If I had to pick two words to describe my life mission, those two would be very close to the top of the list. They might not be the very top, but darn close. But see... it was always something I offered to someone else.
Yet, so often lately, I'm on the other side of the metaphorical desk. Actually, it's kind of wonderful in its way -to see how generous people are with their knowledge and kind hearts, and to learn new things.
There's Trixie, who co-owns Gordon Hardware who explained to me how to do some repair work in the bathroom. Her calm certainty that I could safely undertake these tasks, and even hold out some hope for their success, overcame my near-hysteria when it comes to using tools that plug in. (Knitting needles are tools, after all, but seriously, how much damage can I really do with those?)
My brothers and sisters, who have not (where I can hear or see) laughed at me for not knowing the insanely basic things that I don't know about home maintenance. We didn't have a truly sexist upbringing. I'm sure our parents would have taught me these skills if I had shown the remotest interest in them. But I didn't, and no one insisted that I learn them in spite of my indifference. So, I'm learning them from my brothers and sisters rather than our parents. My one brother even told me what I so frequently tell new knitters. "Your first effort won't be perfect. What's going to happen? The police won't come!" True enough.
My fitness buddies who encourage me to get off my backside and get back to working out. They know I love it. They know I want to do interesting things in this area of my life and that there's training to be done before that can happen. They know I'll be disappointed in myself if I don't train. But more than that, they know that I can. They're holding onto the confidence that I can do it again, even though (or because) I can't hold it myself right now.
And all my friends whose generous, loving attitude is "his loss", when I start frothing about how I've been done wrong. I can't quite believe that yet, either. I've so often told social work clients and students and children... "my job is to hold onto the certainty that you are an amazing, talented creation. If you can't quite believe that yourself, just come check with me. I'll remind you." And now, people are doing precisely that for me.
I'm almost to the point where I believe all of you. Just hang on a little while. I'll catch up.