I've been fortunate in our move that my Aunt and Uncle were here visiting from Wisconsin.
My Undle is 72. He and my 82 year old Dad have been having a good time hanging out at the house, bickering as brothers do, thinking up new projects, and practicing their interior design tools.
They've hung a million pictures, fixed strange plumbing issues, built a bike lean-to to help protect the Grandlittle's bikes and rearranged furniture while sharing strong opinions why my doing things was the WRONG way!
At first, when we were getting ready to move, I was being stubborn and proud and telling them that I didn't need any help...I had everything under control...I know how to move... blah, blah, blah...
They ignored me and helped anyway...
They just tsunamied over me and did what they wanted and after a short while it started being a lot of fun.
My Mom and my Aunt weren't slackers in that time period, either. They lined kitchen cabinets, held a garage sale for two days, packed, unpacked and just listened to me cry. A lot. Even when I was telling them I could probably do it myself.
They just ignored me and didn't let me be an island even though I was determined to be one.
I am fortunate to have had family step up to help us through this nightmare of change, illness and financial struggle. I am fortunate that they watched my eyes and didn't listen to my words.
I really have no idea why I was being so prideful over all of this. I guess the perceived failure of losing a business, losing a house, losing a lot of things made me afraid to let anyone help me. Or maybe I was afraid if I let them help I would be opening myself up to criticism.
That never happened.
On Sunday I asked them all over for dinner. Things were finally unpacked enough that I could find ALMOST everything in the house.
I started meal preparation. You might recall that we had been using our laundry room as a 'kitchenette' for some months before we moved because of major water damage in the kitchen. I was preparing several things at the same time, and I found myeslf getting really annoyed. There wasn't enough counter space!...why did we have to move anyway?...might as well just be cooking in the laundry room!...yadda, yadda, yadda. At the point I was kind of slamming cabinets and throwing bowls around, Mr. Jenny hesitantly entered the kitchen.
"Ummm...having a bad day?" he asked. "Yes! This is ridiculous. I have no counter space, I'm trying to do all this stuff and it's just like being in the laundry room again and..."
Mr. Jenny looked a tiny bit afraid to interrupt my rampage but he did anyway. "Ummm...why don't you use the island to help spread your stuff out?"
Island? Island? I had a kitchen island?
OMG. I turned around and there was a wealth of space to finish my meal preparations. I was embarrassed. How could I have forgotten there was an island in my kitchen? I had been trying to do all the food prep on the very short counters to the right and left of the kitchen sink.
In my defense, I've never had an island AND I'd been using the minute counter space in the laundry room for weeks and weeks.
In my defense...
There is no defense.
I was being an idiot.
I was being prideful.
I was being that person that can help others all day long but has trouble being gracious enough to let someone help me.
Moving, stress, financial disaster and illness is no time to try to 'Island' it.
That's when you let anyone and everyone help.
Receiving gracefully is the hardest challenge sometimes.
But if you don't allow that to happen, you sit on your island and never realize there's a wealth of help available to get you through.
We ate, we laughed, we talked...
Every single time I tried to say, 'thank you', to our relatives for their help I started to cry.
I seriously could not get the words out without starting to cry.
And when it was time for everyone to go home my Uncle gave me a big hug and said something like, "This is what families do, next time don't be so pigheaded."
I wasn't being pig-headed?
I was just forgetting that there were all kinds of islands around MY island filled with help...
...and extra counter space.
Okay. Yeah. I was being pig-headed.