Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Unintentionally, this post relates to the one former. I've done some thinking. I think I should think more often. It's very satisfying. And anyway, I've come to some conclusions. Nothing about my thoughts are new, but to me, they are realizations, and are, therefore, enlightening. Which is always fun.

So, I'm single, and have been for 3.5 years. Being a single mom when you're not married is much easier than being a single mom in marriage. I don't pity my single motherhood, for I've done it pretty much since my daughter was born. I enjoy it a lot more now than I did during marriage. I'm better off financially than I was when I was married!!

Excuse my tangent.

Here's the thing: Just because I'm single, doesn't mean I am supposed to do things alone, by myself.

I feel anxiety when I think that someone else has to do something for me. I get all wadded up inside when I need help with my car or with my kids, or, especially, with money. Thankfully, I've not needed the latter much since I moved from Rexburg.

But anyway, today I realized that no one is meant to do this life alone. If that was the case, we'd all be provided with our own planets, or other large geographical space, and be expected to navigate it on our own, and equipped with everything we'd need to do so. However, that is not the case. In the garden of life, to some of us is given a ho, shovel, and rake. To others it is given seeds. And to others, it is given a watering can. Not one of us has every tool necessary to make it through this journey. We must rely on others. We must help others. Together, we can create a beautiful, satisfying, highly successful garden. Alone we can do nothing, and will die.

And so, next time I'm camping with my family and they help me set up my tent, I'll happily allow the help, rather than silently bemoan my lack of tent-setting-up skills; rather than mightily hoping they won't be secretly upset with me for requiring assistance. Eventually, with this attitude, I think I'll be able to release the anxiety that accompanies me when others help me.

And if you're not willing to help me set up my tent, or help me plant my garden, that's fine. I'll find someone else who is. Because, not only am I literally unable to do it myself, I'm also not supposed to do it myself. I'll share my garden tools with you, will you share your water with me?

Now, sometimes, we can offer more help to someone than he or she can to us. Conversely, sometimes, someone else will be able to give us more than we can return. I've learned that this is okay. This equals out in the grand scheme of things. For example, take my friend Lee from my previous post. Lee has a beautiful garden. It's not complete. Well, I didn't have many carrots or potatoes. But Lee had plenty. And he gave them to me so I could use them in my garden. I have shovels and little rakes and even gloves. But Lee had those already. He didn't need anything of mine. Someone else has what he needs. While that's all going on, someone else I know perhaps is lacking tools, so I can give him or her what I have, and perhaps that person has lots of corn and beans, but so do I. And so, from that person, I simply don't need what s/he can offer. And that happens sometimes, and that's ok. I can only take so many of Lee's carrots and potatoes before he needs to stop sharing them with me, and before I have enough.

And SOMETIMES, we have enough of something; we just don't know what to do with it, or we just use it incorrectly, and so we think we need more, when really we only need to cultivate it wisely.

And, so, I forgive Lee. He helped me so much, but there was little I could do for him. And that's really really okay. There's not much more he can do for me, nothing that he's done already, and I don't need him anymore. And so it's okay for us to take the natural courses of our lives, which simply do not logically, or otherwise, include each other.

That was a fun little garden analogy. Needs some work, but it was fun. :)

1 comment:

Bernadette McGeney Smith said...

I really enjoyed your blog regarding "sharing your tools, will you share your water". LOVED IT! I plan on showing this to a friend of mine who will soon be an unmarried single mom. I look forward to reading more.