Why, Yes! Since You Asked

Something that I’ve noticed when well-intentioned friends and family offer to help “Spoonie” me:

Those offers are more appreciated than you know; the tricky part is the follow through.

I often hear “you never asked!” or “I didn’t know what you needed” or “Wish I could but that day doesn’t work”.

It totally changes the dynamic from someone understanding that you need assistance and making that happen and you being put in the position of asking a favour, two very different things.

Here’s the thing: as a formerly vivacious, uber-capable person, it kills me to ask for help. I never have, not from my parents, not from anyone. My self-esteem as a fully functioning adult is pretty beaten up already.

If you genuinely want to help, having a take charge attitude is incredibly helpful to someone like me. It shows me that you have the time and willingness. It tells me that I’m not cutting in to your personal or family time. It makes me feel that I still have value and am not burdening you.

There are so many things that you can do without being asked that improve quality of life for “Spoonies”:

Offer to help get garbage to the curb

Shovel out a walkway; lend your green thumb for some gardening

Drop off a casserole; send Skip the Dishes gift cards

Help with organizing files, cupboards, closets

Splurge on a house cleaning service gift card, it takes the embarrassment of an untidy out of the mix

Offer to help picking up groceries or shopping or send complimentary Uber / Lyft rides

Splurge on paraffin manicures or pedicures for friends with arthritis or fibro

Doing these things spontaneously, offering them at any time rather waiting to be asked is huge for me. A friend who also understands that sometimes shit just gotta get done and that every visit doesn’t need to be or should be a social event is golden. I want to see you, need to be connected to people who know who I was but every once in a while, if you could throw on a Super Hero cape, that’d be amaze-balls!

No one wants to feel indebted, least of all the people in your life who for whatever reason may not be able to reciprocate in kind. There are so many other things that I or we can still do to enhance or enrich friendships, all you need to do is be there and really mean it.

Xoxo, Karin

~ kei
29 October 2018

Petites Pensées ~ What Might Have Been

Another of those very rare dreams about you last night
Let me be clear, this isn’t me pining, not in the least
It does strike me as rather sad though
Two people who once had so much to say to each other
Can’t find it in their hearts to observe even the social courtesies
Using technology instead of words
Maintaining the most tenuous of connections
Where once the sound of each other’s voices
Was the only sound our hearts could hear

~ kei
13 August 2017

Petites Pensées ~ Just Do It

Apropos of nothing specific, just on my mind
How much nicer would the world be
How much needless hurt and resentment gone
If only humans would rediscover the lost art of personal responsibility

The simple fact of owning that you did something wrong
instead of blaming the bus, the fax machine, the dude next door
Just say, “I messed up and I’m sorry”, “It was my mistake and I apologize”

~ kei
8 July 2017

Of Culture, Kilts and Korma

This might be controversial, certainly it’s a hot-button topic. I am one of those people who feels a wrongness, a divisiveness in the rampant calls of “Cultural Misappropriation”.

I am not asking to be schooled for my feelings. I have seen the outrage against public figures and I’ve read the articles about people who “just don’t get it”. Intellectually, I can see some areas of concern but in my heart and in my widely varied gene pool, I’m having a hard time with the vociferous protests. More to the point of my post title, I feel like all the gains made by the ideals of love, inclusiveness and caring for my fellow humans – a set of values that had its renaissance and greatest resonance in the 1960’s and into the 1970’s – is being lost.

Again, I’m not asking to be educated. I have a degree or two, I don’t live in a cave. This is what all the outcry makes me feel.

The diversity of my family background, my friends, associates and colleagues; has given me a wealth of cultural experiences. There have been discussions, get-togethers, shopping, suppers and all of these things have deepened my understanding of customs and things that are not my own.

A few quick points; starting with the most recent backlash against a public figure (can’t recall the name – sorry) who was seen wearing “dreadlocks”. I know that as a fashion, this hairstyle is most commonly associated with a particular group. I also know that if I don’t put my hair into braids at night, it will twist itself into very long dreads by the next day. The notion that early man, forebear to all of us, shared a similar hair style, isn’t much of a stretch is it?

There are certain cultural icons that have been marketed to the world outside by the identifiable group itself. To turn around now and be angry just doesn’t make sense to me. So many people have begun a journey of learning and understanding with one small token, one small idea.

In the most simplistic of explanations, the outcry of “cultural misappropriation” feels like a kid who gets mad and grabbing their bucket, stomps away from sandbox.

I’ll continue to read and listen. I see nothing wrong in continuing to talk about ways to respect other people, culture and customs but I stand by my belief that making ourselves insular is taking a huge step backward for all of us hanging out here on planet earth.

~ kei
14 June 2017