I am a doer. I wake up early and I check more off my to do list by 6am then some people will in their entire day. This is both a strength and a weakness. I’m incredibly reliable. You can set your watch by my timeliness and you could bet money on my follow through to commitments which my friend and family will tell you they usually like about me.
The weakness comes in that we task oriented doers are terrible at accepting help. I don’t know if this is some subconscious feeling of failure or a desire to save someone else the inconvenience. As surely as I’m the first to volunteer to bring a dessert if I’m headed to someone’s for dinner or to help a friend clean – I’m also the first to turn down the same.
I honestly hate this about myself. Not only because it’s a glaring flaw in my personality but because I frequently deprive people of something I myself love- being helpful. Pitching in.
This week like many others I bit off more than I will be able to chew (without an all nighter and a 6 pack of diet coke – which is where this was headed). I was trying to prepare for my trip to Indianapolis for a follow up surgery appointment, see my best friends, spend quality time with my family, and then leave at the crack of dawn to fly home in time to shop, cook, clean, prepare and lead my bible study. Oh that sounds wack? That’s not the half of it.
Even if I survive the Sunday chaos unscathed I’m beginning this new diet and exercise plan with my church Monday (5am workouts people – this is getting real) and this week involves work, babysitting, feeding the homeless, beginning a second bible study, a wedding, and an extra work event my departments of course in charge of. Hooray!
I thrive under pressure but even I can admit I was feeling overwhelmed. As I was mulling this over I got a text from a friend who attends the Sunday night bible study at my house. She wanted to see what I was up to this weekend in hopes of possibly spending some time together. I promptly gave her my whole long explanation of my next 10 days. I know, I know – whiner.
She offered to bring the dinner on Sunday night for bible study. She said it was one thing she could take of my Sunday and my plate for the week (pun intended) and she’d be happy to help. I gave my usual, ‘ you’re so sweet but I’ve totally got this’ response.
Twenty minutes later I was kicking myself. She said she had the time. She loves to cook (and she’s good at it). I do have a lot going on Sunday and all week and I could actually really use the help. She’s a close friend so I picked my phone back up and texted back asking that she ignore my previous stupidity and humbly and excitedly accepted her offer. She’s a great cook and it meant having some breathing room to be in the right state of mind for bible study Sunday.
Basically this post was to say – community is about giving and receiving help. Don’t keep others from the joy of that. And don’t wear yourself out trying to do everything in your own. It’s not worth it. Life lived in true community is a joy. I am slowly learning to rewire my brain for this.