Hi, You Kindred Spirit Volunteer Moms,
Yesterday was Memorial Day. A red-letter day for Volunteer Moms. Officially – the end of something important – the season – and the beginning of something else important – the summer. Your final push to be sure you’ve run through the note cards with your student one last time before final exams, and that teachers have end-of-the-school-year-gifts. The less tangible moving parts, dealing with that large lump in your throat and tears on your cheeks, as your child completes a school year, maybe even celebrates a graduation milestone, is almost behind you.
And with a bit of luck, you can push away most of your structured volunteer work for the summer, and breathe in really deep. Time to stare at a lake, the ocean, or trees and sky, while stretching out on the grass. But also, kicking off whatever shoes you wear for your regular life, and making time…you time. Yep, and wiggling your toes.
Last weekend I released some of the year’s pent-up stress, thanks to delightful Denver and my family. Here I am in the Botanical Garden with my beautiful daughters.
I was also the happy recipient of a fantastic massage. Angela, the masseuse, a small woman with chestnut-colored hair pulled back in a ponytail, snappy brown eyes and a caring smile, said, “we need to make you as healthy on the inside as you look on the outside.”
Hmmmm. The assessment of my insides maybe wasn’t so far off the mark.
As Angela pummeled my shoulders, she punctuated each chop of her hands with a “you’re-going-to-be-so-much-better-if-we-can-just get-some-of-these-knots-out. Why–so-much-tension-in-your-shoulders?”
Amazing how muscles from my jaw down to my feet clench when my Volunteer Mom is in high gear and high heels. Heavens knows it was high time to release all those tight muscles running down my neck.
“Do you sleep on your side?” Angela asked. “Your left shoulder blade protrudes forward.”
Bam, as my daughter Sarah says.
“Try sleeping on your back with a pillow under the back of your knees,” she advised. “That way your shoulder will feel better and your organs won’t all smush together.”
Today, I’m a better woman. Maybe it was the deep breathing exercises Angela recommended, as well as the top-of-the-line massage. She also recommended doing Daily Salutations, a combination of stretching and yoga-like exercises, you can do at home in about three minutes. She led me through them while I was still bundled in the too-big white terry cloth robe. The first exercise is as easy as leaning backwards three times.
Today, I’m jelly. Apricot jelly. (Helped along just a bit by the ice and Ibuprofen I needed for initially even-sorer muscles!) Shades of sunshine and freedom. Today, at least.
Wouldn’t it be great to make it last all summer? Not sure about you, but my ‘professional’ volunteer career status doesn’t get checked in at the end of the school year like a stack of classroom workbooks. My Heart Ball Chairmanship never sleeps.
I hope I can at least slow it down. Keep wiggling my toes. Hope you can, too. And please, tell Michele and me how to keep those toes a wiggling, even when the volunteer work keeps on a coming….