After settling into our retired-life routine, I found (believe it or not) there were scattered hours each day that I had nothing to do. My little brain started twitching, searching for ideas to fill that void; my husband just shook his head.
My thoughts turned to my community. Every community needs volunteers – worker bees to help the wheels of life turn better, encourage and get things done to help each other move ever so slowly forward. I surveyed the groups in my town and came across a young organization that counseled people who were struggling with new ideas to positively correct their children when they, say, threw themselves down in the middle isle of the grocery store, kicking and screaming about what a terrible mom you are for not letting them have the junk food of their immediate choice; and everyone is looking at you. I became a counselor.
Of course, I was the last to know that they were very shorthanded and ended up working (free) 20-25 hours a week. From that point on I did more research on the groups I decided to get involved with.
N.O.S.D.A (No One Shall Die Alone) made me feel like the grim reaper after my first four terminal clients died the night after I sat with them. American Cancer Society was fulfilling until the local ladies knitting group filled up the hours to sit and knit and insist that the only help available was $25 gas cards - wrong. EMS - now there was a job I could really feel good about and didn’t even mind that most of the calls were in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, I had forgotten that I get motion sickness and had to quit when I felt guilty being sicker in front of the victim we were transporting.
There were many many other groups I tried that all turned out to be little pockets of gossipy hell. I stepped back a bit and looked hard at other groups before jumping in. Aha! The historical society and the Rebekahs … perfect - both low keyed and educated/uplifted my community. Here it comes … I jumped in at the beginning of both their busy seasons. One with fund-raisers, back-to-back, to keep them going, and one organizing luncheons and activities to get both old and young into the fresh spring air and out of the doldrums of winter. After a grueling three weeks, falling into bed at 8:30 p.m., my loving, encouraging husband posed the question to me: “Which half of ‘no’ do you not understand?” Guess that’s why he gets the big bucks!
Have a great day and watch out for the quicksand.