I have a best friend that is unbelievably talented. We all think our best friends are pretty amazing, but let’s be honest, mine really takes the cake.
Jennifer and I met at summer camp in 3rd grade and have been best buds ever since. She has always been an inspiration to me, but now lives her life being an inspiration to others.
After college, Jennifer hiked the Appalachian Trail for the first time and really caught the hiking bug. Now a few years later, she holds the record for the fastest hike on the Appalachian Trail; was named a National Geographic Adventure of the Year; has been featured in The New York Times, on the CBS Early Show, Fox and Friends, and more; and has written two excellent books about her hiking experiences.
So yeah, she’s pretty legit…and I like to brag on her just a little.
She wrote a blog post this week that really hit home with me. Using hiking as an analogy, she explains that much like you must have a “pack shakedown” before starting on a long hiking adventure, we also need a “life shakedown” at times, to let go of so much we hold so tight.
I can think of so many things I hold so tight right now: my time (and protecting it), money, my appearance of being a good mom and having it all together, and especially...certain responsibilities that I just won’t pass off to others or ask others for help.
One of my favorite things Jennifer encourages us to do is to “share the load with other people” - I’m bad at this. In wanting to appear to have it all together, I often hold tight to things.
In Matthew Perman’s book What’s Best Next, he talks about delegating work, but I think it applies to more than work. He says, “our main aim in delegating is not simply to make our own lives better and free up our time. It is also to build up the other person…true productivity is about doing good for others."
In my life shakedown, what if I was able to let things go and bring others alongside me? Instead of fearing whether people will view me as incompetent, what if I saw partnering with others as a way to truly love them, giving them the opportunity to excel in a new task while also feeling a great sense of joy as they serve me well?
Asking for help is hard, but I think Jennifer really hits it on the head - we all need a life shakedown, and part of the shakedown is our opportunity to have others come alongside us to help carry the load…whether you are raising a child, completing a project at work, going through a tough life circumstance, needing a friend, or even just walking down a hiking trail.
In what areas do you need a life shakedown? In what areas could you let go a little and ask for help?