Looking Over My Shoulder

Most every day my daughter has homework. The life of a six grader is complicated. On our drive home from school we have nearly the same conversation. I drop her home before heading back to work. I ask her to take our dog Lola for a walk and to do her homework before she does anything else. It is met with a sigh, and an excuse. There is always an excuse for putting off things for our wants in life. Kids these days.

At work, I often have to ask others to volunteer to take temporary assignments. Sometimes they will be asked to be away from home and family for two weeks to two months, helping out others in some capacity. Sometimes it is a project that will require some extra patrick-perkins-350622work but no travel. Most calls are met with a reason why it is just not the right time. “Any other time would have been fine. It’s just _____…” – Fill in the blank. However this time and every other time seems never the right time. When promotion opportunities arise many of the same persons will ask why they were “overlooked” for the position. I usually tell them they were not overlooked, it was their choice. That every day we make decisions and choices. We do the work and present our best effort. Every day is an interview for the next position. It is hard to tell folks they need to take a look in the mirror and know themselves. The strength and weaknesses within.

I am no better, I often sit and ponder. I should, I would, and I wish start many sentences. Sentences as answers for why I am not doing what I always think would be great if someone else would just step up.

“We need someone to step up and handle the Angel tree this year.” I look over my shoulder around the crowd and think, ‘why wont anyone step up? I would, but I am just too busy.’

“We are looking for some folks to help in the kitchen at the shelter next Tuesday.” I look over my shoulder and think, ‘Nobody? I wish I could. My Tuesdays are always so full.’

As I sit and think of the needs of the community I often say to my self, I should do more. No not more… something, anything. There is always a reason why I cannot. But is there a reason? I mean really, everyone is busy. We make ourselves busy.

I need to stop making excuses. I need to stop looking over my shoulder towards others and answer the call. I need to stop pointing my finger and turn it towards myself.

I need to step forward and say, yes… Yes, I can help.

*Photo by Patrick Perkins on Unsplash

5 thoughts on “Looking Over My Shoulder

  1. It can be hard to discern between reasons and excuses. Some reasons are good ones, but others, as you said, are just excuses. I think it helps to be sure of your priorities. I find it easier to confidently give my yes or my no when I look at how various opportunities fit into my personal and family mission. We can’t all do everything, but we can each do something.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I know just what you mean here. This morning at church the leader was talking about various service opportunities for the Christmas season: filling holiday food hampers for those less fortunate, staffing (and baking cookies for) a study room in the church for students preparing for exams, making a meal for the men who live next door to the church who are in addiction recovery … it’s easy to just let the information wash over you and not actually take it to heart and say “OK, it’s time for ME to step up and fill one of those roles.” Thanks for reminding us of the need to do that and not wait for others to step forward first.

    Liked by 1 person

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