Your pretty Mir is busy. Deal with it.
She is very good at many things. She is an excellent mom. She is a fine cook. She has a wonderfully wry sense of humor. She is occasionally frighteningly bad at Scrabble, but thatâ€™s another post entirely. She is fiercely independent, almost to a fault.
You fine readers, you know sheâ€™s had a rough couple of weeks. The start of the school year was supposed to allow her to get back to a â€œnormalâ€ schedule â€“ get the kidlets up and off to school, then write furiously until mid-afternoon and be able to spend the latter part of the day with them.
Oddly timed appointments and odd errands have sort of wrecked her schedule. Plus, she volunteered to take on a few extra projects, things good parents and better friends do. One of these, editing and designing the kidletsâ€™ school newsletter, consumed much of Wednesday and put her a little behind.
Even though she likes to poke fun at my little quirks, every now and then one of hers bugs me. Itâ€™s that independence streak, it worries me. Iâ€™m an old newspaper guy by trade, newspapering was one of the few things I was good at. I can write a bit and edit a bit and, you know, I can design pretty well. So when she got backed up, I offered to lend her a hand.
Insisting that this was her responsibility, she spent the day working on that blasted newsletter, scavenging (shudder) clip art from here and there to fill out the space â€¦ really, it kind of makes my skin crawl. (She says people want bad clip art; I know people expect it because itâ€™s what theyâ€™ve been brainwashed into believing is an integral part of a newsletter.)
We all want to be good friends, we all want to be good partners. And that means we offer to help, we offer to lend a hand because thatâ€™s what weâ€™re supposed to do. It also means we accept that hand, that we acknowledge we cannot take on everything life hurls at us on our own.
Mir is â€“ right this very second â€“ screaming â€œHypocrite!â€ at the top of her lungs. I am a thousand miles away and my ears are ringing.
I suck at accepting help. And I never, ever, ask for it. I, too, am stupidly independent.
I am a wicked good martyr.
But I want to be a better friend, I want a better balance in my relationships. I want to lean on others â€“ occasionally â€“ because â€¦ because â€¦ well, Iâ€™m getting tired. And accepting a hand isnâ€™t a sign of weakness, it doesnâ€™t erode your pride. It doesnâ€™t make you look weaker or less independent.
Partnerships involve a distribution of responsibilities, thatâ€™s what sets them apart from sole proprietorships. You have someone there to help.
Itâ€™s okay to accept help â€“ itâ€™s what friends, true friends, expect. It tells your partner that you trust them, that you have faith in their abilities.
Go be a better friend.
(And you know what they say: Friends help you move. Good friends help you move bodies.)