This past Sunday we moved our college girl out of the dorm and back home. Her and all her stuff. I found myself saying something that I seem to be saying a lot lately, as I asked my cousin for help at the last minute. “My lack of planning does not constitute an emergency on your part, and I hate to be a bother, but…..”
I do hate bothering folks. And needing help.
I was raised by a strong Mama who often said, “The Lord helps those who help themselves.” Which was what she said to discourage us from sitting around waiting on things to get done without us putting in any effort, I’m pretty sure.
Today, however, I was reminded of the original quip–one that my husband brought home from work with him.
“Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.”
Yeah. This one I don’t do so well either. I don’t know if it’s codependency or being the oldest of my siblings or just my personality, but I tend to make emergencies out of other’s needs, last minute or not. I loathe letting other people down.
Today it came to my attention that someone we knew might need some help. I was concerned and frustrated, as this cold had me on a self-imposed quarantine until this evening. (I’m old-school–I don’t go anywhere until I’ve been fever free for 24 hours. That was good enough for my Mama, so…..) I wanted to help, felt guilty I wasn’t helping, and yet…..
this person had not even asked for my help.
Still I worried over the details. Maybe I should have offered. Then my wise girl pointed out that this situation was like so many others that we’ve come across–the person involved tended to change his plans and his mind at the last minute. Taking others along for the ride.
In other words, not our monkey, not our circus.
Not our emergency.
There was such an immediate sense of relief when I realized that. It’s not always on me to help. To make things okay.
If that sounds crazy, good. You are in a healthy place, I think. It has made me crazy at times, trying to rearrange my own priorities so I could help someone whose plans fell apart and needed someone at the last minute.
It’s good to help others. It’s also good to have boundaries.
To take care of you. And it’s even okay to say no sometimes.
It’s a fine line to walk. But today I took a step in the right direction. I let go of expectations that had been put on me by no one else but me.
Tonight I’m especially thankful for my cousin. And his truck. He not only showed up, he showed up with a smile and a willing attitude. That was another of my Mama’s favorites: “The Lord loves a cheerful giver…..and so do I.” She always did love my cousin. He’s shown up more than a few times with that smile and attitude.
May we all have good boundaries and the peace that those can bring. And when it is right and we do show up, may we have a smiling face, a cheerful heart, and be all in.
Love to all.