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.”