The other day I was working out with my trainer, Justin, and was at the end of the hour


at the end of a set of kettlebell lifts from an exercise ball. I was exhausted.

"I can't do any more," I told Justin.  I was stuck mid-air.

"Yes, you can."

"No, I can't."

"Yes, you can."

"No, I can't."

"Yes, you can. I'll help you," he said. 

That phrase is still resonating with me.  Yes, YOU can. I will HELP you.

For those of you who know me, it won't be a surprise why that phrase jumped out at me. As a fiercely independent woman, it's difficult for me to ask for help. I also don't like to feel like I can't do "mechanical" stuff. When I was four, my dad taught me the names of tools and how to do simple tasks with them. He continued to help me become self-reliant throughout my life. I was one of the first girls to take auto mechanics in my high school and learned to change spark plugs, change oil and to do some minor repairs on cars. I can put together furniture that comes in boxes and get most of the pieces on correctly.

The other day, however, I bought two new DVD players and decided I was going to hook them up by myself. There were loads of problems with that. For one thing, I'd never done it before. Second, the colors of the jacks didn't match like they were supposed to. Third, out of 23 jacks on my TV, 21 of them were options for the prongs. And fourth and the worst thing - one of my TVs is mounted on a bracket inside a custom-built cabinet. The TV only comes out a couple of inches and is so difficult to reach behind that a technician recently had to have me wedge my body halfway into the crevice behind the TV and reach a piece of equipment as well as the electrical outlet.

That this was possible because I'm longer and thinner is SO not beside the point to me.

And that I'm uncertain whether I've just used the terms "prong" and "jack" correctly just downright pisses me off.

With my new DVD balanced on a shelf, though, I managed to maneuver the flashlight and the three miscolored prongs. One of the attachments was obvious. The other two, not so much. So I tried every conceivable pattern - all to no avail. Then I dropped the flashlight behind the TV. The DVD player fell and all three of the prongs came out. I had to start over. I gripped the flashlight under my arm so I could plug and unplug prongs.

Nothing worked.

I sat on the floor and cried - really hard - for fifteen minutes.

That didn't work, either.

So I called for help. Joe told me there was another set of jacks I hadn't seen. Someone else described the jacks I definitely did


want to use - but that left a


of options. Finally I was certain I had everything plugged in correctly - but the DVD still wasn't playing. I called DirecTV. They told me that the TV setting had probably changed from Video 3 to 2 or 1.


As I'm living alone for the first time in my life, other than a brief period between marriages, I'm learning there's a way to be independent without the fierce part. It's doing exactly what I did with my new DVD player. Install it with the help of a few brief telephone conversations. Stretch myself and try to do things I thought I couldn't do. Take a break to have a sobbing meltdown and then try it again. But know that it's okay to ask for help while I'm learning new tasks.

Or as Justin would put it, "YOU can do it. Let me



l'Shanah Tovah,