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YACC values spark, and finding strength to ask for help

At our monthly team meetings, one of our crew members discusses some of our five values: strength, courage, commitment, heart, and spark (formerly trailblazing). This is Lesley’s reflection from this month’s meeting.

By Lesley Morrissey

Last night I had a “mini mommy breakdown.” Every parent knows what I mean, but you don’t have to be a parent to understand the feeling. It is when life gets so crazy, schedules are all over the place, you are trying to stay on top of it all but you feel like it is all caving in on you. Anyone can relate whether you’re a cancer patient/survivor with medical appointments, a student with classes and exams, a retired individual with major volunteer commitments, etc. We have all been there — the tipping point.

For me, it was forgetting my daughter’s bathing suit for her swimming lesson. I rushed home from work (15 minutes away), got the bags (that I had pre-packed the night before) at home, grabbed both kids from daycare, fed them a feast of PB&J in the car and rushed to swimming (another 15 minutes away). I got to the change room and there was no bathing suit. Now, Mary is three and loves swimming, so you would expect a full on meltdown, but nope. She looked at me with her gorgeous blueberry eyes and sadly said, “It’s okay, Mommy. You happy?”

Her concern for my feelings broke me. It may have been easier if she had thrown a fit. Here I was the one that forgot her clothes and she was comforting me. That was my tipping point. I spent the evening feeling bad about her not getting to swim because of me, then I looked around my house, full of toys and hockey equipment, baskets of clothes not folded for a week, the list goes on. After the kids went to bed, I wallowed. I cried a little, found comfort in my husband and my amazingly supportive mommy friends, and finally focused on the good (which I have in abundance) and went to bed.

Why am I telling you this? I am telling you because this one evening in time shows much of my true character and how well it encompasses YACC’s values.

Anyone who has ever met me in person through a YACC event will know I am “the queen of getting shit done.” Geoff even joked about it being my official title. I have spark in mass quantities; I am engaged and can anticipate need after need.

In my family life, I pack swimming bags three days in advance, I pack lunches and prepare supper at the same time before bed, I know what my kids need before they ask and I am committed to my family and to the way of life we have chosen to live. “Team Morrissey” is a term we use daily in our home. We are all committed to a happy home life and making sure we are all happy. Last night, however, I wobbled. My spark faded. While my commitment to my family would never falter, my commitment to myself and my abilities did.

So, I reached for another value of YACC’s — I reached for courage to ask my husband for help. A small task you may think, especially considering my husband is a great partner and friend, but I never ask for help. From a young age I have always been able to “do it myself.” Not surprisingly, my husband said, “Thank goodness! I have wanted you to ask, I just didn’t want to get in your way.”

Last night was just one moment in time. One evening of annoyance. I would never pretend it was anything bigger than that. A simple “off night,” but one that made me look at my own spark and see that it needed a little extra fuel to make it bright again.

Lastly, I will like to give a big shout-out to the team, in home care San Mateo for sponsoring this post.

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