Relying on other people

Relying on Other People

I’ve never liked working in teams. I personally dreaded group  work in college and high school, especially if the groups were assigned. The saying goes if there are two people in a group, one person does all the work and the second one watches. And I sort of believe it. Sometimes I think, it would just be faster, easier, or better if I did it myself.

Especially in the U.S. and western culture where individualism is strongly praised, we’d rather do it on our own. We are taught self reliance. Of course, being independent is good, but sometimes we do need support from others. I’m slowly learning this.

I am pretty independent and don’t like to ask for help, even if I need it, but over the last few weeks I have been learning how to rely on others, ask for help when necessary, and accept it graciously when it’s given.

In the U.S. we tend to highly value independence and individualism.

In the U.S., we tend to highly value independence and individualism.

I fractured my wrist a few weeks ago and haven’t been able to do everything I normally do. I’ve suddenly had to rely on people for some of the simplest tasks! I’ve realized quickly how lucky I am to have such wonderful family and friends and be in good physical health. You don’t really miss something until it’s gone and I’ve been taking my healthy body for granted. Now, some of the simplest tasks are difficult –  holding anything, putting on clothes, typing, unscrewing the cap to a bottle, put my hair in a ponytail.*

(Over the weeks I’ve improved in typing. Previously I was mainly typing slowly with one hand, one finger at a time, or using dictation on my phone. Apologies for any spelling issues in this post.)

Fortunately I fractured my non-dominant hand so I can do many of the activities listed above; it just takes me more time, and sometimes I get frustrated even though I should be grateful that I can do anything at all!

But still, there are other things I can’t really do since I’m not supposed to use my left hand to grab anything – like lift heavy objects, peel an orange, or drive (it would be unsafe since I can’t grip the wheel to make turns, reverse car, etc.).

Not being able to get from A to B on my own is difficult because I do really have to rely on someone else – my dad has been driving me to work every day and to doctor’s appointments for the past 4 weeks. World’s #1 Dad!

Lots of others have been supporting me out as well. My mom has been going to the store for me and buying me ready-made meals since I can’t cook. Shout out to Amber and my boyfriend for taking me to the hospital and asking the emergency room doctors all the right questions when I was feeling too overwhelmed. My sister has called me daily and given me advice on how to handle doctors and paperwork. And still other friends have given me rides, prayed for me, and called with words of encouragement.

I’m not writing this post to try to get anyone’s pity. I just wanted to record some of the thoughts I’ve had over the past few weeks. Mainly, I realize more and more how much I have to be grateful for and how I struggle to ask for and accept help from others (mainly due to my own selfishness and pride).

Sometimes it’s really nice to rely on others and to be a part of a team and I’m very glad I’m not alone because it won’t always be faster, easier, or better if I do it all by myself.

Do you have trouble asking for help? Who or what are you thankful for?

Sometimes it can be nice to rely on others.

Sometimes it can be nice to rely on others.

* Yes, I did Google “how to put your hair up in a ponytail with only one hand” and found some helpful tips, but it’s still quite difficult and fortunately this isn’t permanent.

Photo Credits: Feature photo –  marc falardeau via Flickr cc, Flag – Barn Images, Dog sled team – Katharina Koch-Hartke via Flickr cc

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