“I’m a January kind of person,” Michele often says. The structure she creates to catapult her professional, volunteer and family life into New Year action turns me and everyone she knows downright green. Need how-to help converting New Year resolutions into habits? She’s your woman. A skilled systematizer and time-manager – for sure, and kind enough to take the time to share whatever works for her. Check out her favorite calendar-system recommendation on her first of the year VolunteerMom.com blog, as an example.
What makes my January happy? Reconnecting with volunteer friends, after holiday-filled family time, as we center in on 2014 volunteer commitments. Phone calls, emails and forms fly as we nominate friends for volunteer boards, as event chairmen and onto philanthropic event committees.
After the sheer burnout of the busy fall season’s plethora of volunteer commitments and charity events, January’s also a good time to commit to maintaining leaner volunteer commitments for the New Year. I did keep my intention last year for a more sensible volunteering palate. The downtime was nice. What I didn’t anticipate, though, was how much I’d miss my volunteer friends.
Last week, one of my girlfriends and I dashed around town impromptu style, to pick out invitations for a going-away party for one of our dearest volunteer friends, who is sadly, moving. We somehow managed to get in a car together, she in her tennis clothes and me in high heels and fresh from a meeting, and swing around town in search of the perfect invitations for our perfect friend.
“I missed you,” I said to her.
“I miss you, too. Why don’t we see each other more?” she asked.
Easy answer. We didn’t spend as much time together last year because we didn’t work on a volunteer project volunteer together. Volunteer time is pre-scheduled time. Seeing volunteer friends is one of the top perks of volunteering. Remembering this made me want to volunteer a little more this year. Now I just need a balance between over-scheduling and under-scheduling volunteer hours. Figuring out how to get it all just right, or better yet, just learning how to go with the flow of whatever bubbles up…