The Mister and I moved the family to Detroit just shy of six years ago. Which means that I have walked into the same kitchen and flipped on the same kitchen light at least once a day for somewhere in the neighborhood of 2,000 days.
Walk in the kitchen, raise my left hand, flip on the light, proceed.
Yet, at least once a week - AT LEAST - I walk into the kitchen and raise my right hand to flip the light switch and land on an empty wall. Why? Because I’m blonde. Also because the light switch was on the opposite wall in just about every home I’ve ever lived in before.
That muscle memory - it’s a real thing. I raised my right hand so many times without thinking about it that I now have to remember not to do it… six years after the fact.
Turns out that flipping light switches that no longer exist isn’t the only thing I do out of habit.
Tuesday night, after orientation, I was rearranging the SheHive’s eleventy-billion pound tables by myself. Every single woman in the room asked if they could help at some point and time and I waved off each of them without ceremony. That is, until Kathy literally stood in front of me, hands on hips and said, “I just offered to help you!”
I actually needed help - and wanted it - but being self-sufficient is so much a part of my "emotional muscle memory" that it doesn’t even dawn on me most times that help is readily available if I just ask for it or receive it. I need someone like Kathy - a person who knows how hard I struggle with accepting help - to support me by lovingly, and emphatically, disrupt my patterns of old.
Having someone who knows my particular struggles and cares enough about me to care about them too is a wondrous thing. It’s the true beauty of the Hive.
Are you trying to flip on light switches that no longer exist? If so, who’s your Kathy that’s helping to point out - with love and compassion - when you do so? I’d love to hear your story. Drop a comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
With much love and gratitude,
Ursula Adams, MSPOD
P.S. If you don’t have your own Kathy, come to the SheHive - I’ll share mine!