Enlist Your Troops Well

Updated: Dec 3, 2019

I’m embarrassed to say but I’ve lived across from my neighbor for over a year now and we finally met face-to-face recently when I sent her a text and asked if her daughter could have a play date with my daughter.

We have been busy building a new home across the street and recently just moved in and I finally felt like I was at a place to have kids over with a little room to breath and move around. My neighbor leads a busy life as well with working, family commitments, and 2 small children that are currently 7 and 4. She and I have texted a lot over the past year and we feel like we have known each other for some time but meeting in person and playing with her kids put our neighborly lives into perspective even clearer.

She agreed to let her daughter come and play with my daughter for the afternoon and I went and picked her up and dropped her back off. It was actually a nice and welcomed surprise that I called with my request because she was frantically cleaning her home for the arrival of her guests coming soon. When I came back a few hours later to drop off her daughter we had some wonderful conversations in her kitchen. We realized we knew some of the same people when I told her who my cleaning lady was. And it was at that moment I offered some advice to my new neighbor that my wise mother-in-love gave me years prior.

My memories took me back to a time when I was forever frustrated about working long shifts, raising kids, being a good wife, cooking meals, doing laundry, going back to school, and cleaning. Oh how I love a clean home but I sure don’t enjoy the work that it entails. I became more and more frustrated when I felt like I was doing all the work around the house and no one appreciated me or pitched in to help. I felt alone and desperate until one day I was venting to my mother-in-love about it and she quite plainly said, “Julianne, hire you a cleaning person to help you." I thought now there is a novel idea. So I did and I went through several people to get to who I have today and she has been with me for 10 years now. Having help made me realize how important this was to my sanity and how much it helped me and kept my household happy and clean.

My point to this is, enlist your troops well in your life. Admit you don’t like doing certain things and may not even be good at the things you struggle so hard to do. You may be thinking well, I don’t have the extra money to hire a cleaning person but I bet you find the extra money to eat out and buy a Starbucks coffee regularly. If you don’t have the money, I bet you have friends that have talents and gifts that you don’t have and you could trade off with each other.

Now, if you have a friend who would be willing to clean your home every other week on a trade off I would say they are a pretty good friend and you better keep her or him! I have a few good and close friends but not any that would come regularly to clean my home. But I do have friends that help me decorate and I have helped them with cooking from time to time. I really enjoy cooking and meal prepping when I have time to do this and don't feel rushed. Some people loath cooking or even the thought of grocery shopping. But I see this a therapy and get a lot of enjoyment watching people eat my creations from my kitchen.

Life is so short, enjoy doing what you love to do and enlist other people to do what you don’t enjoy or what overwhelms you. Sit down and make a list of what you like and what you don‘t in your life. Then talk it over with your spouse and your closest friends. See how you can help each other and offer solutions to the parts of your life that you don’t necessarily enjoy. Take steps today to enjoy every aspect of your life and not just merely survive it or even dread it.

I will have to admit, I didn’t think I had the extra money 20 years ago to hire a cleaning person when I lived on a much tighter budget but I did and I never missed the money, ever. It taught me a valuable lesson that my happiness and peace of mind should be a priority and sometimes that requires letting go of what I don’t enjoy and allowing others to have it that can do it much better than me.

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