The gift of asking for help

Today was jam-packed with back-to-back meetings and activities, including an important evening event at my son's school. It is now late, past 9 p.m., and the kitchen is still a mess from dinner. And I have a blog post and newsletter to prepare for tomorrow morning.

I turn on some calming music and start emptying the dishwasher, preparing myself for potentially a very long night. In this particular moment, I'm not resentful, but I am feeling kind of sad, and a little afraid for what tomorrow will look like on just a few hours of sleep.

Then I remember I can ask for help -- even for this job that I have voluntarily claimed as my responsibility.

I go upstairs and ask my husband if he can do the dishes tonight. He is happy to. And so here I am, writing, as the kitchen magically gets cleaned up around me.

It is a gift I wouldn't have received unless I'd asked. My husband wouldn't have even known I needed it. 

This is such a tiny example, but still it makes me wonder: How many gifts do we rob ourselves of, simply by not asking for them?

How many times to do we rob other people of the joy of making us happy because we don't let them know what we would actually like?

How often do we assume we have to suffer and sacrifice, when it's really not true? Does that suffering and sacrificing serve anyone?

What if we didn't feel like we had to be totally overwhelmed before asking for help? What if we remembered how much people want to contribute to each other? What if we helped make it easy for them?

I also wonder, as always: How does this resonate with you?

What is your relationship like with asking for help? Is it easier in some circumstances than others? Is there help could you use right now? Who might be delighted to give it to you, if you gave them the chance?