A month ago, I wrote about saying yes to help. This morning, as I tried to get myself, my son and our belongings (diaper bag, purse, coffee, sippee cup) out of the car and into a meeting, a woman I know stopped and asked if I needed help. My first impulse, as usual, was to say no. Here’s the progress: I paused to think, then said yes. First I asked if she would just hold the bags while I took Daniel out of the car seat. Dismayed, late, flustered, I wrestled him out of the straps, and almost burst into tears when I saw that somehow in that process, his pants had come off. Elizabeth said, “I’m not leaving until we are all inside.”
This may sound like a small act of kindness, but to me, it was gold. I realized just how frazzled I was, and felt flooded with gratitude for her calm presence. I really needed someone to just stand with me while I unloaded the car, loaded the stroller, wheeled it to the door. I didn’t know how much I needed that until she offered. After the meeting I hugged her and told her how much she had helped me, and I saw that my gratitude helped her. What a beautiful feedback loop that is.
We live next door to a church that has an AA meeting every day at 12:30. Very often, I come home sometime in that hour and can’t find parking. One day, my next door neighbor saw me looking for parking and said, “Julie, you can park in my driveway whenever that happens.” My instinct was to say, “No, no, I’m fine.” Then I thought about lugging my 20 pound child and my groceries all the way down the block, and I said, “Thank you.” I parked in his driveway today, and came home calm, relieved, thankful, instead of hot, tired, grumpy. Accepting help is really improving my life. I recommend trying it.
Have you accepted a small kindness recently? How did it affect you?