Thursday, June 7, 2012

When to ask for help

At the beginning of the summer, I was going to buy a new lawnmower. I wanted something self-propelled, that would make quick and easy work of my lawn.

The purchase wasn't in my budget, so I put it off, figuring I'd make do with the reel mower I already own. At that point, I had someone who said he'd be happy to help me get my gas mower started. That help would mean quicker and easier work, and me saving money. Score!  

But sometimes life forces you to pivot and change plans quickly. That help no longer available, I resorted to using the reel mower. See, no help with the gas mower also means there's no help to assemble or maintain a new mower. The idea of lugging the huge thing all over my yard, and having to figure out how to change the oil or fill it with gas wasn't appealing to me at all.

X has offered his help more than once. Thing is - it's not his house anymore. Even though we're friends, and I know he'd help anyway he can, I can't expect him to drop everything and come running anytime something needs fixin'. The only person who is responsible for the house at this point is me.

I totally believe that part of being successful and happy when you're single is knowing when to ask for help. No one can handle everything on her own, and if you try to live up to that standard, you'll fail miserably.

That doesn't mean you cop-out on yourself. There's probably plenty you can handle, that you maybe don't even realize. You should always be willing to try something new - and solo. If you succeed, the ego-boost is immeasurable.

But I already know I can't assemble a power tool that weighs a 100 pounds (or whatever), or change its oil, or fill it with gas. Or, more accurately - I probably could, but I'm not interested in trying to learn.

So, I did what any single gal should do when she's faced with a seemingly-daunting task. I asked myself, "What would Dad do?" A lot of daughters would probably find Dad in her backyard on Saturday, mowing the lawn himself.

But I was raised by a single guy. He's not very domestic, and doesn't really do home maintenance. In fact, he lives in an apartment, and I bet it's been close to 40 years since he even had think about yard work.

But that doesn't mean that my Dad can't fix a problem (or inspire me to do the same).

So, on Wednesday, while I was safely tucked away in my air-conditioned office, moving papers and taking a nice long lunch, a lawn service came to my house. My lawn will be cared for each week, while I'm at work, and I'll be invoiced monthly. At the end of the summer, I will have paid about the same for this lawn service as I would have spent on that new lawn mower.

And it won't cost me my own time. 

Which proves a couple of things. First - being single is something anyone can manage. The trick is knowing what you can (and want to) handle yourself, who you can trust enough to ask for help, and when you just need to throw a little money at a problem and make it go away.

Second - it proves that no matter what, the one guy a single gal can always rely on is her Dad.