One of the first lessons of single motherhood is learning how to ask for and accept help. I've gotten pretty good at it when it comes to friends and family.
Of course, I try not to take that help for granted, and I am always prepared for someone to say no, and I try to give back and/or pay it forward.
What's harder is asking for help from perfect strangers. But sometimes it's necessary.
Like this past weekend, when I did something truly idiotic.
I managed to throw my keys in the dumpster along with the trash. While I was perfectly willing to take the dumpster dive myself, my height didn't quite allow it. I probably could have climbed my way in, but I couldn't see anyway I could've gotten back out. My step-ladder would have come in handy, but that was upstairs, and I couldn't get in without said keys. My phones were also upstairs (I was only taking out the trash).
Thankfully, a neighbor (with whom I've exchanged nods and smiles) was working on his car in the garage. I introduced myself by proclaiming my stupidity upfront. He met the height requirement to be able to hoist and grab the keys without actually having to get in the dumpster.
I was so grateful, I found a gift card and swag to give to him as a thank you.
I pride myself on my independence, but I'm also grateful for the kindness that can be found almost anywhere. And I've learned a truly valuable lesson.
Always keep the keys in the other hand (or pocket) when throwing out the trash!