Tuesday, July 23, 2013

45 and Ready to Give Back

Here I am. 45 today. And other than a few bits and pieces of me that feel a wee bit older, especially when I've been sitting on the floor too long, I feel WONDERFUL. 

My life has been so full of turmoil the last few years, much of which is documented right here in this blog, that it is amazing to arrive here, at 45, feeling happy, grateful, peaceful, content. That might also have something to do with the fact that I have taken some vacation days in the past couple weeks. I definitely was born to live the life of the rich and no-need-to-work set. Ah, well, reality is for now I get to be a hard-working woman. :) 

Anyway, with its relatively few ups and downs lately, life has been just amazing. Even the downs have provided me with insight and revised perspective, for which I am grateful. I've been saying "Thank you" over and over and over again for all the wonderment going on in my life. To an outsider that wonderment might be nothing at all, just a boring life led by a not-so-boring gal. But to me, every day is a day to have an adventure, see what's around the corner, even if it is just to go to the laundry room. Yeah sure, I get off days. Which make my on days totally awesome.

As a bit of an example...yesterday I signed all the papers to prepare me for volunteering at a local hospital which I used to volunteer at when I was in high-school.

Here's a before and after:

My "candystriping" days at the hospital as a Junior Volunteer.
Alas, they don't use the candy stripe uniforms for the juniors anymore.
Note the GINORMOUS shoulder pads and sleeves of my chosen blouse, a la 1985. 
Thirty years later, I like this look.
Mature and a lot less poofy (in many ways...) 

While in the volunteer office I came across the photo album I was in charge of during my tenure as Historian Officer on the Junior Volunteer Board in 1985-1986. It was a very surreal moment to see one's teenage penmanship and scrapbooking attempts (before scrapbooking became such the rage it is today with its gadgets, doodads, background paper and stamps), bringing up sensory memories of what I had available at the time: glue and glitter and markers. Seeing this again allowed a recapturing of that youthful ambition to be better than the Historian before me. There, my handiwork, in a book that had been out of sight and mind for thirty years, harbored for so long on a business bookshelf, was open in front of me. 

My handwriting is still very much the same, and, as a professional graphic designer, I am happy to report my sense of design and layout have improved dramatically. Most importantly, I felt again the spirit of the eager, fairly happy 16-year-old me which still imbued the pages. There were photos of myself and friends in events at the hospital, which I had to fire off some cellphone camera shots of before leaving. Faces and names (thanks to my quirky-humor captions and penchant for details [which I also still have to this day]) came back to me with "aha" and "awww!" and "ohmigawd" clarity. 

It was a wonderful birthday present. Especially since one of my best friends whom I met while volunteering and lost track of found me on Facebook just last week. We spent a good hour talking on the phone Friday and then, there came Monday, and there we were in the book in front of me. 

No wonder I feel so happy. Everything happens for a reason. Maybe this is God's way of allowing me a mini do-over since life after volunteering became problematic for quite awhile. Maybe this is God's way of saying, "I walked you through hell, now it's time to give some love to others who now have to do the same." Oh, thank you so much God. Sincerely, honestly, gratefully, THANK YOU. I am honored and will do my best.

Today my heart swells with gratitude, and I am so very thankful for the many not-coincidences in my life. 

1 comment:

  1. I read this the day you posted it and didn't get time to come back and comment. Reading your Thankfulness post today reminded me about your volunteering and I had to come back to comment... you see I wore a candystriper outfit just like yours over forty year ago, before you were even born! In fact I still have it packed away somewhere! :-) I did hundreds of hours of candystriper volunteering at our small town hospital and nursing home for the elderly, and also served as the president of candystripers organization and eventually even the state organization. I have many happy memories of those days and your photo brought it all back!

    Nothing shows our love and gratitude for what God is doing in our lives more than taking time to give back to others. I wish you amazing opportunities to share and serve. I love reading here, it is uplifting! :-)


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