Taming My Life and Learning to Ask for Help

Photo by Jovike, http://www.enkil.demon.co.uk/

Photo by Jovike, http://www.enkil.demon.co.uk/

Do you struggle with taking on too much or just saying yes because no one else will? My personality has always been that way. Initially, it is fine and then I start being resentful that no one offers to help.

I’m not good at asking for help

I handicap myself by thinking I will be stuck doing it alone and no one would ever help me. I’m not good at asking for help. This behavior crosses all of my life and surrounds me, from home to my business to my relationships with others.

For example, I have moved my office upstairs into what was the family room. This room is about 25×17 and surrounded by windows. Our home is on top of a hill overlooking the west side of Wausau and from the south, I see Granite Peak Ski Area through the trees.

All of that is great! Birds land on the branches outside my window and I have been treated with visits from chickadees, cardinals, blue jays, robins, upside down nuthatches, and this morning a mourning dove.  The squirrels tightrope walk on the electrical lines, sometimes stopping to look back at me through the window.

So what’s wrong?

I had my sons and husband install a new patio door. It slides well and lets me take a break out on the large multi-level deck outside but no one finished the framing around it. It was installed in September. The gas fireplace stopped working and after 5 service calls, my vendor says that at 15+ years, it needs replacement. Son took the piping apart to check to make sure it wasn’t a bird’s nest blocking the airflow and now there is a poster covering the hole in the wall.

By fall, I have to figure out a replacement or wall rebuilding plan. Until then, the chaos surrounds me. To top that off, son #1 decided that the front deck over the garage was ruining the insulation he installed last fall, so he started to tear it apart to be rebuilt.

As it goes in remodeling, one thing led to another and it has become a major project because the old T-111 siding is also leaking and will have to be replaced. Now both sons are back working their construction industry jobs fulltime and my husband has been the fulltime caregiver for his dad for 3 years so he is only home after 7pm and on Sundays. The project isn’t done, when it rains, there are at least 6 leaks in the garage and the tools were left on the floor of my family room office.

I finally brought up a tub and packed up all the tools, nails, caulk, and other related construction items because the mess is driving me crazy. I don’t know how I will get my team back to work or find money to pay an outside contractor (which I know would get me in trouble but the job would get done). I don’t want an Extreme Home Makeover, I just want a functional, peaceful house.

My chaos grew when I spent the last few weeks working on Wausau Whitewater 2009’s annual 60 page promotional book. Determined to meet the May 13 deadlilne, I worked 16 1/2 hour days and struggled to work with the sponsor base who is also challenged by this economy. The non-profit uses the book to showcase its sponsors.

My job is to coordinate fundraising and communicate with corporate marketing departments to plan their ad placement in the book. I also select interesting people from the paddling community as subjects for the feature articles.

Ask for Help

This year I realized that publications rarely are created by only one person and was smart enough to ask @DawnBugni, a resume colleague of mine who owns The Write Solution to contract to copy write for me. Dawn intuitively understood the focus of each article and refined the wording to maximize the impact. Letting someone help me was hard at first, but I quickly learned that trying to do everything myself was hurting the project and damaging me in the process.

I will tame this office so I can keep working on the many Design Resumes projects and the other projects for Wausau Whitewater  but I am starting to learn that unless I take those steps, I can’t help the many people I serve. Do you find that  you fail to ask for help or chaos overwhelms you? I haven’t solved all my issues yet but I know that taking the first step will free me to be more effective for everyone and give me peace.

Talk back to me. Share your solutions for managing your lives. We all learn better together.


  1. Tammy on May 15, 2009 at 8:42 am

    I am struggling with this right now. Beginning today I am getting my studio back into shape. Right now I seem to be spinning in circles trying to get something done.

    My youngest son is sick today so I am bound to the house. Today is perfect for getting on what I have been putting off.

  2. Andrew on May 15, 2009 at 6:29 pm

    Mother seems to be tolerating that part of this house is under reconstruction too. I am proud of the fact that some of the great hardwood flooring in this house is coming to see the light of day though. I am also thankful that the Lord gave me the mind to learn new things about this house and what I am doing with it.

    A safe way to remove tile is by using a hair dryer as a heat gun. I would never use a blow torch in a house this old. To think that one month from now things will be back to normal, inside at least, and hopefully free of fumes.

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