When to Admit I Need Help

I finally admitted I can’t do it all. Not doing all is good for friendships.drowning man photo

Lots of times, I’ve realized I need to get help, but I’ve gone plowing on, trying to do the things I almost know how to do. It’s time I stop and get realistic. Here’s what I did to force realism on myself.

1) I listed the things I want done that I can do

2) I listed the things I want done that I need to learn how to do

3) I listed a timeline for when I want these things done

4) Checked my timeline, against my calendar

5) Made adjustments to expectations.

For instance, I can tile the bathroom wall and want it done for Christmas. It will take me a day to prepare the wall. It will take me two days to tile the part I want covered. Between now and Christmas, in my calendar, I don’t have three days.

Either I change my goal of being done by Christmas, or I jettison something from my calendar so I can meet my goal.

OR, I call in others in the family who also know how to tile, and we do it together.

OR I pay to have it done, which may mean that I still have to wait until January.

This is an easy call. No one in the family, including myself, wants to spend any of December tiling (and then, of course, painting). I put off my desired date and do the tiling in January.

But what about the rest of my list, or yours?

Let’s look at my list of things I could do if I learned how.

This list includes learning how to prune my roses. My friend, Sarah, who knows, says it would take an hour to learn and in my garden that would get all the roses pruned this year. An agreeable hour with a friend? I put rose pruning into my February calendar (Sarah says that’s the month for pruning roses).

Next on my list: Learning how to format my finished novel for Kindle, Nook and other possible e-books? I have a friend who could teach me this. Her book products look very professional, so I know I could learn to do this well. What will it take? She says, “A few hours?”

Maybe this would work, but would it work for our friendship? Might both she and I benefit if I hired her to do this job and also advertised her work to my friends. Might this be better for me? For our friendship? for my friend?

Clearly, a price is part of this decision, but so is the friendship. Can I help her by asking her to help me? We can work this out together. What a good feeling it is to admit I need help.

I’m relieved already.