Thursday, September 12, 2013

Joy in the Morning

   Joy: It's as potent as the strongest prescription pain reliever.
  You see, each week  I run a raucous "Reading Club"  at an inner city Ohio school. It's the kind of school that offers both free breakfasts and free lunches because the children come from families that are (choose one or more) very poor/disorganized/ neglectful/in another bad situation. It's depressing to think about what these kids don't have, and uplifting to do a little bit to help.

    I love what I do!

   I read lots of fun stories - ones featuring mischievous characters and animals are the biggest hits - and give out a treat because "reading is sweet." My helper  of the day gets to tear open my gift-wrapped Mystery Word and keep my pile of books straight.

  There are lots of cheers and enthusiasm. The teacher has tipped me off about a couple of children who have especially tough situations; I am able to give them a little TLC with an extra smile, by adapting a book to include a child's situation, etc.

   I get to be creative, to actually do something to help the world instead of just bitching about the world's always growing problems. I also get a TON of little kid hugs, which, as a mom of two teens, is great. In a teeny- tiny way, I also get to help the teacher with her awesome goal of making first grade positive.
   And, there's an amazing perk: total distraction from any pain I may be experiencing. 

                                  If You Don't Have a Source of Joy, You Can Get One.

Think about what you like to do - not what you  should like to do, but what you really like to do. 
Think about your personal values. Do you have a passion for justice? A love of beauty or        
     animals? Again, try think about what you actually value.   Call your local volunteer hotline or center to see what opportunities exist. Sunday newspaper  feature sections also offer volunteer jobs. Apply only for jobs that truly interest you; even if a job stuffing envelopes is for a good cause, if you hate stuffing envelopes, you will focus on your pain.

 Before you sign up for a job, make sure the volunteer director understands you have pain      
     problems that ebb and flow. Don't spend a minute being more uncomfortable than you have to be: 
     It's OK to skip a day now and then - if it won't be, it's not the job for you.




1 comment:

  1. Thank you for visiting my blog and leaving a comment. I enjoyed this post so much! I love that you did this. What a wonderful volunteer job to work with children!

    Mrs. White