When do you ask for help?

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

I'm a helper, well I like to think of myself as one. I try to help out my friends, my family and most those around me when I can. I know that sometimes to some people this comes across as being a down right pain. I suggest without waiting to let someone come to their own conclusion, I advise when no advice what needed, I try to lighten burdens when people are more than happy to shoulder it by themselves. All of my "helpfulness" aside, I hate asking for it myself, and I rarely take it when it's offered to me (I know a certain sister who is chomping at the bit after reading that part, since she knows I never turn down her help, but that is the exception to many a rule).

I know I should want help when it's useful, or even when it's not. I know I should listen to all advice given with an open ear and not reject things out of hand. I know I should be warm and welcoming that those who would help me succeed in life and business. All that being said, I'm horrible at asking and receiving help. I don't want to be shown how to do things, I think they should come naturally to me like so many things do. I was a smarty pants in school. I made good marks without really trying, or putting much effort in (if I had only known then what I know now), and generally just floated along pretty peacefully. Even in my adult life, there is a quixotic nature to the life I lead, happenstances turn into opportunity, a mistake in managing my time tends to lead to a cancellation of double events, and I generally manage to find myself in the right place at the right time. For those that don't have that "luck" I'm so sorry, it's truly marvelous, and I would share a piece of it with everyone I know, if it was only that easy.

Now, for all the happy accidents and amazing mistakes I make I still don't really like instructions. I read manuals, I follow the directions given with Swedish furniture, and when I held down a more traditional job I followed my managers orders. Though, now that I have the ability to make my own path, I tend to do just that. I don't listen when I'm told, I don't follow directions if it's not imperative and I even dislike recipes. They tell me what to do, and I just can't seem to abide by most of them. Mind you, I have no problem telling someone exactly what they should make and how much and how often and all sorts of nonsense that isn't my business in the first place. But I've finally started asking for help again. I found out late last year that a successful market vendor was going to offer a class to share her not inconsiderable knowledge with those who would take her course. I waited patiently for information, I got it and signed up immediately and promptly put it all to the back of my mind. So I'm down to the wire now, and realize I'm not doing myself any favors. I want the knowledge to seep into my head, or some such, because even though she assigned homework, I've gone and waited till almost the last minute.

Lucky for me though, the class is on Sunday, and I've taken the time to open my e-mail, print the workbooks out (I know, but I printed on recycled stock, and it's so much easier for me than using the computer for all of it). So now I can at least show up prepared for a class that I hope will rock my socks off. But it still feels like looking at the back of the book to me. I know that I'll have to put in the work to do the tutorials, I know I have to learn how to get the right photos, I know I even have to take said photos, I know that the sweat off my brow will be what makes or breaks this venture. Yet I can't help shake that nagging feeling like I'm being a bother, and that she's got better things to do than teach this class. I guess I'm trying to get to the point that I'm flabbergasted at my reluctance to accept help. I wonder if other people are like this or it's just a weird idiosyncrasy that I possess. I could ponder this further, but it's getting late and I'm reminded of a song we used to sing in Girl Scouts years ago, with lyrics taken from Robert Frost's "Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening:"

"The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep"


Josh said...

[Cheers] I'm so glad! You know I'll be more than happy to help you figure out the pictures, right?