Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Why Not?

My personal philosophy is that we should all give more to our community than we receive. When I was 11, I first heard John F. Kennedy's inauguration speech. I embraced his, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." Even though I was Canadian.
You need to know I have been a community and church volunteer since I was 10. When I volunteer, I put my whole heart and soul into it. I have worked at it an average of 10 hrs/week. 
Volunteering has been as important to me as it was to the people I helped. I got my kicks out of helping people. Knowing I made a difference in that one life at that one moment was how I found fulfillment.
In Nov '07, I felt like I was supposed to quit all volunteering. I didn't believe it so I didn't say anything. But I still had this nagging feeling. It wasn't like God was audibly telling me to quit. It was just this impression that I needed to get other people to start doing the things I was doing. 
Finally, in Jan '08, I told my executive director I was going to step down as of April 30th. She asked me who could do the various things I was doing. We began seeking these people out, and getting things lined up. I started telling people because I figured if I didn't, I wouldn't quit. 

My 1-year sabbatical from volunteer work is up at the end of this month. It's hard for me to believe I'm not ready to start volunteering again. It has been great to not have to worry about anyone but my family for a year. To just focus on my kids and my husband. To focus on me and learn my new roles. Learn my new city.
I am so thrilled our leadership team at J's work (our church) understand this and have not pressured me. It means the world to me to be given this time with my family. There have been a couple times when I could have easily slipped into volunteering at our new church, or Motor Mouth's school. I am so all about being on a PTO/PTA. I am so all about volunteering in multiple areas in our church.
To be honest, I did 'slip' 3 times. I ran words for J one service, helped a friend in the church office get some minor shopping done for a conference, and made cornbread muffins for a homeless shelter.  
Ooops! 3 1/2 times. I bought some fixings for a meal for a homeless shelter but didn't end up helping my mom's group put it together...
No one is pressuring me to start volunteering with/for them. And that is good. I wouldn't want to do anything until school is out in June, anyway. But still, July and August are looming and then there is September, with all that extra time if both kids are in a brick and mortar school. 
I don't have any desire to volunteer. I thought I would be chomping at the bit. I'm not. I see other people filling roles. Honestly, after 28 years, it's kinda nice to see the younguns step up and get involved. 
I'll get involved again. But slowly. Slowly. Slowly. Just an hour/month here. A casserole to a new mom there. Slowly. Slowly. 
...Um...That's what I say now...
Come back in 6 months


Anonymous said...

AMEN sister!!!! Kudos for your church not pressuring you!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

You know where I am about volunteering, but I so applaud this. And Widney, there were times when I didn't lift a finger for anyone but my family, because that's what they (and I) needed right then.

And there were always places that needed help when I was ready again.

Follow your heart. You still have little ones. And as you well know, there are so many one-day stints out there. Maybe you'd all enjoy walking to raise money for the humane society, or joining one of the America's Bake Sale projects, or whatever. Do something fun with the kids.

Shutting up now. ;-)


Jen - You never have to shut up! Your advice is always great. You are always welcome to give me your motherly wisdom. I like the the ideas a lot. Stuff I didn't think about.

Anon #2 - I've missed you!! You can give me advice too. Love ya, D!!