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I’ll Take Dependable, Thank You

December 18, 2021

Another Way for week of of December10, 2021

I’ll Take Dependable, Thank You

I wasn’t sure if I could do it, but I argued my husband into letting me buy and put together a small toddler bed for a grandson to use at our house. The grandson had outgrown the crib and even Pac ‘N Play type beds. And we were short a bed when they all visited.

My husband is very busy at this time of year, cutting wood, splitting it, stacking it. He maintained that it wouldn’t take him long to put together a small bed but I knew it wouldn’t be as cute and inviting to a little one as the small “character” beds I found in stores and online. I told him that after perhaps buying a few pieces of wood for the project and some pretty bright paint, we would probably easily spend more than $50 (the price online). It arrived in two days. Now my work was cut out for me.

So on a recent Monday morning, I started in and made great progress, until, you guessed it, I needed a third or even fourth hand with some of the final screws and bolts. I couldn’t hold the parts and insert the screw too. (How did the woman on the YouTube instructional video do it??)

Bless his heart, when I told Stuart my predicament, without a great deal of complaining or “I told you so” comments, he helped me finish the final steps in a matter of minutes. He was/is dependable.

Dependable as a word sounds boring. They even named adult diapers after it, right? But I think that dependability is one of the sweetest and best traits for a person—especially in a friend, family, or marriage relationship. It is golden.

Reliable. Trustworthy. Steadiness. Loyalty. Fidelity.

I’ll say “Yes, please,” for all of these traits. Being able to lean on each other, knowing and remembering the big or little things that makes the other happy (or really ticks them off!) are like bedrock: a foundation you can build on.

We look for a lot of things in a family relationship. There’s love of course, but also stick-to-itiveness. Getting up and going to work every day (in your working years). Mindfully stashing raises into your rainy-day account or 401K. Being there for them when they start—but can’t finish a project without a third or fourth hand. Keeping secrets and confidences. These are part of being dependable. I can’t tell you how many people or employers I’ve heard in recent years talk about the unreliability of many in the work force, which is very sad.

We learn these traits and functions from our parents, friends, and broader family. As a community, society, country, or world, we thrive when dependability abounds, and fall apart when it is in short supply.

On the other hand, the opposite of dependability is failing to follow through on a promise or job. Carol Gignoux, a prominent thought leader on the subject of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, (ADHD) reminds folks that “There is no better way to show that you value your job than by showing up consistently and getting the work done without a fuss.” This is not easy, especially if someone struggles with attention deficit as an adult. Coaching programs can help.

We want reliable cars. We want mail that gets delivered in a reasonable amount of time. It comes down to managing our commitments, points out another advisor, Lee Colan at We especially want and need reliable financial advisors.

But we can walk through the challenges and difficulties that come our way when we have people around us who support us, whom we can lean on, whom we can trust.

This Christmas season, I am newly grateful for those who have supported us in this past year and I hope you can treasure those who’ve done that for you. In this difficult year—shall we say the second difficult year in a row—grab on to and praise, compliment, or thank those who’ve been bedrock for you.

Did you ever start a project that was a challenge for you? How did it go? We’d love to hear!

Or, what are you especially grateful for this year?

Send your thoughts or comments to or Another Way Media, P.O. Box 363, Singers Glen, VA 22834.

Another Way is a column by Melodie Davis, in syndication since 1987. She is the author of nine books. Another Way columns are posted at a week after newspaper publication.  

  1. By word and example you have beautifully described “dependable,” like bedrock: a foundation you can build on. I celebrate my alliance with the one like your Stuart whom I met on this very day 56 years ago. We are the fortunate ones.

    Thank you, Melodie!

  2. Yes, I saw your “anniversary” of meeting. Glad i could read about it in your book. 🙂 Thanks for being such a faithful commenter! I’m just a few hundred miles up the road from you right now,, almost on the NC/SC line. 🙂

  3. From Pat C.

    Actually my biggest project was two—helping my then 18-year-old son recover from a life threatening skiing accident, which took years. Then seven years later helping my husband recover from his. Both of them were in comas and my husband also got meningitis in addition to his coma and the subsequent loss of his teaching position. Both of them have now passed away, but I tried to do my best.
    Sent from my iPhone

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