19 August 2013

Grateful for Kindness (and Lessons Learnt)

It's Grateful Monday. Time to focus on the blessings in my life and all the things I am grateful for. Last week I was grateful for FRIENDS. This week, even more so.
More specifically I am grateful for the KINDNESS of friends.
Kindness pulled me up out of a desperate slide into a pit; kindness halted my descent.
Kindness turned a day which began with being just plain overwhelmed, into a day which ended in being overwhelmed with KINDNESS.
Kindness has the ability to do that. It has magical superpowers.

Here's what happened last Thursday, the day when I “hit the wall” so to speak.

My husband is away in the UK for three weeks, leaving me with the three kids (you may already know this if you're a regular here). Not easy at the best of times, but in the middle of everything Miss Fab broke her arm (her WRITING ARM). This made it uncomfortable for her to sleep, so (of course) she came into my bed, which kept me awake too. The next morning she point-blank refused to go to school when all that was keeping me going was the promise of a quiet day to myself. It was the final straw and I broke.

In that moment of weakness (tears like a waterfall, feeling sooo lonely and sorry for myself) I wrote a sad and desperate FaceBook status, then thought better of it and took it down almost immediately.
(I didn't want to hang out my dirty laundry in order to get sympathy, but I lacked the courage to actually ask for help. Facebook took the brunt, momentarily.)

I wasn't quick enough with my deleting. Some friends spotted my sad status during the 20 seconds it was up. All of a sudden I was barraged with txt messages, kind words and offers of help.
A friend turned up on my doorstep with spring daffodils and a care package (on her birthday). One friend offered to take my son to football training, another offered to have my daughter on Sunday, another to have her for a sleepover.
A friend said, I'll come over to your house tomorrow, we'll have coffee.
Another friend said, My hubby is away next week too - let's have a fish'n'chip night together on Monday.
One friend and her hubby just dropped by unannounced (found me in bed), gave me a hug and after a few words of encouragement, left. She came by just to hug me.

I was overwhelmed with kindness.

Thanks to the kindness of those wonderful girls whose kindness lifted me and turned my day around, I have been able to find a new burst of courage and hope to face the remaining week.

[We turned my room into a dormitory and had a weekend sleepover - lucky I have a big room!]

Even though the weekend was not without drama (seeing us back at White Cross for more medical attention, after dash got an infected spider bite) I have been able to cope. Even when broken-arm lefthanded girl tried to cut her own hair (she never learns) with her right arm, I held my cool.
After all that kindness I was feeling so on top of things I even had the energy to declare a family sleepover and we had a lovely weekend all camping together in my room.

[Dash was gutted that his infection ruled him out of Sunday's tournament, so he was ecstatic when it was postponed]

Instead of dragging myself to the finish line (when hubby returns on Thursday) I'll be strolling in style. With fish n chip nights and weekend family sleepovers. With daily trips to White Cross for dressing changes and managing to get my kids to school on time and get the washing pile under control. Mostly.
All thanks to the boost-giving Kindness of friends.

This is a lesson I will take to heart: Ask for help. People want to help. Friends CARE.
Next time, no sad FB posts, just courageous requests for support.

I have also received a reminder as to the power of Kindness and the miracle that can happen when someone takes the time to say, "You matter". "I'm thinking of you".
I've always been a huge fan of kindness. But from now on I'm going to try and be more active in paying forward the generous day-changing kindness and support I have experienced from my friends.

P.S. Read this lovely post over at Mothering from Scratch about Mums being overwhelmed but not asking for help. Note to Self: Asking for Help is NOT shameful.

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Gratefully Yours,

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