Thursday, February 10, 2011
Saying "Yes" to Help
Historically, I have been known to be annoyingly stoic. I credit my years as a single parent working multiple jobs for creating this monster of independence. Although, if you ask my mother, she will tell you that as the eldest of three, I have ALWAYS been fiercely independent and determined to take on the world.
Maybe a gal just gets tired after nearly five decades of such stoicism, or maybe learning to partner with Teri at this stage in life has been impetus for my starting to let go and let others step in and help out. I am finding myself incredibly grateful and inspired by all of the people who are offering to help out as we plan our big day. We are lucky and there are times when I have to remind myself to simply get out of the way and let others pitch in.
One of the early tasks of our coming together, was for me to learn to share my life with Teri: share a kitchen (that seemed to be where many of our power struggles played out since we are both cooks), share families, friends, tasks, etc. Fortunately when I slipped into a case of the "My Do It!" syndrome (when my daughter, Lilly, was a toddler, one her first full sentences was: "My do it!" and she meant it with such force; she was ready to be captain of her own destiny), Teri was equally stubborn in her insistence that we were a team. Instead of letting me take on everything and do it my way, she nudged and insisted that we figure out how to do things together AND that we learn how to ask for and accept help.
I am still learning, of course. Decades of stoic habits do not die an easy death, but I am finding that Wedding Planning Land is another grand learning opportunity for letting others help. Teri and I are part of an incredible community here in Eugene made up of family, friends, coworkers, and cohorts. We met at a Saturday morning coffee group coordinated by our friend, Julia, and many of our joint friends have come from the wonderful lesbian community here. As community activists and volunteers, we both have friends and acquaintances we have made working on issues we are passionate about and we both manage to make friends at just about any work endeavor we do. Between the gals on Teri's bowling team, our old and new friends, and all the family (both intended and inherited), we feel so supported and encouraged!
As those people offer to help, I am starting to learn how to say "Yes!" We are finally old and sensible enough to know that we are not going to be able to put up all those twinkle lights and paper lanterns all by ourselves (or at least, we'd get exhausted and crabby if we try.) And with the saying "Yes" I feel a warm sense of gratitude that we are building a life so full of people who are willing and able to entwine their lives with ours.
The photo is of some of our kids, Teri and our dog, Lola wearing the aprons I made everyone for Christmas this year--11 aprons in all went out into the world!