Tonight the book moves out of a week about serving others and into a week about the Golden Rule. This lesson's focus was all about the big question we have when it comes to our relationships: How do I get my needs met?
And what is the answer to that question? Treat others the way you want to be treated.
I think when I began this study 36 lessons ago, I refered to myself as "the golden rule girl." I am a very empathetic person, and I feel very fortunate that I am able to notice needs in other people's lives and help meet them. But I often do this at the expense of neglecting to take care of myself.
Today, I put my children into drop-off care at the church and went from one side of El Paso to the other and back again running errands. I didn't eat any breakfast this morning because I needed to make the kids' lunches and run out the door so we wouldn't be late. I grabbed a cup of coffee instead and two breakfast items for the kids to eat in the car. (Why did I forget myself? Your guess is as good as mine.) Once I got the kids where they needed to be, I ran to three different stores on the Eastside looking for stuff for our MOPS Christmas party coming up in the next couple weeks. Afterward, I went to the mall to pick up a Christmas gift I had ordered that was ready and waiting for me. Then I went all the way to the Westside to pick up three other items. (Also Christmas gifts. 'Tis the season.)
Friday is usually the day I get to chat with my husband online for about 30 minutes, just the two of us. It has become my new favorite day of the week for this reason. Today, though, I wasn't home to take the video call.
Instead, I was heading back to post to go grocery shopping at the Commissary and pick up all the items my mom had requested for our Thanksgiving spread. By the time I had finished checking out, I realized I had to go pick up the kids (back on the Eastside) without going home to unload the groceries first. Of course, I was running low on gas, so I had to stop to gas up real quick before I could get the kids home and Jack down for his afternoon nap. By the time I finally finished unloading and putting away the groceries at 3:30pm I realized that all I had to eat or drink all day was that one morning cup of coffee.
I was hungry, but I had made dinner plans with one of Sammi's old friends from dance class so I figured it was too late to eat anything at that point. I drank a glass of coke. (I was exhausted.) Jack saw me drinking the coke and asked for some so I shared it with him. Sammi asked for a snack so I got her some crackers. (Again, your guess is as good as mine why I didn't eat some of the crackers.)
We met at the Post Exchange for our playdate/dinner date and when we ordered our food, I was so hungry, I got the biggest burger on the menu. The fast food place took FOREVER to get it to me. (Not kidding, I waited about 15 minutes longer than the person who ordered right ahead of me.) I finally got the food, got our drinks, headed to the table, got Jack's highchair, and the kids' food and their ketchup all good to go, and I sat down in my chair to take my first bite of food all day...and Sammi spilled her soda all over the floor.
As I started to get up to walk around the table to pick up my daughter's cup, my friend says, "What do you need me to do for you? You don't have to do everything all by yourself right now, you know! I am here to help you!"
I jokingly answer her, "No, I don't need you to do anything. I am an Army Wife. I can do it all by myself!"
But the more I think about it, the more I realize how desperately I depend on the kindness of others. Of course, I am too proud to ask for any help, but thankfully I am also surrounded by a whole lot of empathetic people who have my back when they see that I am in need. From the neighbors who come over to check on me when my washer breaks, to the friend who lets me borrow something when mine won't work, or the fellow-mom who knows how helpful it is to bounce my restless child on her lap so I can eat...I would be totally lost if it weren't for the helpers I do not ask for and I will not admit that I need. I am thankful for each and every one of them.
All the more reason for me to keep on being that golden rule girl.
Now if you'll excuse me, I think it is time for a bedtime snack...