Sunday, December 2, 2012

Life Lessons

I've watched my own development in this life and thought about what lessons I'm supposed to be learning. More than 30 years ago, this psychic told me that one of my life lessons was to "get it together on the material plane." In my early 20s, my life was somewhat chaotic -- and maybe every 20-somethings are. I remember my phone being shut off once not because I didn't have money to pay the bill, but because I didn't have a stamp to put on the bill which I carried around in my purse.

Having your phone shut off once is a fairly jarring lesson, and I learned to buy a supply of stamps. Same with pantyhose (in those days) as I was constantly running to the deli or drug store late at night to buy a pair of L'Eggs (whatever happened to them anyway?) So I learned the pleasure of buying pantyhose a dozen pairs at a time. Same with paying all bills, having laundry detergent, soap, deodorant, etc. I learned that I can have backups without maintaining a warehouse.

Of course, some of that growth came with more financial stability. You can't buy a back up deodorant when you're really strapped, or a dozen pairs of pantyhose when you're broke. I would say, to this day, it still gives me a little bing of pleasure when I look on the shelves in my vanity and see that back up tube of toothpaste or bottle of shampoo.

I've also learned the lesson of allowing enough time so that I'm not late. I used to think that I could leave work, get a manicure, go to the grocery store, stop to get a bottle of wine, and be ready for a dinner guest at 7 pm. I was totally unrealistic about how much time something takes. These days, I am usually early rather than late but I enjoy the non-stress of it. I like being the one who is not stressed out in the back of a cab or breathlessly hoping the light doesn't change.

One I'm still working on -- and it came to focus today -- is asking for help. There's part of me that still sees it as weakness, and even though as I type that, it sounds and looks crazy to me, I have to face that fact. This past week, just out of semi-desperation, I asked for help twice. Once was for a quiz I had to create about the Wright Brothers flight on December 17th. I asked a friend, an expert on the Wrights for some suggestions -- it's not that I couldn't do it; I just couldn't bear facing it. Almost by return email, he had sent me an entire quiz.

Then I had to write an article about a topic I'm about 75% knowledgeable about. I reached out to someone else last Monday -- asked for help -- said I needed it by Friday and didn't get anything. Then this morning, she emailed me an outline for the entire article which just made my day. It gave me a handle on this story.

The point is that I need to reach out for help more often. I'm getting better, but I need to keep in mind that, just like I like to help people and it's often easy for me to do so, others like to help as well.

One last anecdote which is me being the butt of my own joke today. I had put dishes in the dishwasher and bent over to get the dishwasher soap from under the sink. My mind was 100 miles away and I saw something under the sink that made me scream. It took me a second to realize that what made me scream was my cleaning woman's rubber gloves which she had thrown under there -- they are blue rubber, but they have these funny animal print cuffs -- so all I saw in the dim light under the sink are these two small animal looking shapes. Oh, it's good to live alone so people don't see what a fool I can be.

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