With so many of us heading back to school soon, I thought this post was worth refreshing!
With all the excitement of the new school year, I have an adrenaline rush and begin volunteering for things I have no business doing and often find myself over committed. Everyone also knows about the 80/20 rule; 20% of the people are volunteering to do 80% of the work which often makes for a group of volunteers who are trying to do the right thing but are struggling to be happy about it. This year I am determined to choose wisely and be intentional before I volunteer to take on additional opportunities.
Secondly I will evaluate if it is a good fit. I have an accounting degree and currently work with a university budget so volunteering to be the treasurer for the elementary PTO works well for me. The majority of the work can be done away from the school on my own time. The challenge is to sit on the PTO Board and be the treasurer and continue to “stay in my lane”. Boy oh boy do I struggle with this. As hard as I try to mind my own business when something comes up and needs a volunteer it is very hard for me to say no. Especially if the job is something that seems “fun”. There are multiple positions for a reason and once those positions are chosen everyone needs to focus on their job and stop trying to jump in the fast lane and pass up all the other cars. Staying in my lane means focusing on being the best at maintaining the books and providing the resources and reports our board needs to make decisions. Eek…this is going to be really hard for me but I’m really going to try this year to let everyone do their job without me running around stating my opinions about things as if they are facts!
Lastly, I will evaluate whether I really have the time. Often I find myself volunteering for things because I think I’m being judged if I don’t. The fact is I currently work out of the house full time and have a husband who commutes almost 2 hours one way every day. I am responsible for getting the kids to and from school and most activities pretty much every day. This is my season right now and no matter how much I would like to participate in activities at the kids school or in various service projects for local organizations or heck, even run to Wal-mart to pick up extra school supplies for the local stuff the bus; the fact is there are only so many hours in the day. I have a great job and we are fortunate and sometimes I have to remind myself that people who can write a check are just as important….so I just ordered a new box of checks because I’m going to need those this year! I want to do it all but at the end of the day this is not a competition and we are all just doing the best we can the best way we know how!
As an oldest child, I have a sincere desire to help others and please others. I also just love to be busy…all..the..time. Part of why I love volunteering is I want people to like me. Fact is..some people are just not going to like you and the sooner you can accept that in life the happier you will be. I mean, honestly, I do not “like” every person I encounter in life either so why in the world would I expect everyone to return the favor. R-E-S-P-E-C-T is where it’s at. I don’t have to like everyone but I do have to respect everyone. While I do not really see myself as one that likes to create drama, I do think my actions and reactions in some instances can feed the drama. I will be working very hard this year to just walk away and shut my mouth. Our preacher gave a sermon a few years back and one of the main points has stuck with me ever since. We often judge ourselves by our intentions but judge others by their actions. In most instances, whether in a volunteer situation or any other environment, most people have good intentions. My goal this year is to take that into consideration first…not after I’ve flown off the handle thinking someone has intentionally set out to ruin my life!
So far I am off to a great start and have actually said the word “NO” a few times once (gasp!). My kids have had homework done every night and we have been intentional about supporting each other at home with housework and meal planning which has made our mornings and evenings so much smoother. Let’s see how long we can keep it up!