Daily Archives: August 4, 2009

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Notes from Val’s Desk

August 4, 2009 by in category Archives tagged as , ,

  • This blog is writing related only in the sense that I’m writing it. And, (to those who know me) sometimes I like to begin with the definition of my “topic” word, which in this case is quite impressive.

So here it is:

vol·un·teer (noun)
· a person who chooses freely to do or offer to do something
· a person who chooses freely to enter into any transaction with no promise of compensation
· a person who serves as volunteer, usually without compensation
· a person who freely chooses to offer or give without being asked or obliged

I am by nature a very curious person. When I was growing up, my mother (who was handicapped and never wanted to be noticed) always made me sit quietly and watch. Watching is definitely not my idea of having fun. As a result, I became a first-class observer and an excellent listener. It took a few years to take that first step, but I finally got my butt off the bench and have been running ever since. Today I am a dyed-in-the-wool VOLUNTEER and darn proud of it.

It’s so much better to be involved than sit on the sidelines. To me, it’s like looking at sparkling Christmas lights through a window and wanting to touch. Today, and with no regrets, I think about the adventures I’ve had, the places I’ve been, the interesting people I never would have met and the wonderful friendships I’ve made. I’ve learned and developed new skills from artfully arranging goodies on a tray to getting up and speaking to a room full of people. Volunteering doesn’t have to be vocal; what you do can be done “behind the scenes” as well. But most important is the feeling of satisfaction knowing that your efforts may have contributed to something or someone in a positive way.

Maybe you say you don’t have the time or worse, you’re all volunteered-out. I took a little hiatus from volunteering just once. It didn’t take long for me to realize that a part of my life was missing—that connection with people and what was happening out there in the world. I couldn’t wait to get back in the game and I did.

I have to be honest. More than once I should have said “no” instead of “yes” and then felt burdened with a little too much to do. So do your homework. Be realistic about how much time you are willing to devote so you won’t “burn out.” What are you interested in? What will give you the greatest satisfaction? What would make your life a little more interesting? Find that event or group you’d like to be a part of—they may need you as much as you need them.

Now, get out there and volunteer for something!!!

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