mentioned this as something to ask for help on (likely requesting hubby to whip up one of his specialties) and a group member had a good tip: frogeye salad at IGA. It would be easy, everyone would like it, and I wouldn't stress myself or exhaust a resource.
I think the key to asking for help is remembering there are some things not worth getting stressed out about, cooking for a potluck among them. This great big world has great big problems, so making our small issues into big problems rather than asking for a little assistance is such a waste of everyone's energy. Here are several things I need help with, and asking for that help is on my to-do list:
1. Food control: I am going to ask a few people to share their food journeys with me, as support for myself but also to have the opportunity to support them. In addition, I will ask (demand?) husband not bring home irresistable treats.
2. Expanding my workout: By asking lil sis to include me in her Jillian Michaels workouts, joining me for walks and classes, and just pushing each other to do squats/crunches/pushups daily, I will have her to keep me accountable and competitive. Beating myself is fine but beating a 20yr old is a whole new level of satisfaction.
3. My money: I am terrible with money. I am going to ask for help in budgeting and keeping track of my money as well as identifying excess spending. I'm going to ask, gulp, my mom. She is someone I can trust as well as someone who raised a family on very little. Even if it means shame every time I buy a latte, I need someone to help me out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle.
4. My house: We moved into our new home in February and I figured I'd have everything taken care of long before May 1. Here is it nearly June 1 with a housewarming looming in 2 weeks and I am not decorated and some of the little things that could have been done long ago are left unfinished. I have a friend who offered her help in the yard for a trade, but now I need to ask for organization and decorating help. I really want my sis and her friend to help with this. I know they would do it gladly and if we schedule it, it will happen.
5. My attitude: Having a positive, gracious attitude makes for a much happier Anj. So I am going to ask my coworkers and family to help me stay on the bright side of life. It is easy to fall into negativity and stay there but it doesn't make life very fun. If people can help me remember just how awesome my life is when I'm highlighting the cons, and I do the same for them, my environment, world and life will be much brighter :)