Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Walking On Sunshine

Sunday was my annual all-day meeting for my sorority team.  And it was awesome.  This is our third year doing this mini-retreat and it is getting better every year.  It's such a great time to connect socially with the other advisors and officers, as well as work on projects and topics that are often over-looked by time constraints.  It's amazing how much good can happen when you take the time to share a meal and laugh with people.  It makes the mass quantities of emails that bounce between us each moth feel a little more personal. 

I just cannot say enough about my positive state when leaving that meeting.  Thinking about it on Sunday night, I was just as cheery as could be.  Truly walking on sunshine thinking about this team of wonderful women.  Such a fantastic way to start off our year.  The last team I worked with was amazing and I really felt that they would be hard to match in diligence and enthusiasm and general awesomeness.  I know it's only month one of the new team, but so far they have nothing but impressed me.  After five years, I think I am finally getting the hang of this advising business.  'Bout damn time I found my groove! 

Mark those words...they probably mean that doom and gloom are on the horizon. 

People often give me snide comments on my participation with my two volunteer organizations.  Most ask why I do it and why I don't get paid on a fairly regular basis.  I'm a bit tired of defending myself so let me just take a moment to clarify right here and now.  I don't get paid because hello, I volunteer.  And I do it because I LOVE it.  I do not love every moment.  But hey, even parents will tell you that they don't love every moment of parenting.  I'm pretty sure the "terrible twos" was not named by some momma running around telling people how fabulous her kids are.  No, she was wearing one shoe and crying in the corner next to the toddler flailing in a tantrum on the floor, with food all over both of them and hair that has not been brushed in four days because she is sick but doesn't have time to take care of her own needs.  But she loves being a parent.  Just not every moment of the program.  Same goes for my volunteer gigs.  Sure, I vent sometimes.  I have encountered a lot of vent-worthy events over the years.  This month alone I have cried actual tears at least a half dozen times.  But I still love it.  I love the interaction.  I love those tiny and rarely seen moments when I can make a difference.  And I love how my kids make me laugh.  They are funny little teenagers who think they know it all, can wear it all, can do it all, and have masses of time to figure it all out.  Oh to be 19 again...  I volunteer because I am passionate about these two organizations and think that they are truly anchors for goodness in society. 

Of course I lead because I am a sucker who has "cannot say no" embroidered on her forehead.  But that's a whole separate issue.

Do y'all volunteer your time anywhere?  Are you forever explaining how you chose to spend your time working with your chosen groups?

13 comments:

Jen said...

That is super sad that you're forever "explaining" your volunteering...some people are so weird! Maybe I don't do enough of it b/c the things that I do, DO don't get questioned!!

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Annie said...

Oh glad you had so much fun hanging with others for sorority! I don't think much is more rewarding than giving back to your chapter and sorority!

Glitterista said...

I'm so glad you had such a fun and productive retreat! I look forward to someday living closer to a collegiate chapter of my sorority so I can volunteer in a more hands-on way. :)

Susan said...

All of my extra time (Ha...can't remember the last time I had extra time)goes to my kiddos school. I volunteer in the art dept, the lunch room, the class room, the office, baking for bake sales and taking over projects.
I don't do a lot community wise, but will be participating in a community garden project, however, I don't see how that benefits the community because the vegetables are coming home with me. I'd like to do something for the community though. I do volunteer my medical services every year to the 9 News Health Fair. Does that count?

Bella Michelle said...

1st let me say...the sisters are sisters for life (even when they come from different Chapters)!

I am a professional voluteer as well. At one point in my life my volunteering led to a paid position which I loved but now that I am again in the throes of volunteering (with the Symphony Guild in my town and my Garden Club) I love it. You go where your hearts leads...it is in the plan!

thepreppyprincess said...

Good for you Miss Crocodile, it sounds like you had a really rewarding time! And honestly, you shouldn't have to explain your volunteer activities to anyone, not only is it none of their business, as you point out, it is *volunteering*!

Sending you a smile,
tp

The Southern Lady said...

Good morning from Tokyo!

Let me just say that I think it's wonderful that you give of your time~and yourself~without the expectation of compensation. I mean, you do get compensated, just not in a monetary way. I appreciate that you value the difference.

My heart just hurts for those who think the only way to earn something is with a dollar sign attatched.

Good for you for finding something that stirs your passions! Giving back is often preached, yet seldom seen.

I have yet to join a volunteer organization in Tokyo, but I have found a few that I'm interested in. The trick for me, unfortunately, is finding one that will allow me to bring my little guy with me.

Take care and have a wonderful day!

Warmly,

Elizabeth

Ruth said...

I am an officer an my sorority alum group. And I usually spend some time each year working on items towards Relay for Life now that I am not on the committee.
People who don't volunteer at some point in their lives are missing out.

Pennsylvania Prep said...

I get the same questions all the time too! Someone once asked me if I would still volunteer even if no one knew about it...and the answer is YES!! It's not about getting paid or getting rewarded or having everyone know you volunteer. You do it because you love it and it makes a positive difference. Keep it up!! :)


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garden state prep said...

Oh that is such an amazing feeling - enjoy it! I completely understand having to justify volunteering to other people. I get frustrated with comments about how "this isn't your full time job so don't stress about it" because I view my volunteer gigs as commitments and can't go halfway. For me I volunteer for organizations I feel passionate about. I'm a sorority advisor because it's my little tiny way to give back to an organization that's such a huge part of who I am. I volunteer for my alma mater and my church because both are very near to my heart.

Prep In the Midwest said...

What sorority were you in?? Are you an advisor? How did you get back involved?

Miss Southern Prep said...

I'm sorry that you have to keep defending your volunteering! I think that's so rude that people continue to ask you, it's none of their business!

sede said...

wow! getting to do what you love means a lot, one would not care for money when it's something you happily do.
just enjoy your thing and the rest will see and understand that.
have a nice day :)

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