…is virtually impossible.
WE are a fortunate group of people. WE have managed to invent tons of gadgets and apps to minimize our task-taking time. WE no longer need to even write a letter or type anything anymore, if we don’t want to, because we have a microphone attached to our “smart”phones which allows one to speak his/her message into email or we simply ask Siri, or we say, “okay Google”, and voila!
With all these shortcuts you’d think we’d have more time to do a lot more productive things, like Save the Whales, Save the Frogs (its real – I checked), Save The Rhino (?), Save The Elephants, (okay – save all animals…), or just be a domestic “goddess” (I never saw anyone do house-chores and look celestial or divine, btw) and do all the dishes and the laundry, wash the floor, bathe the children, make a healthy dinner, eat said dinner…at the table…with your children, and have enough energy to have that long-awaited-but-always-interrupted-mostly-neglected conversation with your spouse regarding the mortgage/finances/shopping “spree” (read groceries) and/or just to say hi – remember me? And Breathe….
Unlikely. No one I know saves the world with every free moment they have. (Even though I am surrounded daily by heroes and real men and women of honor). In the few recent months alone, I have needed to ask and was gracious enough to receive and accept help from my friends. I was able to recognize the need, and was willing to accept help. That’s always hard to do when you are not a “needy” person. So many people FOUND THE TIME to make my life a bit more manageable. Maybe they used their spare moments or created a slot in their busy days to help me, either way, I really did appreciate the extra help. Being on the receiving end forced me to accept (again) that I can not ‘do it all’ – I am not a robot, I have feelings that sometimes inhibit me from being the most productive I can be. However, when I am not at my lowest performance level, I too need to be THAT person for others.
Recently, I have had many chances to give back. Often, opportunities present themselves and we neglect them, or we, shamefully, just don’t recognize them as opportunities. I had the fortune to pick up some neighbors hitching rides and was approached on the way home as well. My entire day’s journey was accompanied by fellow travelers needing to get somewhere and I was able to provide almost door-to-door service. That felt great too. I didn’t start out looking for ways to help others, but when presented with the chance, I grabbed on, knowing how it would make me feel if I needed to get somewhere and in better accommodations than a bumpy bus ride.
I also made a really cool cake (in theory) for a friend’s party, went to see a musical to support my friends performing in theater, made Superbowl snacks, said yes to a few “play-dates” which meant I’d be running car service back and forth and around town, agreed to a sleepover of 4 other female teens, and SURE, you can say, um, Cheri, you were just being a neighbor, a mother, a wife, a friend. And the answer is yes. Yes, I was, but those were all conscious choices. I could have also said no, acted “selfishly” and no one would have thought me unkind, no one would have said anything other than, okay, if you can’t – you can’t. However, I consciously made the time available just as others had done for me.
That’s really the point of today’s post. Fix your schedule, make time to help others. Find small ways throughout your day to say a kind word, make a 1 minute phone call, smile at someone, listen. Keep your eyes wide open so you can see the opportunities that lay in front of you.