Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pay It Forward...

Many years ago a good friend lent me a book called Pay It Forward, it has since been made into a film, but it has stayed with me since I read it and it is a good motto for life.
I am always willing to help someone out, I like to think I am someone who can be relied upon, called upon and trusted to help out. I have always viewed this as one of my better qualities, but recently I have started to question when that becomes a negative and  people start to take advantage? How do you recognise when you are being used?
My husbands threshold for willingness to help is much lower than mine, especially when it affects our family life, but even more so when the amount that I am doing means that he comes home to someone who is burnt out. Although I am someone who expects people to ask me for help, I do not ask others for help easily. I am a coper, I always have been. I am resourceful, and if I am motivated to do something, I will find a way to accomplish it. I think nothing of being the parent that takes care of flat pack and erects beds.

One friend describes me as on a permanent mission. For example I need to buy a new bookshelf, I have no car, its raining and Ikea is a 60 minute bike ride away, doesn't stop me, just has to be do it!
The same friend also describes me as the one who always answers a cry for help but never cries out for herself.
Another friend has offered to pay me when I look after her son while she has to work.  I refused payment, but it does suggest to me that she knows she is asking a for bit more than a helping hand.

It gets you into trouble aswell though.  The things I do well, and others may not, like my baking and sewing get me into the most trouble.  I will offer to make the birthday cake, sometimes I am asked.  I am asked to make craft things, curtains, hem trousers etc, sometimes I offer, but everytime I do something for someone else and to their timescale a little bit of my enjoyment of the skill dies.  I feel the pressure.

How do you balance the enjoyment of your hobbies and the ability to help others, with the high expectations of yourself and them?  I am sure this is something Wonder Woman and Supergirl struggled with too, so I am in good company!


  1. I absolutely feel this too sometimes, to the point where I stopped sewing. I felt I should offer, and then felt The Pressure. It was sad but I am slowly sewing for me and only me. I stay well clear of 'helping' and I had to learn to say No. Its nice to know I'm not the only one.

    1. I think I am going to do the same and build up my pleasure projects. Sorry to hear it stopped you sewing, but glad you are back to it. I will have to learn to balance a bit better and say No when it doesn't suit me.