28 days of Flash — 14 of 28
“Can I help?”
I don’t know why GenX seems to hate admitting we might need help with ANYTHING. Was it because we had keys to the house at 8 years old? Since we could make our own afterschool snacks, did that render us capable of getting through everything else life threw at us?
I know that accepting help goes against my wiring — to the point that doing so triggers self-criticism. I am so bad at saying, “yes, please” to any offer to make my days easier.
I act as if, at the end of my life, there will be an awards ceremony. I’ll be sitting in an auditorium by myself, and the booming voice of Morgan Freeman will come over the speakers and say, “The Lifetime Achievement Award for Doing Things Yourself goes to….. YOU! Congratulations, You!”
Do you see yourself on that stage like I do?
Prior to launching my own freelance business, I’d find myself year after year bleeding myself dry of energy by not accepting help — and not asking for help, either. I partially blame my family system — asking for help wasn’t encouraged or applauded. I also squarely blame Enjoli.
If you watched TV in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, I’m sure you can sing the Enjoli commercial right along with me. “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan, and never let you forget you’re a …contributing member of this household who can do laundry, walk the dog, and make sure the kids get a meal.”
At least, that’s how it should have been written.
Maybe you’re a little like me and, “I can do it myself!” has long been your go-to. I can offer help all day long, partly knowing that the people to whom I offer said help may likely refuse it. That said, since I started working for myself, I no longer have any desire to act like I can do everything and never let my blue eyeshadow and 8-hour perfume fade. I budget for conveniences that can help me out, like grocery delivery, house cleaning, lawn care, and window washing. I pay for classes and writing groups with professionals who have been there, done that, and know how to tell me to do the same. It saves me the time of tripping over the hurdles to figure it out myself.
I don’t want an award for doing everything myself anymore. I think I’d rather get a little more peace instead.