Thursday, September 08, 2016
Today I am grateful when someone asks for help. Why is it so painfully difficult for most of us to ask for help when we need it? I’m the worst offender. I’ll hang on a ladder with one hand on the ceiling and a foot on a windowsill with a paintbrush in hand and cramps in both legs, plus a back spasm, and never mention I need help. Why?
This morning at the YMCA, after I taught a couple of kids to swim and had showered, I was in my little corner of the locker room getting dressed, when I heard soft whimpers. Because I’m in a position where I can’t see if anyone has come in, I assumed a young child was whining about who knows what. It’s pretty common to have several recalcitrant children in the locker room on any given morning.
But when I stepped out of my corner to go dry my hair I noticed that a lady I had said “Hi” to earlier was the one whimpering. She was standing with her walker in front of her, trying to get her swimming suit up, but the blasted thing had rolled inside itself and she absolutely couldn’t manage. Her uncooperative left hand and balance issue were causing her increasing frustration.
“Do you need some help?” I asked.
She looked at me with embarrassed, pleading eyes and said, “Yes, I think I do. . .my left arm. . .”
“No worries. We’ll get you in this thing!” I unfurled the nasty swim suit and bing-bang-boom, she was in that sucker and heading towards the pool with her walker, thanking me the entire way. It was nothing to me. It was everything to her. So it became everything for me, too. On the way home I couldn’t get it out of my head that I wish she had asked me for help earlier. And I should have checked where the whimpering was coming from earlier, too. I am going to make it a point to be more aware.
Several people I know are in a position to need a little help right now, for whatever reason. If you are one of them, please ask. Don’t wait until you are frustrated and then get angry because you are not able to do what you are used to doing and snap your caretakers head off. (This was me a few times in the past, so I know whereof I speak.) Ask first. There are many of us out there who are ready to lend you a hand, but we don’t want to seem pushy or draw attention.
It does not mean you are lazy or weak, just because sometimes you need to ask for help. And there is no shame in it, either. This last paragraph is especially for me. . .and maybe you, too.