I figured that being furloughed would be like practicing for retirement. So it’s been surprising to me that I’m struggling. I’m not as happy as I thought I would be and some days it’s felt like time is stretching out endlessly in front of me. Last weekend I sat myself down (well, figuratively) to try to grapple with my problem.
It didn’t take long to realize that furlough during shelter-in-place is NOT like practicing for retirement, so my expectations were out of whack. Although I had never actually planned my retirement, I did have some things that I wanted to do when I had the time – volunteering was big on the list. I want to volunteer at my neighborhood library, the Crisis Nursery, Feed My Starving Children, maybe the Arboretum or even one of the zoos (although I expect there is a pretty good waiting line for these spots). I know I wouldn’t be a good Humane Society volunteer; not sure I could pass the training and even if I did, I’d probably end up with six cats and seven dogs by the end of my first week. For now, volunteering in person is off my table.
After some thought, I decided that I COULD contribute by making and sending cards. Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve seen few card-making opportunities online in which organizations are soliciting card donations to send to sick kids, folks in essential services jobs and medical personnel and decided that this is right up my alley; I have a passion for it AND I don’t need to leave the house for supplies – I can easily make cards for months without having to get anything (yeah, I know, kinda sad)!
I’ve sent off two packets so far for essential services folks and also a stack of medical personnel cards as well (see photo). When it rains next, I’ll spend a day doing cards for kids. It’s not exactly a new lease on life but I find that I’m feeling a little better this week. I also decided to make garden thank you cards – for letting people know that I appreciate their gardens on my daily walk. And, of course, if anybody needs any cards – I’m your gal – just let me know!
Do you have any favorite volunteer gigs when we’re not sheltering in place?