What It Costs to Help

Went on a little mini-rant over the weekend on twitter. That's not new, and I went on several of the mini rants, as a matter of fact. One of my topics was why it gets under my skin when people aren't ever appreciative of the things I do for them.

Before I launch into this, let me clarify that I'm not saying I expect individuals to thank me every time I do some for them. I'm not asking for constant recognition. I'm asking for cognition of the cost to me when I spend time doing things for you.

Take this weekend for example:
Friday, I did a favor for a family that's important to me and spent the day with them at Six Flags and then at the wife's parent's house. I gave up a weekend with friends to do this, had to drive down to my mama's house straight after class on Thursday and had to wake up at 7:30am on Friday to get there only to get back to my mama's house around 12am Saturday morning. All this day I spent with them was time I needed to be working on any of the several projects I have, including 2 final projects for my class, finding a job, getting things moving for the organization I'm President of...

Saturday and Sunday were family days. I promised my mother I'd complete several projects for her that took up the majority of both days. She and I went to the movies and then shopping and to dinner. I went to a graduation picnic for my cousin and spent time with friends I hadn't seen. Doing all of that kept me from getting homework done, posting several blogs I wanted to and RESTING which is of the utmost importance to me on weekends.

In turn, it's Monday (really Tuesday), I'm behind on things and I'm exhausted! By no means am I regretting my weekend -- I use it to show that when I'm doing things for others, I'm sacrificing things for myself and these things are just as, if not more, important.

So when I pay the price to help someone and I get the feeling they don't appreciate it, think it's what I'm supposed to do or begin to take advantage of me, my anger is less about that and more around thinking of the hours wasted. I'm taking charge of this, though. No more crying about it -- I'm happy to pay the price until you make me feel like the price is too high. Trust and believe I will quit paying the price. No muss, no fuss.

And let me end with this: Though I'm more and more cognizant of how much time I can't spend on me for helping others, that price is no problem to pay when I know I'm helping people who need it and appreciate it. That's all it is -- appreciation.

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