The Crazy Crew

The Crazy Crew

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Final Countdown to 39 . . .

Halloween . . . and the final countdown of my 38th year. In just 9 short days I will be 39. This is my very favorite time of year . . . from Halloween through New Years. This time of year more than any other is about family, friends, delicious food, and crafting. How can you go wrong? But as we approach the end of another year of my life I began wondering . . . Have I learned much in the last year? I think so. I have focused on being less critical, more forgiving, and letting go of things (thanks in part to the TV show Hoarders.) I have worked hard to make sure and say I love you more, I am disappointed less, and no to buying things I don’t really want or need. This honestly is an accomplishment, thinking much more of others and a lot less of myself. I believe the older I get the softer I get on the inside, as well as the outside. LOL

Part of my softening up on the inside had me feeling like I needed to be more a part of something bigger than myself. I have always done volunteering in small bursts or when options came available at work in the past. I have put together Thanksgiving baskets and handed them out, adopted families or taken tags off of Christmas angel trees and bought gifts, participated in Rake up Boise and other community events but never done something that is continual . . . until now. Before I left Idaho I had looked at becoming involved with the Junior League there. For those of you who do not know, Junior League is an organization of women who better their communities through a variety of projects and volunteerism. My last several months in Idaho were a whirlwind and I did not end up joining.

My desire to give back was even stronger after those many months where my own family (with only myself working) struggled to make ends meet. I began to wonder how I could become more involved in a city where I was new and did not know many people, outside of work, my thoughts returned to the Junior League. I found the Junior League of Phoenix (JLP) online and as fate often does it stepped in. I happened to email them the last week they were accepting applications for new members this year. I attending my first provisional member meeting and quickly found out that JLP was a great place to get started giving back. The JLP president talked about being kind, humble, and about how an organization of women all choosing to better the community and volunteer was fallible . . . she spoke of how because we were all volunteers we must have extra kindness and care with each other. This struck me because often people coming together to do something good become angry at one another when things do not go as they themselves planned or pictured it to be. I liked that she was cautioning us to be aware of this and remember we each were part of the Junior League for our own personal reasons and to lift each other up, not tear each other down.

Since joining I have not only been involved with a variety of projects and volunteer opportunities with JLP but I have been introduced to many great organizations that run because of volunteers. I have been able to help out with book drives, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, and Girl Scout events. I continue to find additional ways to be involved and love that the feeling to do and to give to others becomes even stronger. I have noticed my life blessings are so abundant, not that they weren’t before but I have a much higher appreciation and notice each and every one of them now, no matter how small.

So what will I do with my 39th year of life? I think I will spend the year doing my very best to love completely, give freely, be grateful and content, and remember every day to be thankful for the blessing of wonderful friends and family in my life. The rest will take care of itself . . . I have faith that fate and God have me right where I am meant to be.

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