Volunteer. It’s Good For You!

Being a stay-at-home-mama has been a great occupation with many rewards, however, the hours are long and contact with the outside world is slim. Some Moms plan a Lady’s Night or Girl’s Getaway, but I’m so nerdy cool that I have my “me time” while I volunteer at places that feed my inner child;Tacoma Art Museum (TAM) and the school district my kids attend.

It’s actually quite selfish on my part. I only give my time to places I think are worthy of my support and I truly get more out of it than they do.

Volunteering gives me the opportunity to get out of my bubble of domestic-bliss and gain work experience while making friends and being a part of something I’m passionate about.

I help with school tours at TAM. It’s really special to me. I get to play host (“Welcome to my museum!”) and I have the honor of being the one to show kids that art isn’t boring. I don’t know much about art concepts or technique(I’m still learning), but what I do know is how to be with kids and share my love of art. So far, it’s worked pretty great.

My son, Rubin, posing with Leroy.
My son, Rubin, posing with Leroy.
TAM selfie. I really enjoy my time there and the people, and of course being surrounded by art!
TAM selfie. I really enjoy my time there and the people, and of course being surrounded by art!
Tacoma Art Museum treats their volunteers to a special volunteer appreciation dinner every year. It's amazing! I took my Mom last year and my friend, Michelle, this year.
Tacoma Art Museum treats their volunteers to a special Volunteer Appreciation Dinner every year. It’s amazing! I took my Mom last year and my friend, Michelle, this year.
I have had Kindergarten groups all the way up to this awesome high school group. Every school group is fun and brings their youthful energy to the museum.
I have had Kindergarten groups all the way up to this awesome high school group. Every school group is fun and brings their youthful energy to the museum.

I can’t stress it enough: get out there and volunteer your time in a field you are passionate about! Whatever it is that tickles your fancy, I can guarantee you they are looking for people to volunteer.

Being a volunteer doesn’t mean you have to commit to a 40-hour week. You get to choose the hours and time that works best for your schedule, but I can tell you that even though there is no money exchanged for your service, you will feel richer for the time you spend supporting a cause or business you believe in.

Don’t worry if you find that the people suck or the work you volunteer doing isn’t something you look forward to doing, you can quit and look for another place to donate your time and efforts to. There is no shame in trying it out and changing your mind. I have volunteered in several places only to find that I can’t handle the personalities or that the work I do doesn’t line up with who I am as a person. I felt like a shit for quitting, but you know what, if I had stayed with it I would have been one of those bitter old ladies who thinks herself a martyr, who hates every minute of it, and then I would have never stumbled upon true “volunteer heaven”, where I absolutely adore everyone I work with and where every time I volunteer it’s fun and rewarding.

Creative By Nature

I’ve been a creative person for as long as I can remember. There’s never a dull moment in my mind or life. It has its downfall though, when everything seems possible and my ideas out-number the hours in a day.

Forget Pinterest. I am constantly inspired by experiences and people I meet that I will be busy until my last breath. (Don’t get me wrong, I love Pinterest, but it’s a major time-suck for me when I have oodles of things I can accomplish in the same amount of time)

Let me just share a few of my most creative moments as of late:

1. I got a writing gig with Ruralite Magazine as the ‘feature writer’ for Ohop Mutual. I get to interview interesting local people to write about and use my photography skills to capture their uniqueness. I love writing! It’s always been a favorite hobby of mine. Pen pals in my youth, essays in college, and now getting published. Yes!

http://www.ruralite.org/magazine

2. It’s that time of year when my garden is pumping out goodies to be eaten fresh; some canned for later. Homemade jelly is my specialty. Today I’m going to be picking some raspberries and blackberries. My PB&J’s are the bomb with this yummo jelly!

3. The Eatonville Library has hired me to run some fun arts & crafts programs for kids this summer. So far we’ve made comics and fridge magnets. I LOVE working with kids! They are my favorite people to be around. Not only are they boundlessly creative, but they are upbeat and happy-like me.

Marble Painting was a fun program I did last summer for kids at several Pierce County Libraries.
Marble Painting was a fun program I did last summer for kids at several Pierce County Libraries.
Easy and super fun project for ages 1-100! Just need a shoe box, paper to fit (we folded ours to make it a card), marbles, paint, and Dixie cups.
Easy and super fun project for ages 1-100! Just need a shoe box, paper to fit (we folded ours to make it a card), marbles, paint, and Dixie cups.
The kids loved creating the marble painted cards! No two were ever alike.
The kids loved creating the marble painted cards! No two were ever alike.