Take the escalator….take the help

I love a good escalator.

It’s a well-established fact about me….. If there’s a stairwell and an escalator right there next it, I can guarantee you that 100% of the time…I’m taking the escalator.

I thought about this, this morning as I was making my usual commute into my office via the NJ-PA train line I take every day. As I approached the part of the station where there is an escalator next to a stairwell, I watched a few of my fellow commuters running up the steps and I thought to myself (as I boarded my moving staircase to the sky) “No way….I’m taking this escalator because it’s the littlest bit of help I’m going to get during my rush into the office this morning. Exercise be damned!”

Once I was seated on my train, I thought about it again (in writing this…I’m beginning to think that I think about escalators WAY too much) …”Take the escalator…take the help”. Like a weird chant heard at a political convention…. “Take the escalator….take the help”.

In this day in age, everyone is in a hurry…overwhelmed with responsibility….worried about the finances (personal and global)….concerned about our communities and the list goes on, and on, and on and then on some more.

Sometimes I think that when I spend so much of my time focusing on the “big problems”, most of which I have no control over, I forget that I do have some control over the smaller issues I face on a day to day basis.

I think that very often, in an effort to keep myself running on the treadmill that is my life, I’m afraid to accept an offer of help (someone offering to pick up one of my kids for a playdate or someone offering to help with one of my Room-Mother projects, or someone offering to help me with a situation at work etc.) for fear that it will somehow catapult me off the treadmill only to take me that much longer to get back on and get balanced again.

Sidebar….I once did get “catapulted” off of an actual treadmill when I set the speed too high in an effort to keep up with the MUCH more in-shape people running next to me at the gym.  It wasn’t pretty.  I haven’t shown my face in that gym ever since.

I have no problem offering my help to someone in need, and yet I think twice before accepting the help myself.  This is RIDICULOUS….and I need to realize that right now.

It does “take a village”…and sometimes, the village finds you before you find it, often in the form of someone extending an offer of assistance.  I’m not suggesting that everyone should rely on the help of others to accomplish their daily routine (job, role etc.).  I’m simply suggesting that accepting a little bit of help when it’s offered, or asking for a little bit of help when it’s needed, isn’t going to somehow impair our success at being a parent, employee, spouse etc. In fact, it’s much more likely to make us better.


The Working Mom