You’re Welcome

Maeve and I volunteering at the Elliott School in the North End

Now that I am my old self again — well, mostly, except for the plethora of scars that now adorn my body plus the new hair,  and half  a fake rack–  I have become tired of thinking about myself and my ailments, sick of focusing on my body and my health.  Whenever there is upheavel in our lives, be it health issues or the death of a loved one, we immediately turn inward and become self-absorbed.  This is not necessarily a bad thing.  I believe it is necessary for self-preservation. Grieving in any form is very taxing on body and soul and requires many hours of quiet reflection in order to heal.  But once the tragedy has passed or at least moved  to the recesses of our minds it becomes necessary to turn our gaze outward again.

So I joined the organization called Boston Cares.  This organization was started by a few grad students who thought people may not have the time or resources to volunteer at the same time every week so they set up a web site driven system where, after an hour-long orientation, volunteers can go to their site and pick and choose the projects they want to work on at their own convenience.  So I may be able to give 2 hours this month and 20 next month.  The wonderful part of this is that my kids can come with me and they get their hours tracked on-line as community service for things like CCD and high school requirements.  Not to mention it helps my narcissistic darlings  look outward as well.

These opportunities are anywhere from Lowell to Boston and run the gamut from working in soup kitchens to building playgrounds, folding clothes in warehouses to making recess books in the North End (see photo of Maeve and I).  I highly recommend this organization to anyone who is interested.  So many days I think that I am overwhelmed and unable to fit another thing into a 24 hour period, but you would be surprised how much you can help someone in 2 hours –and most of these projects are only that–a small amount of time that you may be wasting on face book or perhaps reading this blog!

Last year at this time I was thanking all of you for your help and support over the previous year.  This year I am hoping to start a new trend where I am available to others in need which will give me the opportunity to say “you are welcome” more often than I say “thank you.”

Happy Thanksgiving!

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About francesbarrie

Cancer survivor,mom,triathlete,writer,jewelry maker, baker. Staying happy and healthy,living life and enjoying it one moment at a time.
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5 Responses to You’re Welcome

  1. Karen says:

    What a wonderful program! And what a wonderful you for doing it!!

    Love and Happy Thanksgiving!

    Paul and Karen

  2. Karen says:

    Sounds awesome – I am going to look into this as I really need to start teaching my kids something about giving back to someone other than themselves. Might be World War 3 getting them out of the house, but it is so worth it. Thanks for the inspiration Fran and Happy Thanks Day to you and your family!! Love, Karen

  3. Rachel says:

    This sounds great, Fran–thanks for sharing the information
    and for sharing yourself.
    I wish you, Mark and the kids a Great Thanksgiving!

  4. Don Twomey says:

    Frannie,

    It was great to catch up with your blog — I just read the last few entries. What an interesting record. By reading all these in sequence I have a greater appreciation for the overused term “process.” At the beginning of anything horrible, everyone says “it’s a process.” They tell you to expect stages, regressions, emotional highs and lows, periods where things seem almost normal, and other times when the only normal is panic. And you’re supposed to patiently sit back and say, it’s all OK, it’s all part of the process.

    But then I read this blog, and say “gee, that was some process.”

    How wonderful to have this joyous, giving, thanksgiving, accepting and getting on with it next stage — of the process.

    Love, love, love,

    Donald

  5. kathy says:

    happy new year, i’ll drink to hair>>

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