I was terrible at it.
Then when my children were 5 and 1, my marriage ended and it was me and my two kids. I didn’t have money to hire all sorts of help, and that’s when I learned to reach out.
It turned out that people were more much willing than I thought, and they didn’t see me as a big failure for asking. Life got better, not because I was getting help, per se, but because I grew closer to others in a way that I hadn’t experienced before. It really does take a community, and going at important (read: the mundane) things together is bonding.
I learned back then that I didn’t have to have friends over and then wait for them to leave to fold laundry and to cook. Even if I didn’t ask them to help, they’d often dig in with me. But this is not an agenda to get others to do things for you. It’s just in the art of living. And in that, it can cultivate genuine friendships, mutual inter-dependence, gifting and gratitude. Life is not just happening at a cafe, out at dinner, or at a show together; in fact these are celebrations. Life is working and being together in the art of living, whether it’s in the home or at work. Asking, offering, receiving, giving, serving each other. It’s what makes the world a better place to live.