I’ve noticed a trend in my life and my thinking … I get frustrated and I second guess myself the most when I feel that I’m being ineffective. Now that can be in any facet of my life … it could be because of a proposal I write at work that feels incomplete or rushed due to other deadlines; the stack of unread books by my bedside; the relationships I neglect because of the upcoming wedding and my crazy work schedule … you get the picture.
I’ve been feeling particularly bad lately because I have emails piling in from my local Red Cross chapter. A friend of mine and I signed up as volunteers over a year ago and in that year, we have responded to … you guess it … no natural disasters. Although I feel a bit sheepish for my apathy, a lot of emails I get call for week-long assignments. My professional life would be turned upside down if I took a week off without advance warning.
As soon as the wedding is over, I’m going to renew my commitment to serving my community. When I lived in Northfield, I was very fortunate to get involved in a mentoring program. The year that I spent mentoring “my” 13-year-old girl was such a great time. I sometimes think that being a mentor did more for me, when I think about how mentoring served as a mental health break for me during hectic work days, than it probably did for my mentee.
Although I have past experience as a volunteer, I think I’m like the majority of people when I think about volunteering: When am I going to have time for that? When I was in Northfield, I was lucky to work for an employer who was passionate about having employees active in the community and it was built into my work week.
I recognize that this time around, I’m probably going to have to donate time after my work day is over, but I think it will be worth it.
I’m going to find volunteer opportunities through my community’s local United Way, but other places you can look are places like your local food shelves (methinks there’s plenty of opportunity there given the state of the economy). I also found this website called Volunteer.gov. It’s more for volunteering in national parks, but that might trip some peoples’ triggers.
Working on Your Debt?
Join our FREE newsletter to get even more helpful tips straight to your inbox.