Golden Boomer Reflections – Savoring each step on the way…. Volunteering is Booming- but why arenâ€™t I?
As I attended the Volunteer Recognition Breakfast yesterday, I reflected on what makes Senior members of society enjoy these senior years. In attendance were members that have been volunteering at a very large and active senior center, some for over 30 years. Many of these folks are in their â€™80s and â€™90s with a couple centigenarians in the mix. Not only were they getting breakfast for giving of their time on a regular basis, quite a few of them got up to demonstrate country line dancing to others.
As I looked around and reflected on my own efforts this past year, I was humbled by realizing that my efforts were just a drop in the bucket compared to many there. Even though I did my weekly stint as hostess at the front desk, played Mrs. Santa Claus at the holiday fair, and dressed in Boots & Bow Ties for the gala, my efforts paled when compared to others.
Yet, I hesitate to volunteer for more activities, so I question myself, why? Even though I moved to my 55+ Community because it was next door to this senior facility and hoped that I could be active for the next couple of decades, I find myself dragging my feet to get involved with any more activities. Where does this hesitancy stem from? I shouldnâ€™t feel guilty. After all, during the pandemic, I was over there 4 days a week for hours at a time volunteering by checking folks in (Meals on Wheels drivers, staff, dancing members, etc.) so that business could continue as much as possible. This involved taking temperatures, and making sure we knew who was in the building just in case the virus hit and we had to quarantine.
So whereâ€™s my hesitancy coming from? I thought at first it was because maybe Iâ€™m burnt out. Iâ€™ve volunteered all my life starting with being a scout leader at 19, to helping keep time at swim meets, to encouraging an adoption support group, and a grandparents support group, to multiple church roles, and more. Iâ€™ve held back on joining a church for that specific reason, I donâ€™t want to volunteer any more right now.
Is it because I had an intense family life with lots of family members depending on me for support (and still do)? Or do I just need a break and time to reach for my own bucket list goals? Yes, I have travel plans in the works for the next couple of years, but as I plan those trips, I still seem to have a plethora of time on my hands in between. Why am I hesitant?
Iâ€™m still trying to figure that outâ€¦. maybe I just need time to replenish my energiesâ€¦ take the time to smell the pollen that makes me sneeze, and savor the glimpses of the goslings that just hatched in the pond, and just take time to detail those travel plans. Maybe my energy and enthusiasm for volunteering will returnâ€¦. When I boomerang back from my travelsâ€¦.