Say it with me: Volunteer Sabbatical. I made the decision in March, but only this week did I feel the enormity of my actions. Right there in the frozen foods aisle of Smart & Final when I couldn’t find the frozen meatballs I’d been planning on passing off as my own for the International Heritage Day Picnic, I knew I was done. Toasted. Burnt out after years of raising my hand to say, “Yes, I’ll do that/bring that/run that.” The lack of meatballs was a metaphor for something, but I couldn’t figure out what because I was too spent. The time to walk away had come and I’d already take the first major step.
Volunteer Sabbatical, here I come.
After a year(s) of outside commitments at two schools and my college, I decide to step away from all binding volunteer activities starting in June. When I said my first “no” in March to remaining on the PTA board at my son’s high school, I felt an enormous weight lifted from my shoulders . It was such a life-affirming feeling, I thought I should take a deeper look inside at what all my various volunteers commitments has wrought. The hours weren’t huge and I did love the sense of camaraderie with the other volunteers, but I had lost my zeal. Even 3 or 4 hours a week was starting to bring me down when I paired it with work, home, family time and a growing need to be a caregiver. With a son applying to college in the fall and a father entering the final stages of Alzheimer’s, the upcoming year looked like the perfect time to take care of family first. Like a tenured professor who needed recharging, I cooked up the concept of a Volunteer Sabbatical– a year off with the promise to come back renewed and refreshed.
Do I feel guilty? Not a bit. Someone will step in, they always do. And when I’m ready, I ‘ll start raising my hand again and putting my name on the list. But count me out from June 15, 2012 to June 15th , 2013. I’m counting the days until my last commitment is completed. Volunteer Short-timers, I guess.
Hear the full story on this week’s podcast Chaos Chronicles 513. Like the concept? Let you friends know about the Chaos Chronicles Podcast at Stitcher Radio and iTunes.
Also on the show this week:
Lian reaches her breaking point and declares a Volunteer Sabbatical!
Communication News: How to get what you want; Smartphone tech for home use; and we like twitter more than what?
Plus, Mothers Day Give-away and To Do List
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