One of the things I swore I would not
do post "retirement" was over commit.
Yet slowly... I've said yes to bits and
pieces that are quickly becoming more
than enough to fill my days and nights.
Part of my dilemma is the more that I
assimilate into the local community,
the more I feel the need to contribute.
However, many expect people like me
to be workers rather than queen bees.
And given I've spent most of my life
telling others what to do... that's not
going to happen! So, how can I help?
Ready, willing, and able
At this point I've finally learned to play
it smart. So while I think it's wonderful
that some are standing ready to load up
their pickups, clean basements, bake a
cake, or pour wine - I'm not that kind
of volunteer. It's been said that "a mind
is a terrible thing to waste." So please,
leverage my intellectual assets instead
of assuming I'm slave labor. Post years
of experience, why sweat the small stuff
when we can think big?! I know better
than to waste your time or mine. Let's
take us BOTH to a better place... now!
There has to be some value to having
been there done that. Therefore it's
important to give back. We each are
an amalgam of our experiences. The
end result is an older and much wiser
volunteer. However even an old dog
can still learn a new trick or two or...
Thus being out and about interacting
with all sorts of people can benefit
all involved including you. So even
if you're a bit overwhelmed at times,
having a full calendar is much more
beneficial that sitting at home alone.
When is the last time you truly gave
a part of yourself to others?! More
important - back to your community
at large? It's much easier to sit back
and wait for something to happen.
And even easier to bitch and moan
when nothing beneficial occurs. Yet
to actually be proactive requires an
emotional or physical commitment.
The extra effort will not only make
your life better... it just might make
another's all the better. Which is
why we must all step up and serve.
Lewistown boasts just under six
thousand resident. Yet it impacts
all who live in the surrounding
Fergus Country area. Starting in
October - something new is about
to happen. The Rural Community
Assistance Corporation is coming
to town. Since the late seventies
this team has been helping small
towns work together to achieve
more than imaginable. All through
education, motivation, and local
efforts. We can make a difference!
I can't help but wonder how many local
residents will actually raise their hands
to attend. Open invitation aside, the first
phase requires that all involved commit
four full days to training sessions. After
that the real work starts. Ultimately the
process of getting from here to there will
take approximately three years. Yet isn't
making our collective dreams come true
worth that time and effort? All that we
value is already here in town. Thus why
not do our best to make our community
even better? Together we are stronger.
The best laid plans
Whatever you do - please do something.
Somehow, someway a bit of extra effort
benefits all involved. So whether that's
sweeping the pavement, planting a tree,
tutoring a child, teaching Sunday School,
or parking cars at the fair - JUST DO IT.
In the end little else matters than sharing
one's time, skills, and knowledge with the
rest of us. So even if you're burned out -
light a fire under yourself and turn up
the heat. Unless we all give something
back - we'll have nothing left except
ourselves to thank. For nothing that is...