Oh, The Kindness Of Strangers
This week was a busy one at our house, thus no new blog posts.
I started off for work on Tuesday a little down in the dumps. After all, Labor Day signifies end of summer fun in cottage speak. Most of my neighbors pulled in their docks, took out their boats, and some even closed up their cottages for the winter. Winter, wasn't it just the start of summer? It always makes me sad.
On top of that happening, I got news I didn't want to hear on Sunday night, about an idea of mine that wasn't going to happen, well at least not going to happen in way I had begun to think it would. So I had to swallow that disappointment and regroup.
And then the daunting prospect of back to school. Last year was not a good school year, all around. And back then I only had one kid at home. Now I am looking at 4 kids in school. I know that I don't have to help with their homework or even nag them about it, but I do feel I have to at least attempt to keep them on track. That gives me a headache just thinking about it.
It's a bit of a struggle for me to let go of a clean house, too. I am used to working on all "the other stuff" I like to do, like blogging or reading other blogs, when all my house work is finished. The only problem now, with 6 of us in the house, is that my work is never finished. And that doesn't even include all the deep cleaning or closet reorganization that needs to happen. That thought right there totally overwhelms me.
I was then pleasantly surprised when I met a friend of mine for lunch on Tuesday. I was catching her up on life-as-I-know-it, explaining how my almost empty nest had grown to a full house rather quickly. She listened, and empathized with me, she let me vent a bit, and then she offered practical help.
She said she had a bag of clothes her son had recently outgrown, one that was headed for Goodwill, and wondered if they might work for Jeff.
Such a simple thing really. Why not? I send clothes to Goodwill all the time. Most of them are ones we have either outgrown or grown tired of, so why not give them to someone who might be able to use them right now. I never would have thought to ask.
Maybe her offer, because it came from her heart, a way she could help lessen my burden, meant so much to me because I hadn't asked for it. Whatever the reason, it turned my attitude around. I realized that even though I sometimes feel like I am in this alone, I really am not. I am supported by people who care about me, who care about the children I have taken in, and who are there to help.
I am usually not one to ask for help. I am usually the helper. The one who steps in to help "fix" things for someone else. But she reminded me that it is okay to be the one in need. And maybe even showed me that I need to start asking for some help at home.
I took the clothes home to Sadie's little brother, and he can use all but one shirt! That is fantastic news for him and for the rest of our house. And to make it even better... my friend's coworker said she has clothes that her daughters were giving to Goodwill, that might work for Sadie.
I am stunned at the kindness from this stranger.
While I can't promise I won't have other days where I am feeling overwhelmed, I can tell you that their generosity has turned my frown around. I even got Sadie and Alec to each make a dinner for the family later last week. Because I asked. And I think they were secretly happy to do it.
Thank you MJ for making me see the bright side once again and for helping me to believe that I really can do this.
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