[The title of this post appears with apologies to The Beastie Boys]
Whilst wallowing in sadness and self-doubt, despondency and dread last year, I must have said about one thousand times to The Husband that I felt “useless”, that I was “making no valuable contribution to the world” (because, obviously, motherhood doesn’t count), that I had “no purpose”.
The Husband happens to be the Director of Philanthropic Services for a well-regarded company, and is constantly exposed to many, many different people and organisations in great need.
About one thousand times he said to me, “Why don’t you volunteer?”
And finally, finally, I did.
I contacted Marrickville Council, was put in touch with the Absolutely Amazing Social Support Program Officer of the Tom Foster Community Care Centre, and signed on as a volunteer with the social support service. I love it all. The Absolutely Amazing Social Support Program Officer is one of the most incredible people I have ever met. The other staff and volunteers are beautiful, caring people. The people we help have all different kinds of needs, come from all kinds of backgrounds, and have life stories that, quite frankly, put one’s own problems into perspective.
I debated with myself whether or not to write this post. Rest assured I am not doing it a demonstrate what a wonderful human being I am blah blah. I decided to proceed for two reasons: 1 – If you can, I urge you to become a volunteer. There is a huge need for all kinds of help out there. 2 – A common theme in my self-help reading immersion program is the notion of service, of giving thanks for the blessings in your life by giving back.
In short, I stopped whining, started doing, and I feel a hell of a lot better for it.
In fact, I have enjoyed the sense of community involvement so much I have taken this new part of my life further. I am now a fully-fledged member of Captain Chatterbox’s school P&C, comprised of a fine group of truly caring, involved parents and school staff members. I am so excited about the projects planned for the school this year! I am also, as unlikely as it sounds, now the Team Manager of Captain Chatterbox’s Under 6 soccer team. Hilarious, I know, but it’ll be so much fun!
“Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it. You must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it.” Elizabeth Gilbert, “Eat, Pray Love”