Last year I wrote several posts about all that I was grateful for. I enjoyed rereading them as a reminder of how full and rich my life is. I try everyday to be grateful, to recognize the joy among the busyness of my days.

This year more than any other I have become aware of the kindness of others. I've realized the power in asking others for help, advice, comfort, a ride from the airport, a place to stay. I am not great at asking for help in this way. Usually, i try to figure everything out for myself and end up being really stressed out, making things more difficult. I don't know if I'm afraid people will say no or think badly of me for asking or if I'm too stubborn to admit I need help. I shouldn't be surprised that my friends try to do what they can for me. I often feel their love and support through small gestures and kind words. It's just that step of saying, "I don't think I can do this alone," is a tough one for me to take. What I'm starting to see is how amazing people are when I need them.

Here are some recent examples:

M's crazy schedule would make it complicated for her to pick me up when I got in last night. And because she drove back and forth to Bloomington Thursday for thanksgiving, I felt bad about asking her to come back again to pick me up from the airport. Luckily, our most wonderful friend, Brianne agreed to be my shuttle. I felt like asking her to do so was a big favor; she saw it as an adventure and a way to spend time with her friends. It has made our lives much easier and I felt a bit overwhelmed at her kindness and the ease with which she said, "no problem!"

I agreed to teach a course for the adult education program because it was to be held not at the main campus where I commute every day but at the local community college. Since the courses are usually at night, and end pretty late, I've never taught one of these courses because it is too late at night to travel the interstate, especially in the winter. I thought this would be a great opportunity to teach a different population of students and to learn more about their needs as I work with my department to develop online courses for them. Of course, things change a lot in course scheduling and the course location moved to the main campus, which meant I needed to figure out a place to stay in Decatur if I was going to take the course on. I emailed a colleague in another department who has mentored me and given me encouragement and advice and previously offered a place to stay when the weather was bad. I asked if I could stay in her guest room once a week for 5 weeks during the run of the course. She said, "of course."

I've also been really blown away by the kindness of members in the TDOY group. The practical advice on blogging, and the words of encouragement as members begin to inch into the steps that will build their creative dreams has been amazing to watch unfold on the Facebook groups.

Seeking help (in all the ways it comes) means making yourself open and vulnerable. I'm beginning to see the benefits of simply stating what you need and asking for help.