Radiation Day 18 – Asking for what I need

Beam room music rundown:

  1. Some country song I couldn’t make out because the radio was too quiet and the beam gantry was too loud. No big loss.

Today was kind of amazing. It’s hard for me to write about this without sounding ungrateful, but I’ll try. You see, when people find out you’ve got cancer, they want to help, and that feels great. But, sometimes the logistics of finding ways for lots of people to help or support you can be a lot of work. You want to accept their offer and honor their intentions, and doing that in a meaningful way that feels good, fulfilling even, for everyone involved takes care, thought, and effort. Sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming for an introvert like me.

I’ve also just never been very good at asking for help. Somehow I’ve managed to convince myself that I, alone, should be able to handle whatever life throws at me. My successes have only reinforced that notion, and my failures have only taken me on ridiculous self-improvement quests. It ain’t pretty, folks.

Well, today was the result of taking a risk and attempting to disrupt this pattern. Since taking the 12-week furniture intensive at the Center for Furniture Craftsmanship in Rockport, Maine, last summer I’ve been quietly plodding along (by myself, naturally) preparing to build a shop in my basement. Some friends had offered help of various kinds on multiple occasions, and a couple of weeks ago it struck me – why not ask them to come over to help me build the old man’s basement shop of my middle-aged dreams? So, I did just that, and we had an absolute blast. Who knew putting down flooring in a 130 year-old basement of a house with a fieldstone foundation could be so much fun? We got to hang out, listen to great music together (The Pixies – so good!), use a vast array of power tools, discover how hard it is to scribe and cut a floor panel to a fieldstone wall on the first try, and enjoy a delicious lunch of Mexican food complete with exotic Jarritos flavors like lime and pineapple.

It was the kind of day that left me with more energy, not less by the end of the afternoon. And for that, I am deeply grateful.

5 Responses

  1. Dude, that’s awesome. Lots of potential, there; looks like a huge basement. You’ll have to post some more pics as it progresses.

    1. It’s about 800 sq. ft. I think the panorama might make it look bigger. Regardless, I’m psyched for the potential as well.

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