On the plus sides of volunteering

I continued breaking my pattern today! I slept in a bit, but then I had a meeting through most of the afternoon, and after getting ahead on some grass cutting (and getting Hubby to help, while the boy sorted and folded some laundry), I went to a fellow volunteer’s house to help cut up 50-50 draw tickets, and I ended up spending the whole evening there. 

Marvelous. 

I am not used to having adult-time outside of school. Normally, aside from the kids’ activities, once I’m home, I’m home. I’m in for the night. Occasionally this bothers me. I get jealous of my hubby’s involvement in his different volunteer groups, although he’s always been very appreciative of the support I give him for them. He’s told me over and over that without having his back, by being home with the kids, he wouldn’t be able to go out and help others through Victims Services, the Lodge, or Shriners. And I get that, I really do.

But some nights, I crave that grownup time. I adore my children, of course, yet we need breaks from each other. I used to volunteer a lot in high school, but my time declined in university and turned into extracurriculars after I started teaching, so in recent years, the majority of my volunteering has been with young people, relating to the school. 

I spent about eight hours today amongst adults with whom I have other things in common, working on a goal, no kids in the vicinity needing my attention or to have something explained or needing boundaries or with fights requiring mediation. 

Glorious.

I really think that getting involved in community things is essential for good mental health. I can feel the lift in myself, partly from breaking out of my typical weekend rut. Mind you, my house didn’t get any cleaner, and other stuff I have to get at didn’t get done, but at least I’m not feeling gloomy or down. My kids were a bit shocked that I was going out on a school night, but I think it’s good for them, too. 

So, if you are in a rut or need to make friends, I highly recommend taking a chance on volunteering for something, even if it’s just one night a week. Go with a friend if you’re shy. Make this summer your summer of giving back and spreading good energy in your community! 

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