Today, I did two unrelated volunteer services in the span of six hours. I was completely exhausted, then felt energized, and now I’m slowly mellowing. I like doing volunteer service. It makes me feel good and I love seeing happiness on other people’s faces.
I taught my student some things about Congress today. I’m going to admit, throughout the lesson, I felt like she was growing frustrated or couldn’t concentrate. I don’t blame her. I was feeling anxious and restless the whole lesson. Time didn’t seem to be moving fast enough and I went through all my activities, including the back-up. I even had the thought, “Why am I doing this? I’m insane! I can’t teach anyone anything. What made me think I could teach someone what’s on the citizenship test? She’s going to fail and it’ll be because of me.” And it was only the second class! I had a rough time convincing myself I’m going to get experience with this and I’ll get better.
That whole ‘law of attraction’ thing doesn’t work with me. I’ve got the opposite effect. When I think I’ve done something really well, I do horribly instead. I’ve got a track record with this. So instead of trying to convince myself to be positive, I’ll take things slowly and get my satisfaction after everything’s done.
My second volunteer thing is a program called U-FIT. The past couple of weeks, my kid was hit with a serious mommy phase. He would started crying (often as early as 15 minutes into the program…) and I’d have to sit with him as he felt bad. But today? Today I saw the kid I met the first day of the program. He was giggling and smiling and talked about all the nonsense three year olds like to talk about. How milk made his bones stronger and water made his muscles stronger. He kept telling me, “If you drink more milk, you’ll have bones like daddy!” It was so precious. I loved every second of it. I missed this kind of silly attitude. I needed it, honestly. College has been stressing me out terribly as of late, and in the span of 2 hours, this three year old made me forget I have massive projects and papers to do.
I missed the free pizza the U-FIT crew was giving out (boooooo), but I got a free shirt because I showed dedication and commitment. When I got that shirt, it didn’t mean anything. But when I got home and looked at it properly, I grinned uncontrollably and got this little spring in my step. This shirt means something to me. I made a child happy and I gave his parents a little help in dealing with a three year old and a five year old with Asperger’s.
I think the reason I like volunteer service so much is seeing the happiness and smiles on the faces of those I’ve helped. That’s enough of a reward. Sure, it’s hard at first, but it’ll get easier. I’ll get into the grove of things, and those smiles will reward me. It’s the best thing I can ask for, honestly.