Are you ready to ask for help?
A Memory –
I was working in my dream job at an accounting firm in Los Angeles. I got assigned on a client audit in San Diego, which was 2.5 hours away from my home at the time in Chatsworth, California. My team was supposed to report on day 1 of the project bright and early at 8am that Monday. The team was told to drive into town the night before, check into our hotel rooms, and be well rested as it was expected to be a long day.
As I prepared for the trip, I noticed that my 4 month old son was fussing more than usual. I inched my fingers to his forehead, and felt the searing heat. He was running a high fever! I dropped everything and my husband and I rushed to Kaiser in Woodland Hills. He was seen immediately by an ER doctor. After spending an hour and a half there, we were told that he had an ear infection. We grabbed his antibiotics and drove home, relieved that it wasn’t anything more serious.
It was already 9pm by the time we got home. I still had to drive to San Diego. “How do I handle this?” I asked myself. I cannot miss the assignment and I didn’t want to leave my son back home. My husband also had a presentation at work the next day.
I decided that my son was coming with me. I requested my mom in law, who had recently retired, to accompany me on the long drive. She would be able to keep an eye on my son, calm him down, and feed him.
There will be days when you are overwhelmed. It’s the nature of life.
Have a “Go-To” team you can fall back on and ask for help – it could be family, neighbors, friends, etc.
Once we got to the hotel, my son barely slept. He cried for a few hours as he was in pain. My heart hurt so much to see him go through this. The guest next door started banging on my walls and door in the middle of the night, yelling “Shut that baby up”!! It was a little scary for me. I was at a loss for next steps. I finally bundled up my son and walked in the lobby until the wee hours of the morning. The stroll calmed him. I finally went up to my hotel room and slept 2 or 3 hours. The alarm went off and I started getting ready to join the work team. Thankfully my son was smiling, his fever had subsided, and my mom in law was there to keep an eye on him.
I did a few jumping jacks to gather my energy, did a 10 minute meditation, sipped on hotel room coffee, and then moved to join the work team. Despite having had only a few hours of sleep, I was not tired. When I caught a yawn coming on, I immediately envisioned my son’s healthy smiling face. This process kept me focused on the good things, rather than the rough evening.
When I arrived back to my room in the evening, I hugged my son and thanked my mom in law. Her help allowed me to have the peace of mind that my child was in good hands. Her help allowed me to focus on work.
When I look back now to see how far my husband and I have come, I know it wasn’t just our hard work. Success is not earned in a vacuum. It was a culmination of such moments when my in laws, my friends, my parents, and colleagues helped out. It was all the little things and the big things people did to help us, that got us where we are today. Today, I want to give a standing ovation to all of you. Thank you.
Remember, we are not all self made. There are many people around us who can help us, who are ready to help us, but are you ready to ask for their help? It’s ok to ask for help and give the help someone may need as well. We are all stronger together.