It’s Time to Lend a Helping Hand

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I’m warning you in advance, this is going to be a long post since I’ve got a lot to tell you. As part of June’s Even Happier Quest, I’ve been working hard on the task to Make time For Friends. I took a couple painting classes this week and set a goal for myself to not be my usual wallflower self. I wanted to start with the mindset of making some new friends.

Fire In The SkyI’m back to tell you that I followed through on talking it up with fellow painters in class, and I made some interesting observations while having fun and enjoying myself thoroughly. The first class was my first attempt ever at painting. I wasn’t sure what to expect nor what the resulting painting would look like. Open mind, right? Let the artistic me come through.

Everyone sat along both sides of long tables which was perfect to chit chat with the people next to you as well as across from you. I was the only party of one to attend that night, but no matter. I introduced myself and set about chatting. Unfortunately everyone in my immediate vicinity was approximately 20 years old and engrossed for the most part in their phone.

We had fun seeing how everyone’s painting was turning out and encouraged each other along the way. It was interesting to see the different painting styles and versions. Some were very exact. Others were more abstract. All of them were great. Even mine! I was so excited at how it turned out and plan to frame it for my wall. Seriously!

Monet's VeniceI signed up for the next class on a whim since I enjoyed the first so much. I decided to try a different studio to get someone else’s perspective and painting style. This studio was very different on arrival. These were hard core painters, and not the flowy artistic type or the just in it for the fun type. The night’s painting was Monet’s Venice which is gorgeous.

I again set about introducing myself and made pleasantries throughout the night. Let me tell you, these people were wrapped tight! There was very little talking and a lot of stress on their parts to make their paintings perfect. Not much friend making to be had here since I don’t need that much stress in my life. I have enough of my own.

Another interesting observation was one that took a bit to occur to me. I left that night hating my painting. It didn’t look a thing like the original. The colors were different, the scene wasn’t the same. I just didn’t like it. When I got up the next morning, it hit me. The painting really was good for attempt number two. The problem with it was that I was comparing it to the original and falling short. Facepalm, the original was done by Monet for Pete’s sake. Who wouldn’t fall short?! 😉

So I learned to ease up on myself a bit and take things more for what they are through my eyes. A pretty successful realization, plus this crossed another item off the Quest List! Well worth it in my book even though I didn’t make any new friends. Now for the next task for the month…

Part of being a friend is to help each other out. This week I’m going to focus on Being Helpful. I was at the gym today and I noticed a woman who was wandering around. She settled on a cable machine and must have done 10 sets of the same exact exercise. She wandered a bit and did some more. I could tell she was unsure of what exactly she should be doing so she was going with what she knew. I could just tell by the look on her face.

Instead of just letting it go, I finished my workout and did what I would want someone to do for me. I asked her if she needed help figuring out how some of the machines worked. She did and I showed her a few things that she could do and how to adjust the machines. She was very thankful and I felt great about helping her out. A really great feeling that made me smile.

Believe it or not, I was that person last week. My usual leg press that uses plates was busy. I waited a bit to see if he was almost done, but it was taking a while. I went to try a different one in the area with machines. It was the kind with the weight stack and pin. I tried to figure out how it worked and hadn’t a clue. I poked a bit and look for instructions but no go. So I awkwardly sat on it until the other freed up. I need help too!

I’m challenging you to help someone out this week. It doesn’t have to be in the gym. If you see someone wandering the grocery store, ask if they need help finding something. Is someone at the copier at work trying to figure out how to unjam it? Help them. I bet if you pay attention, you’ll find several opportunities to help someone out that take no time or effort. Friends or strangers, we all need help at times.

Have you ever taken a painting class? How’s your June Happiness Project going?

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