On Christmas Eve I found myself huffing noisily and irritatedly from the Santa storage under the stairs up into the living room to the tree. Up and down I went a couple of times each time louder and louder. I was excited about the gifts we got. We chose carefully for each child. We bought some second-hand, some new. Some things they wanted, some they needed (everyone got lots of socks!). Some things to do, eat and play. I was GLAD for all we selected. But I was huffing because I wanted my husband to see what I was doing and see that I wanted help. So I huffed louder each time I walked by him. And finally I said something snarky. Who knows what the words were, it was the tone that carried the message. He looked at me and said, “I didn’t even know you had started. Next time just ask for help.” Duh. And oh. And of course.

A couple of days later my kids were lounging on the couch reading in various states of repose and I was slamming about in and out of the

Do they look like they’re paying attention?

room picking things up and tidying and putting things away and after a few minutes of doing this seemingly invisibly, I snapped. What the words were I don’t know. Something with the message of “WHY CAN’T YOU READ MY MIND AND KNOW WHAT I NEED???” but in different words. My now teen son looked at me and said, “Don’t get all mad at us, just ask us for help. We ‘re not paying attention. We’re reading.” Again oh. And duh. And of course.

So it’s become my practice this week, a practice I hope to carry with me everyday, now and into the new year and every year beyond that.  Rather than imagine everyone is completely tuned into me and my needs, I’m going to try calmly asking for what I need. Be it time or things or energy or help. I’m going to put it out there to the people around me.  Kindly. Without rancor. With the full expectation that  my needs will be met. By someone. In some way. By the partner. The children. The community. The universe.

And before I even ask, and certainly before I freak out, I’m going to ask myself, “what do I need?” Because surely getting it clear in my head is the first step in putting it out clearly to those around me.

What if we all did this? Took these four easy steps…

  1. Pause.
  2. Ask yourself, “what do I need?”
  3. Believe you can get it.
  4. Put it out there to those around you. In your home. Your community. Your universe.

Think of how good you’d feel to state it kindly. Think how happily you’d help someone who asked so nicely and didn’t wait until they were freaking out. Think of how trusting you could be of all the people in your home/life/world if you knew full well they were stating clearly what they needed. No need for passivity. No need for mind reading. And no need to get all bent out of shape.

Just ask. Clearly. Calmly. Joyfully.

And trust.

It’s worth a shot right?