Being at Jan’s has been a great opportunity to step in and try to make life easier for another person, at least in the only way we know how: cleaning and simplifying her living spaces.
Since we arrived, we’ve cleaned out and reorganized her kitchen area; we’ve done lots of dishes; we’ve helped to clean out and organize her fridge; we’ve cleaned up and more effectively organized our own room, so future pet-sitters (there will be others) can stay here comfortably. And Ryan has gone around fixing things left and right: our bathroom door (ha ha), the internet, the printer, our bedroom lights.
Helping in this way feels natural to me now. Maybe it’s easy because Jan is generally easy to serve, or maybe it’s because I’m becoming more comfortable with getting my hands dirty and understanding how to help other people feel more comfortable.
For all those situations in the past where I’ve stood around wondering how in the world to help out without getting in the way, now I’m learning how to recognize what to do and then do it. If something needs to be done, why think about it? Action is better, particularly when it comes to helping someone else.
I used to worry about making a mistake, disrupting someone else’s way of doing things, or coming across looking inexperienced when I helped, but in a lot of ways, who cares about those things? (I’m trying not to care.) Overwhelmed people, in particular, will be glad for the kind gesture, an extra hand, and a little less to worry about.