My parents raised me to be a pretty independent gal. I can change my own oil, catch the scariest of line drives, and drive a stick shift. But there are a few things I can’t (or won’t) do on my own: kill a spider (creepy), clean out a kitchen sink (so many germs!), and make it through the next three months without losing my mind.
About a week ago, my husband had to have emergency surgery on both knees. For the next three months he will be in straight leg braces (like Forrest, Forrest Gump) which seriously limit his mobility.
So for the next three months, I will be cooking, cleaning, mowing the lawn, taking out the garbage, grocery shopping, running miscellaneous errands, cleaning the litter box, doing the laundry, and bringing my temporarily disabled husband whatever he needs. He will be busy taking naps between Olympic events.
After a week and a half of this, I know that if I tried to make it on my own for three months I would go bat crazy.
Luckily for me, my nearest and dearest friends realized this fact much sooner.
I returned to work to find that all my co-workers had offered to fix meals for us (and one even offered to come dust and vacuum!). I have had six different friends offer to mow our lawn. My parents helped finish up some partially completed house projects. My in-laws rearranged our living room to make it more accessible for my husband. A friend who is in nursing school offered to change my husband’s bandages.
As hard as it is to say ‘yes’ to these offers, I’ve already learned that I have to do just that.
It’s important to know how to be self-sufficient. But let me share some lessons I’ve learned:
1. Surround yourself with awesome people. You know who they are. Chances are they’re smart, caring, funny, and creative. And they’re good for more than just helping you when you need it.
2. Be there for your people when they need you. Over the years, I’ve painted, pulled weeds, chopped wood, moved furniture, and given money when those that I care about needed it. I’ve even done some of that stuff for strangers. Nothing feels better than helping someone when they need it.
3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. And don’t shy away from accepting it. You might need help balancing your checkbook, studying for a history test, or learning to throw that perfect tight spiral. It’s OK to ask someone for help, and it’s OK to accept it.
We all tend to think that we’re invincible, but everyone has a weakness. My husband’s weakness was his knees. Luckily, mine are strong enough for both of us. And our friends, family, and co-workers will help take care of the rest.