I live on a small acreage and I do sometimes become overwhelmed as a single mum. A year ago I had a huge task ahead of me. The trees needed clearing, chopped and burnt, more trees needed to be planted, veggie gardens had to be made and weeds cleared.
I had a great idea for my up and coming 40th birthday. Instead of presents, what I needed was help!! I set about organising a working bee, allocating the right tasks to the right people. My lady friends, who enjoyed cooking, were in the kitchen preparing food for the other hard workers doing the manual tasks. The big strapping fellows who had their own tools, especially chain saws, were given the heavy work and the rest were given the light manual tasks of weeding, planting gardens and moving rubbish and chopped trees.
I sent out my invitations letting everyone know that in place of presents, I preferred a helping hand. I was doubtful that people would come as I knew they all had their own agendas. However, I soon found out that I was very much mistaken. I had made a list of tasks that needed doing and let them choose what they would prefer to do. I must admit it took a lot of organisation. I had bought extra spades and rakes, tin and plants to make a veggie garden and paint for the children’s room.
My circle of friends then arrived in abundance. It worked like clock work. Those who had no cooking or gardening skills dragged the chopped wood and placed it on the fire that a somebody was feeding, 3 ladies were making the veggie garden and did a superb job and even the kids joined into help. Food was brought out every hour on the hour. Beer was offered, but most preferred to finish their tasks before they started drinking.
It started at 9am and went through to 6pm, with short breaks in between for morning and afternoon teas and lunch. Once the job was completed we celebrated into the evening with delicious food and drinks.
There was not much partying though as everyone was exhausted.
I didn’t expect anyone to come near me after this huge exercise, but I was mistaken. I had visits for weeks after from friends wanting to see how the garden was progressing. They said they enjoyed the work and were happy with what they had achieved in a day. They enjoyed working together and had made a lot of new friends. I had an enormous amount of positive feedback, so much so, that I am thinking of holding another working bee in the near future.
I don’t think we realize how good it makes us feel by giving a helping hand to those who need it. So if you are wanting a hand at your place, put the thought out there and start arranging a working bee. Many hands make light work and if you plan it once a year, no one feels that they are being used.
Queensland floods are a perfect example of how people want to help. 10,000 volunteers turned up at the Brisbane CBD and outside areas to help. I’m sure we all want to help but don’t know how to go about offering our services. We need to go back to the old fashioned ways of helping out the community in need. It not only saves money, but you can achieve more in a day with a group of people than you could in a year doing it alone.
Its positive in more ways than one, it makes you feel good if helping and the recipient feels the love that is offered. And don’t let’s forget, it’s a really good workout for all.