Wednesday, March 21, 2012

On Doing Things Alone

I've been working on an article recently for a digital magazine. The title of the article is supposed to be, "Are You TOO Independent?" (It's set to run in the July 4 edition of the magazine, who's target audience is women from their 30's to their 60's.) I took on the offered assignment quickly, mostly due to the fact that I feel I have a LOT to say on the matter.

But I'm finding my confidence wanes the more I work on it.

One of the recurring discussions in my household between my husband and I goes something like this:

Husband: What can I do to help you?
Me: Nothing, there's nothing you can do, I'll take care of it.
Husband: Baby, just give me one thing to do, I want to help you!
Me: I don't need help, I'm good!
Husband: You're not good, you're stressed, I can see it and I can hear it - please let me help you!
Me: Well, I don't know what to have you do, and I don't have time to show you how to do it, and you shouldn't have to come home from work and do MORE work, anyways!
Husband: Will you PLEASE let me help you?
Me: I'm fine, really!!!

This goes on more often than you would think. I don't know what it is inside me that makes me think I have to do it ALL. For some reason I'm just bent on it. And the fact that I'm married to a man who really does like to help me has seemed to reveal my "independence" (I'd rather call it THAT instead of "stubbornness") even more!

I don't think it helps matters that I'm honestly quite the perfectionist. There are days when I curse that trait, and just as many when I thank my lucky stars for it...depends on the "crisis" at h and! Many times I want to do things on my own because I feel that I'm the only one who will complete the task correctly...which is a VERY skewed way of thinking, might I add.

So where do I draw the line? How do I land in neutral territory when the valley between "I can do it all" and "Thank you for helping me" looms?

Better yet, IS there a line that needs to be drawn? Who says I'm not supposed to try to be "superwoman", and if I don't I'm spitting in the faces of all the women who have ever begged and pleaded for women's rights?

In the midst of all the questions, I DID discover something: sometimes letting go actually feels good!

When I come home on Mondays, and my husband (who has Mondays off work) has completed all of our laundry, that feels really good to me! When I leave a half-cleaned-up kitchen and take a break for a shower at the end of a long day and I come back to find that he's cleaned up the rest of the mess, that feels pretty good, too. And when we work together as a team to complete a task, it feels even better because, not only have we spent time together accomplishing something, but also because we have even more free time to spend with each other once we're done.

Now, I'm not saying that this works every time. The stubborn...errr...independent streak still rises up often (he can attest to that if you don't believe me!) I'm just saying that I think I found where the line must be drawn for myself.

What about you? Where do YOU draw the line?