I am a big believer in volunteerism.
It benefits everyone involved if the person volunteering gets into the right field.
I have volunteered for a variety of causes over the years, from help hot lines to meal delivery for the needy, from reading to the elderly to fixing the computers of an agency that helped homeless veterans. I've served meals to the homeless on Thanksgiving, helped draft strategic plans for small non-profits, and taken photos for animal shelters. Sometimes these volunteer opportunities have led to long term work for me. Most often they have led to making new friends, and having a better undersstanding of my community and the people who I live and work around. Always it gives me a sense of just how fortunate I am, and how important it is to give to others to appreciate what i have myself.
This past year I have tried to volunteer again for an artists group as a board member, (I have been feeling something missing from my busy and often self-centered life as of late) and just recently realized how little time I really have in my own life. So I had to resign after about a year of service, (which I am still glad I did, despite how harried I am at the moment) and I feel as if, somehow, I am doiong something wrong.
Perhaps it is the fact that I hold myself to such high standards, I am frequently told by my buddy Tim that I "put myself out there" too much, that I don't allow myslf to have any time for just me. I have a hard time saying no, and absoultely "no" difficulty in saying "yes".
So I said "no" this time, for awhile anyway. I suspect it won't be too long before I get myself buried in too much responsibilty again.