Do you ever feel like you are constantly putting out fires? I know I do.

Lately, it seems like whenever I get one area of my life under control, another quickly catches some spark of trouble and I am left scrambling to put it out.

Work. Family. Friends. Personal Wellness. That’s a lot of ground to cover when you think of it.

And it’s all connected.

While I might try to tell myself otherwise, these different areas of my life overlap in significant ways.

Which means that trouble in one area can affect all of the others. When a fire takes up a lot of my emotional, psychological, and physical resources, it inevitably spreads to everything that I do. It affects my ability to concentrate. It affects my ability to make good decisions. It affects my ability to get things done.

In short, it compromises my ability to function.

Because, when life feels like it is in a state of emergency, prioritizing responsibilities can be very difficult.

That’s why we can’t fight fires alone.

If there is one thing I have learned from living in B.C., it is that firefighting is a team effort.

When we feel the heat of life getting to us, we need to stop before we drop and roll right over to the people who are waiting to extend us relief.

Once we do, the haze begins to clear. Breathing becomes easier. The flames start to shrink. The fight becomes manageable.

We regroup. We re-evaluate. We rest.

We remember that, while life’s fires may burn us out at times, they also show us how blessed we are to have the support of incredible people.

Perhaps even more importantly, they remind us that we have the opportunity to be incredible people.

The more experience we gain through fighting fires, the more compassion, understanding and relief we can extend to those going through similar times of distress.

When we see signs of trouble, we can stop, drop some of the items on our to-do lists, and reach out.

I am truly grateful to live in a world where so many heroes do this on a daily basis.

And boy, do I ever want to be one of them.