I’m no superwoman, but sometimes I’m pretty impressed with how much I can get done all by myself. I’ve always been of the mindset that I can handle anything that comes at me. If I don’t know how, I’ll figure it out. Haven’t you heard of Google? I work hard, and I like to joke that I bring the bacon home, cook it, serve it and do the dishes after we eat. (To be fair, my husband is pretty great at dishes, too.) What I am starting to learn, maybe a little late, is how to ask for help and actually receive it when it comes.
Yesterday, I was sitting on the couch opposite my husband, surrounded by good books, my journal, and both of our dogs. Sunday afternoon was drifting by, the coffee was long gone, and the pumpkin bread wasn’t really doing it anymore. I asked if he was hungry, and when he said yes, I sat and contemplated.
“I don’t want to get up.” I said to him, “Maybe we should order food and I’ll go to the grocery store…later.” Ah, later. Isn’t later always such a great time to do stuff?
“That’s fine,” he said, “go ahead and order something. If you make me a list, I’ll grocery shop while you’re at work tomorrow.”
Did my jaw hit the floor? No, I held it together, but definitely asked him to repeat this offer, and also considered capturing it in writing.
Instead, I ordered some Thai food for lunch, and set out to plan a shopping trip that even he could conquer. Part of me wavered as I made the list, considering his experience at the store he may not be able to find ground yellow cornmeal, and who could blame him? Nevertheless, I persisted.
I categorized the list into 5 areas (Dairy, Produce, Dry & Packaged, Frozen and Misc.) thinking this would help him navigate the store more easily. At some point, I set it aside and decided it would suffice. After all, I’d be just a phone call away if he needed me.
Fast forward to my Monday morning commute. I am barely out of our neighborhood when an add for the local grocery store comes on. They’re offering free curbside pick-up this week, and though I’ve never used this service, I know I’m hearing it for a reason.
I texted Aaron immediately: “Hey, new grocery plan. Give me a call when you’re up-and-at-em.”
I went on the Giant Eagle website, added all the things I had written (and then some) into my cart, entered my credit card information, selected a pick-up-time, and done. All from the comfort and convenience of my office at work.
So tonight, at 7:00, my groceries will be waiting for my husband outside of the store, in the arms of a very helpful personal shopper. I will be at home, decompressing from work and preparing to start dinner once all the ingredients are at my disposal.
This seems small, maybe even silly. Congratulations, your husband is going to run an errand and you got your grocery store to do the hard part. But no. The hard part here was releasing control to create space where I was feeling stuck. Now I can look forward to cooking dinner when I get home, instead of dreading the exhaustion it would have brought me to leave the office, go grocery shopping, haul the food inside, put it away, and then start cooking. I’m finding ease while working for abundance, which is to say I’m finding a feminine way to work within this very masculine world.
What small ways have you found to make room for more joy in your life?