The feeling of being needed

Our garden bench looks rather abandoned, moss-covered, forlorn

I often feel that I’m not needed, and that can be hard to bear, after insinuating myself into a variety of positions where it seemed only I could facilitate. We set up a robust swing for the grands, a decade ago, but found that a garden bench swing was also needed for ourselves. We did sit, often with a G&T in hand, musing about life, the countryside view, during long afternoons, sure. But today the swing moves gently in the breeze, almost never used. Good for the moss and lichens, of course.

Yes, inexorably, life moves on, and the work we used to do can be done just as well, probably better, by others. And it’s been good to be relieved of the pressure too; too much neediness insisting on our attention can be (has been) oppressive. But sometimes, sometimes a little frisson of another’s need can be a bit exalting — yes, I can help with that! Oh, the thrill of being needed can send a jolt of electricity, of penetrating joy, that is hard to describe.

I’m called to help this weekend with the installation of a couple radiators. I can do that — we had drained the system down just a little in order to cap off the connecting pipes, prior to re-decorating, and now it’s time to put the new radiators in place. We can do it again together, and then the carpet can go down. I can hardly wait to get stuck in.

After I twirled around with the lawn mowing, yesterday, I was asked if I could help with a drain issue. Oh, yes, I could, I definitely could! Removing the blockage was yukky, but it was something I was needed for. It didn’t matter, getting dirty. The thrill of being needed more than compensated for the temporary mess, and now the drain runs freely once more.

I wonder if perhaps we forget this human condition at our peril, this feeling that yes, we are needed for this and that job, activity, errand, memory, musing, humour foil. It doesn’t matter what we may be needed for, it’s the being needed that counts.

In my case, I usually forget that I’m needed for the joy of gentle teasing, and I guess that if I can be needed for that, I can learn to like it too.

2 responses to “The feeling of being needed”

  1. Larry your entry today has made me ponder the joy of friendship which all too often is taken for granted. As we go on with our everyday routines we forget the times when we make a mental note to ask Larry….learn from Carrie….next door will have it. It is only when I find myself either reaching for the phone or walking round to the conservatory to ask for help I realise that you guys are ‘away’ and It is then that I realise how much your friendship means to us and how hopeless we are without you both sometimes. My joy yesterday was to see how excited you were to be asked to have a look at the drains.

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  2. Larry,  Today’s Joy gives me a much needed push. I can’t assign a meaning to your writing only respond with what it evoked in me. Today’s Joy reminds me that overall I am too contemplative. I often ask myself why I have to look for meaning in everything. I am genetically inclined & vulnerable to depression. Yet from my studies & career I know that depression is an egocentric disorder. I confess that my contemplations are egocentric.

    I think my hobbies have helped keep a balance. They were always about doing not thinking. Thinking won’t get a stick carved or cane made. I allowed others to muse on what they saw in my carvings. One woman thought I was a tree spirit worshiper.  Gardening was another activity without hidden meanings. If we wanted to eat beans then I planted beans. Simple.

    So just for today I will resist seeking meaning in everything I do or more pointedly in the things I can no longer do. 
    Write on Larry
    Henry

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