Choose Your Good Deeds Carefully
Don’t let anyone try to force good deeds on you. Even a good deed comes with consequences if you are too eager to perform it but, haven’t given the proper thought to
how it may change your current situation. When family is involve, it makes it difficult to reject helping out.
Family is sacred and important, after all did I mention it’s family. The blood that binds us and no blood is bound tighter than that of siblings. So, when the opportunity arises to perform a good deed for a sibling, what should you do? Dip your big toe in the good deed pool without any measure of how it will impact you, or give it a few days before you provide the answer?
A close and important friend of mine, Tina, decided that she would take her brother in as a roommate. In January of this year, Tina’s brother landed a job in the same city as her. Tina sporadically decided that a roommate would be great, and what better person than her second favorite sibling.
What’s hard about extending a kind jester to her favorite? Nothing at the beginning, until the days turn into months.
The Good Deed Results Ensued
Tina’s apartment is average size and has two bedrooms. When she selected the apartment the idea was for the extra bedroom to be used as a guess room, to accommodate a stay not more than a week. Her dwelling has an all white kitchen with white cabinets, chrome handles and wood floors. Those two features were important to her during the choosing process. In fact, Tina never had any intention of doing a lot of cooking, so she was never concerned with her white cabinets requiring nothing more than a normal Clorox cleaning every two weeks.
I mean the girl has earned her right to have her place the way she chooses. She has a good career and she selected this place particularly because she can afford it. The bathroom and common room is not huge, but it was enough for her to clean every weekend. And, the dinning area she turned into her office with four mahogany bookshelves from the ceiling to the floor. Complimented by a mahogany desk with all the cool home office items.
Tina’s brother is in his late 30s and just finished graduate school and Tina is in early 40s. Tina thought that roommates would a great way to go. It gives her brother an opportunity to reestablish himself and save some money so he can afford his own place in a year. Plus, Tina could use the extra hand because she deals with arthritis. It’s one of the reasons why she choose her apartment to be easy to clean and with the kitchen that opens up to the common room and office. Not too big and not too small.
Enter Tina’s brother and as he settled in, in late January she knows he’s a workout and prefers to do meal prep. It is his way of life. What Tina didn’t count on was once her brother moved in, how much space she would be giving up and sharing. In addition, she didn’t realize that because her brother meal preps, which means he cooks a lot, that her lovely white cabinets would not be so white.
The cleaning schedule she originally had in place would have to be more frequent. Not what she was planning. She also realized that she was now giving up 80% of her fridge space due to meal prepping. Tina had not thought about how her good deed would begin to alter her life more than she wanted it to!
More importantly the closet space she lost was unbelievable because her brothers bedroom did not have a walk-in closets. Tina remembered that the guest bedroom was never for long-term occupancy.
Tina began to wondered had she volunteered for this good deed with haste. Had she not considered what having a roommate would mean. How long can she do this before she becomes the nagging sibling. Tina wonders if she will be able to make it through one more year.
I personally believe she will make it through another year. And, as her closes confidant, I remind her to utilize her brothers presences wisely. He can help her, just as much she is assisting him with living quarters. She should consider all the task she wants to get accomplish, but her arthritis limits her and leverage his availability. Not to mention, she’s been wanting a workout partner and what better than a sibling whose atheltics and a health driven. How do you make a sporadic good deed work, you make small changes and compromises. But, you remind the person that they may have to do more adjusting to your ways and you less to their.
Bottom-line have the conversation and set the expectations.