Have you ever noticed that dirty dishes seem to multiply? Seriously.
I took this photo of my sink about half an hour after I loaded and started the dishwasher and washed all of the hand-wash dishes and put them away. But, then my kiddos decided to have ice cream…
Life has a similar way of getting overwhelming sometimes, like the dishes, if you let it. It seems like we just get one mess cleaned up when another rears its ugly head. Or worse, when we are at the point of overwhelm, one more challenge presents itself and, all of a sudden, we are paralyzed with stress and anxiety.
One of the most overwhelming times in my life was law school. It felt like there was so much to do, I could never accomplish it all – let alone be able to do any of it well. I had a very good friend at that time who had a way of defusing my anxiety and overwhelm. He told me not to try to take all of my tasks on at the same time. Make a list. Put them in order of priority. And handle one thing at a time. Such good advice. I still follow it today.
Another important lesson I’ve learned is to rely on my friends…and remember some important words from Harry Potter. “Help will be given to those who request it.”
As women, we often try to take on the whole world ourselves. We sometimes feel that asking for help is a sign of weakness and compare ourselves to women who seem to be able to handle everything. But, everyone needs a little help sometimes. Allowing yourself to ask for help is actually a sign of bravery and self-awareness.
I live away from my family, so I consider myself very blessed to have such an amazing support system of friends. And, since I’ve gotten divorced, I’ve had no choice but to rely on them. I’ve asked favor after favor – everything from picking up my kids to helping me move. I’ve found that my friends are more than willing to help me…and they ask for my help in return. It feels good to repay the favors. It feels good to help your friends. It also allows your friends more insight into your life – and you into theirs. And for me, it is through this network of friends who help and support each other that my friends have become my family and I have found my village.
Overwhelm is temporary…but, it is also recurrent. Don’t be afraid to lean on your friends. Remember – help is given to those who request it, but you have to have the courage to ask.