A very close coworker has been going through a challenging situation at home. You don’t need the details of my coworker’s personal life but what you can know is that this situation resulted on my coworker taking an extended leave for over 2 months now. Today I want to share with you the power of supportive family and friends during challenging times.
I think of myself as a good friend. Does this mean I can be there for everyone all the time? No. I can’t. I have family, and a job giving me responsibilities that I need to cover first because truly my life depends on it. My family is my everything, and I need to take care of my job because we aren’t filthy rich and I need to help in our household. You get it. It’s called life. But you sure know that if someone I love is going through something, I will make the time and effort to be there for that person. Is how we support others; is how we show love.
When my coworker had to go on leave, it meant I had to take on more responsibilities at work. More responsibilities at work meant less time at home. Less time at home is definitely not something I like. One thing is when your coworker is taking a one or two week vacation, and a different thing when your coworkers goes on an extended leave that can last from 2 weeks to 6 months. So much uncertainty. I avoid uncertainty let me tell ya; I am planner. But for the last weeks, I had to move to driver seat and take charge. Don’t get me wrong, I take my job seriously which means I am all in so being the driver is something I am can handle. I am a great driver! But I do prefer to be on the passenger seat because that works better for my family schedule. So much going on these days… mama don’t got the time! But I am a good friend and a great coworker so I have to make it work.
So I’ve had tons more responsibilities and stress over the last couple of months and some. It happens! But one thing I noticed during this time and my reason for this post if you ask, is how we show up for others. Now let me share some background so this makes more sense.
Coworker leaves. I decided to take it one day at a time. Focusing on the long road ahead and getting overwhelmed by it won’t help. I start feeling sick before Christmas. Nope, gotta shake it off, can’t get sick right now. I get sick right after Christmas. It’s okay since we are on a work break. The new year rings. Me: “This will be the best decade yet!”. The new decade: “yeah… I don’t think so…” And so it began, what it feels like an endless journey of health issues so far this year.
I won’t share the details of the health challenges I’ve faced this year, but you should know there are quite a bit of them, and fairly annoying. But this is the craziest part, even though I’ve been sick, and my family has been sick, I’ve been on my work game 110% all the time. Why? Because I have to. What I am dealing with is peanuts compared to what coworker has going on. There is no way I will complain (okay, maybe I did vent to my husband and close friends) about the luck I’ve had this year because I know someone I care deeply for is going through something a thousand times worse. I truly haven’t felt well, but I still show up. I have to push through. Make it to the other side of this puddle of sickness I ran into. And I need to do it because yes, I am sick of being sick, but also because I want to support my coworker. The only thing I can do is take care of things at work so coworker doesn’t have to stress out about our shared responsibilities.
I share this with you because I know the power of our minds. When we set our mind to something, we make it happen. My body, while not at 100%, can still provide and help me accomplish things. So my mind convinces my body to step up my game. And that is just what I’ve been doing. This reminds me very much of motherly love. You’ve probably heard many moms say they can’t get sick because they have kids. This is similar except instead of my kids is a close person I care about. I believe is our commitment to others that help us be stronger and get over any rough patches faster. I wanna be there for my kids all the time, so when I start feeling sick I do whatever I can to recover fast. Mama can’t get sick!
Being supportive is going above and beyond for others. Is not just saying “count on me”, but truly show up. And being there for someone mean different things. It is truly based on each situation. For instance, it can be a text to remind someone their worth when they they just went through a breakup. It can be a monetary donation on a gofundme page for medical bills for someone who is battling a cancer. It can be a visit to a friend’s house when they are going through depression. It can be watching your friend’s newborn for 1-hour for your friend to take a shower and eat. It can be anything and everything within your means to help someone in need. So it can be taking extra work so a coworker can take time off.
The power of support to me is that something that makes me shake off a flu quicker so I can be there for my kids when I am feeling sick. Is that energy that helps me work longer hours when I am starting to feel tired. Is that warm feeling that makes me try harder when a busy life is getting to me. I hope you have supportive people in your life. I know we don’t all count with that privilege. Know that if you don’t have someone you can count on, it doesn’t mean you are a bad person; you might just need new friends 😉
Mama Bear Kim