I have never been one to be idle as I’d worked all of my adult life prior to retirement.
Once I retired, I found myself floundering to fill time – and very prone to go to the refrigerator in my mindlessness.
What to do with myself?
My first response was to take up a hobby that I’d wanted to do but had no time for when I worked – rubber stamping.
That put me in contact with several new people who encouraged my “habit.” It filled a little time but not enough.
A neighbor enticed me into volunteering to work at the polls during elections, an activity which I still enjoy nearly 20 years later.
Next I went to the library and volunteered. There I got to engage in another lifelong passion: reading.
As an English teacher, I had to read classics and student work, which left me little time for pleasure reading. At the library, I got to see what new books were coming soon and get my name on the list to reserve them.
I also met new friends and had the opportunity to perform community service work.
It was at the library that I learned about a new venture , the Senior Resource Center, Inc., which was being formed by several local residents to meet a need for the rural area of the city.
Once I attended an event at the SRC, I was hooked. There were so many people whom I had known most of my life but hadn’t been able to see regularly because I worked.
There was so much information that was available regarding this new stage of my life.
These included things to watch out for in the way of scams against the elderly, legal issues about which folks of my age needed to be attentive, health issues affecting “mature” folks and socialization opportunities that allowed me to participate in another favorite activity, cooking.
I find that volunteering is a very rewarding activity. It makes a person feel good to get involved with others. It takes a person’s mind off his or her own troubles – not that I have any – and it puts a new focus on life in general.
Look around you, see what needs doing, and get out there and help others make this city the best place to live in the whole world.
Bright lives in Creeds. Among other accomplishments, she was named Virginia Beach Rotary Club Volunteer of the Year for 2015.
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