Independence and Support
The holy grail of independence seems to be at the top (or close to it) of the list of qualities in which Americans take pride. I’ve observed, in others and in myself, this cultural stance of the nobility of doing it all, doing it alone, and preferably doing it without complaining about it.
I remember a television advertisement from my childhood. It was an ad for Anacin, and showed a young woman coming completely unglued when her mother suggested adding some salt to a cooking pot. The daughter turns and shrieks, “Mother, please! I’d rather do it myself!!” This outburst was caused by the daughter’s tension headache, which the advertised pain reliever would allegedly cure.
This little drama was manufactured to sell a product. But it does raise a niggling question: How often are we willing to admit that we can’t do it ourselves?
I’m a do-it-yourselfer for a couple of reasons. The first, more lofty reason, is that I honestly do like to learn new things. I’m a perennial student. Being able to tackle a project and create something I didn’t know how to create before is exciting and fulfilling.
The second reason is that I feel guilty paying someone else to do something I know I can do (or can learn to do) for myself. For example, I never felt comfortable having someone come in to clean my house, even when I left for work at 7:00 a.m., got home at 7:00 p.m., and had young children. And after years of spending precious Saturdays mowing and trimming the lawn, we finally hired a gardener to come once a week. Our neighbors, I’m sure, were grateful, because we didn’t always spend those Saturdays on yard work, and it showed.
Independence is all well and good, but there are times when it is so much more effective to enlist the support of others. That has been the case for me when it comes to coping with Project Downsize. Really getting a handle on my possessions, discerning which to keep and which to release, can be an emotional minefield.
And this is where support has come to the rescue.
Co-facilitating our KMI Master Mind, Creative Clutter Clearing, has been a huge help in navigating this overarching change in lifestyle. Even though, as a facilitator, I don’t spend time having my particular issues brainstormed, every participant’s issues and insights help me with mine. This is the brilliance and beauty of a Master Mind.
Our next session starts tomorrow, September 29th. If you can use some support and accountability in the quest to manage your clutter, please click on the link above and join us!