Sharing is Caring – or is it?


Sharing is Caring – or is it?

A very recent trip to the coast, where sharing a room with two of my best friends was the order of the day, I became acutely aware of the words of the faithful kiddies’ character, Barney: ‘Sharing is Caring’. I am sure that since Barney made his appearance on national television all over the world, many mothers, educators and child minders have quoted his famous words over and over again. How do you teach a young child to share? Just remind him what Barney says. Whether it works all the time, probably remains to be seen, but it is certainly worth a try to maintain peace and tranquility when little ones vie for ownership of their favourite (or others’) space or possessions.
How do things play out when three adult women, varying in ages and with incredibly strong personalities, share a relatively small space for a period of ten days? Interesting comes to mind….and perhaps even challenging? Perhaps Barney would even have had a secret giggle had he been there? I am really quite accustomed to sharing with a friend or family member on the various trips that I have had the pleasure of experiencing throughout my life and as I honestly don’t enjoy confrontation, I am known to back down and just let things be… but this time it was very different! I had made up my mind several weeks ahead of this recent trip that I would most definitely have a room of my own in the family set up that the hotel provides. The other two would share and that was the way it was going to be – well so I thought…
After a grueling eight hours on a small, less luxurious, 22 seater coach, having experienced all four seasons during the trip and the worst mist ever, we finally arrived at our destination, in need of a very strong cup of tea, or something a tad stronger. As the tour guide of the group of mostly senior citizens, I was obliged to help them all to recover their luggage and settle them into their accommodation. Eventually with great anticipation I boarded the lift to my room, totally assured that my ‘single’ room awaited me. The children’s room in the family unit was what I viewed first and I was really happy that this would be my haven for the next nine days. The main bedroom was something to behold, crisp clean linen, and a sea view that took my breath away. That’s okay, I thought, the other two could share the room and the view as well. I would pop in now and then to get my fair share of the sea breeze that billowed through the open windows, as long as I could have my OWN space for a few days.
I am not so sure if Barney would have had any advice for me as the days wore on, but my solitary space literally disappeared by day two, like a beautiful mist driven out by the early morning sun. Strong female personalities and raging hormones soon determined who would be housed where and I finally had to make peace with, (yes you got it!) once again sharing a holiday space!
This situation got me thinking…. does ‘forced’ sharing really make you very caring? I was constantly wondering if my reactions were acceptable or not? Known not to cause disruptions in situations, I carefully accepted the status quo once again. The main question in my head was: ‘Am I still caring?’ while my emotions often stormed inside of me. One friend with me, desperately needed this holiday and my resolve shifted from disappointment to tolerance eventually and then on to my version of ‘caring’ while we were all sharing this small space.
I could probably write this experience down to my ultimate test in Barney’s wise words: ‘Sharing is Caring’ and it all boils down to me making my correct choices, no matter how difficult the situation that presented itself. Please don’t get me wrong, I am no saint when it comes to dealing with situations, especially when the war takes place inside of my heart and my head. I would hope that I passed some lesson in life that was destined for me for those few days of my life. Let’s hope Barney would have approved.
Until we meet again…

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