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Accept the help that is offered
Jan. 11, 2016
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by Ivan Raconteur

Some things get easier with age. Moving is not one of them.

I was reminded of this recently when I, along with a dream team of volunteers, moved all of my worldly possessions from the old bachelor pad to the new bachelor estate.

I was astonished at how much I have accumulated.

It didn’t seem so bad when it was all tucked away in closets and on shelves, but having to move every piece was a painful experience.

The situation was compounded by the fact that I seem to have less energy than I had the last time I moved.

I’m pretty sure gravity has become stronger, or the boxes have become heavier. In either case, it seemed like a lot of work.

For these reasons, I am very thankful that I had such a good group of volunteers to help with the move.

It can be difficult for some of us to ask for help. We may want to be independent. We may not want to inconvenience or burden our friends.

However, there are times in life when we don’t have any choice. Moving is one of those.

There is no way I could have done this on my own.

When moving day dawned, I found that I was more mentally drained and physically exhausted than I had realized. Weeks of planning, packing, and organizing had taken their toll.

A lot of decisions need to be made on moving day, and a lot of problems need to be solved, and this time, more than during any of my previous moves, I found these things extremely challenging.

I needn’t have worried though. My friends had my back.

I was able to put myself in their capable hands, and they took care of many of the details so I wouldn’t have to.

Some of the strong young men magically whisked away obstacles like bookcases, dressers, and an awkwardly-balanced treadmill and made them re-appear in the new house. They figured out how to squeeze appliances through doorways that appeared far too narrow.

Other volunteers took the initiative to clean and organize my new kitchen, so by the time I saw it, things were already in their places.

The new bedroom was whipped into shape by other volunteers who found a way to fit the old things into the new space.

These volunteers gave up a perfectly good Saturday to help a pal, and they did so without complaint, apart from a few good-natured suggestions that I should transfer my large collection of books to my Kindle. At least I think those were good-natured comments.

Throughout the day, I was reminded how competent and creative my friends are.

They didn’t stand around waiting to be told what to do. They figured out what was needed, and jumped in and got things done.

Even though some of these people had never met before, they all worked together like a well-oiled machine.

I was humbled by their helpfulness, and I was struck by the spirit of good people recognizing a need and taking care of it.

I wished I had done a better job preparing. I wished I had done a better job weeding my possessions and reducing the quantity of items to be moved. Yet, despite my failings, the volunteers were kindness personified.

Even when some of the questions and decisions were beyond me, I knew I could count on my friends.

I never had to worry about how to resolve a situation. There was always someone ready to step in and find a solution.

There are times when all of us need to just let go and accept the help that is offered.

For me, moving day was one of those times.

I hope to have the opportunity to help each of my friends someday when they need a hand.

Despite the fact this move involved hours of toil, there was an abundance of humor, as well.

We enjoyed a couple meals together, and plenty of stories and smart talk, as well.

I couldn’t have asked for a better group of friends to help me move, and it is due entirely to their warmth and generosity that this house already feels like a home.

The new estate was initiated with good will and laughter that day, and that’s the way I will always think of it.

As we sat around among stacks of boxes at the end of the day enjoying some refreshing adult beverages, the crew, though exhausted, exuded a well-earned sense of accomplishment.

I look forward to many other happy gatherings there in the months ahead, with less heavy labor, but, I hope, with some of the same sense of camaraderie we experienced on moving day.

We might like to think of ourselves as independent. We might want to believe we can get by on our own without having to ask for help from others, but the truth is, we all need a hand at one time or another.

It’s a wonderful feeling to know that in our time of need, we can get by with a little help – or in some cases, quite a lot of help – from our friends.


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