Open The Lid!

by Sherry Riter in Friend

canning jars
Image: source

“We can’t solve problems by
using the same kind of thinking
we used when we created them.”

-Albert Einstein

I know that this quote can apply to many things, but yesterday I found it quite applicable while I was in the kitchen. Arthritis is not my friend. It is my whiny aggravation.

The cupboards and refrigerator are filled with bottles and jars that come from the store tightly sealed. For this I am thankful because my food and condiments are fresh and safe to eat. However, opening the jars can be and is often a struggle.

First, I try to just open the jar with a simple turn which is precisely the way it was initially closed.

If that doesn’t work, I tap the edges of the lid with the handle of a butter knife.

Often that is followed by running the whole jar under water.

I once heard that hitting the bottom of the jar with the palm of the hand helps loosen the grip of the lid, so I even try that method.

Sometimes I have to resort to putting on the rubber gloves so that I can hold the jar tight and get a really good grip on the lid.

By this point, if the lid is still not off the jar, I am ready to run outside and slam it into the pavement. Obviously, it gets rather aggravating. I haven’t resorted to that yet, so I guess I do have some self-control.

My last resort is to ask Tom or Alyssa to open the jar. I think I should just save myself from this major aggravation and buy an electric jar opener.

This methodical step-by-step procedure is usually how I solve problems whether they are self-inflicted or just occurrences in the natural course of life. I mull it over, read self-help books, watch educational programs on the subject, pray, complain, cry and my last resort is to ask others for help. Eventually I find and accept a solution.

I think it hard asking for help and also accepting acts of compassion and kindness. I feel guilty that anyone has gone out of their way and sacrificed their time, talent or money for me. My mom comes into mind immediately when I think of people who have sacrificed for not only me, but also her grandchildren, son-in-laws, sisters, parents, and husband. Thanks Mom for all you do for everyone.

I know..this is something that I need to work on improving. I don’t want the people that I assist to feel guilty for my acts of kindness, so I should also be willing to accept without guilt services rendered to me.

What methods do you find are effective in solving problems? Is it hard for you to ask and receive service from others?

The Redhead Riter


This post was written by...

Sherry Riter is also known as The Redhead Riter. Sherry is witty, intelligent and addictive as she writes about cooking, family, marriage, failures, blogging tips, art, humor, inspiration, travel, PTSD and aging. Her goal is to inspire, motivate, educate and to make her audience laugh. Sherry embraces being a redhead and helps others to see the redhead point of view…"In some eras redheads were worshipped while others thought us witches. Personally, I like the former and think every day is 'Love a redhead day!'" She can also be found on Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Linkedin, tweeting as @TheRedheadRiter and you can subscribe to her free blog feed.

{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

1 teresa wilkinson June 4, 2010 at 12:12 am

My problem solving techniques are not a strong suit. I am a giver I have ruined my children because I will not ask for help or assitance and I am taken for granite.

Usually if I can not get the lid off of the jar. I find away around it in the recipe. Either throwing away the whole jar or placing in the fridge or cupboard.

Procrastinate my evil side. My worst enemy.


2 Joanna Jenkins June 4, 2010 at 1:27 am

You read my mind today! I've really been struggling with my hands too and hate asking people to open them for me. Your rubber gloves idea is GREAT! I never thought of that!

I have a very difficult time asking for help– it's something I've struggled with for years, especially when my health (lupus + arthritis) flares up. I'll be watching this post for an answer cuz I sure don't have one.

Terrific post and a gorgeous photo!



3 SpitFire June 4, 2010 at 2:25 am

Oh yes! My husband gets very aggravated with me, because I'm highly stubborn and independent. I HATE asking for help. I'm trying hard to get better about that though.


4 Kelly June 4, 2010 at 2:35 am

I have learned to ask for help, at least some of the time!! I used to be proud of my independence, but I have learned to receive and ask for help when really needed.
On another note, have you tried those rubber elastic band thingys. Open jars easily every time!!!


5 Three Owls June 4, 2010 at 2:43 am

I like to think of myself as giving the other person an opportunity to do a good deed… and I try to pay it forward, but there are times when I'm withdrawing alot more than I'm depositing… but it all works out in the end.


6 PJ June 4, 2010 at 3:12 am

Hey Gal! Believe it or not, I USED to be like you. Not wanting to ask for help. Someone once told me (in the last few years, my memory fails me as to when it was) that by not asking for help or not allowing help when offered, I was denying that person a blessing, because God blesses those who help others. That was a turning point in my life. Now, I feel that I have gone to the extreme, meaning as much help and as many questions as I ask of people there should be a lot of blessings going round! LOL!

Love Ya Bunches!



7 Navyvet June 4, 2010 at 4:31 am

You are welcome my Sherry. It is so easy to help you, like breathing. About the jars, I have broken them before,lol. Get one of those jay operners that fit undre the cabinet. The jar slides into it and it is our body weight that opens it. I just want to open my jar when I want it and if no one is home those pickles are going to get eaten . Thats the jar I busted, if I could not eat them then they were not going to be safe in the jar,lol,lol



8 Dina June 4, 2010 at 12:16 pm

thanks for the follow, do you have RA?


9 Ash June 4, 2010 at 1:12 pm

I have a friend who is one in a million – always offering help at every turn, but never allowing me to reciprocate. To be honest, the friendship started to unravel because it felt so one sided. No one wants to feel as if they're taking advantage.

A recent development landed in my lap to really be able to help her, no refusal allowed. It felt good to repay.

Allow the help. It would do both of you some good.

(incredible photo – makes me hungry for homemade pickles!)


10 Manda June 4, 2010 at 3:09 pm

Needed to read that quote today…
Thanks for sharing it with us.


11 Vatche June 5, 2010 at 2:44 am

Hello, I'm a new follower. You're blog is really interesting and creative, to say the least.

As for this post, it really made me think whether I am an independent person or one who relies on others. I guess, it really just depends on the situation.

If I'm REALLY stuck with something, my last resort is that I'll ask for help. That's the type of person I am. As for opening jars, I usually just ask my brother to do it since he's stronger than me (and happens to be right in the kitchen with me).

So, cool post, awesome quote by Einstein, too. He really was a creative mind. Write on!


12 Lou Belcher August 25, 2010 at 7:10 pm

Yes, I am the same way about things… I don't like to ask for help, so I'll work at something forever trying to do it myself. I do find it so refreshing when others eagerly take help… Should learn from that.


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