Beauty for Hire: Gratitude for the service industry

I was raised to embrace a self-sufficient work ethic. Maybe you were, too. If a job needed done, the right path was to roll up your sleeves, gather your tools, and do it on your own. There was a certain pride and sense of accomplishment in completing the task, especially if you had taken the initiative without being asked.

I still get that good feeling when I finish a job.

However, my chore list has shortened considerably as my muscular dystrophy has progressed, limiting my physical abilities.

Several years ago, after pushing past the pain one too many times while cleaning the house, I realized it was time to hire help. Nancy has been an angel in my life as she visits twice a month to scrub, dust, and vacuum our home, yet I still avoid talking about "having a house cleaner." And when I do say something, I always qualify it with an explanation of my limitations, hoping to dispel any negative labels or guilt-inducing feelings.

However, Nancy, and others like her, are available intentionally. By hiring out for services, we can often support small, independent business owners. It's beautiful that we live in a country that encourages this kind of entrepreneurship, and I don't want to take it for granted.

Also, I'm deeply grateful that I have the resources to pay for this service. So many people, especially the physically disabled, would love to have money to even consider the option. I'm not helping them by denying myself the assistance.

So today I'm challenging myself (and you) to embrace the choices we make to hire people to help us, to replace the shame with gratitude, and share it freely with those around us.

In that spirit, I'll go first. Last week I hired a landscaping company to pull weeds in the rocks around my house and clean up my flower beds, and I won't apologize for it or feel regret for spending the money. They did such a great job, I wish I would have brought them in sooner!

What choices do you need to embrace with gratitude instead of guilt?

How can you give thanks to the service industry? Or if you're in the service industry, what can we do for you?

Some doorways from this week:

  • My sister did it again! She lovingly made taco soup for us since Shawn's gout flare-up in his foot prevents him from cooking (and my kitchen skills are limited to sandwiches and microwave meals!). It was a beautiful expression of unconditional love.
  • I mentored a young girl at school this year, and we had our final meeting last week. For a parting gift, I bought her stencils, an inspirational coloring book, and some grow-it-yourself unicorns (her favorite animal). As she opened each present, she marveled in awe at the items - even the pink pencil sharpener! I was reminded of the beauty of pure gratitude and joy.
  • I have a tree in my backyard that is flowering. It's growth cycle is a beautiful metaphor for the way we grow and blossom in life.


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