Posts Tagged ‘volunteering’

So it’s another year. A new beginning. Out with the old, in with the new. Sometimes letting go of the old stuff is hard. Sometimes not. As some of you know, in December I wrapped up my second year as President of my local writer’s group. It was a challenging yet rewarding period in my life. I learned a lot. But now, it’s time to turn over the reins to a new leader. I’m going to be honest here, I’m ready to hand over the tiara and the scepter.

Photo courtesy Google Images

Photo courtesy Google Images

Some of you are probably all too aware of the challenges associated with leading a group of volunteers all of whom are already over-worked in other areas of their lives. It is, after all, usually the busiest people who volunteer to take on yet more responsibility. If not for these willing souls, however, many things would simply not happen. Until you’ve volunteered or filled in for someone in a volunteer capacity, it is hard to understand what that person experiences. Volunteering is not for everyone, but it certainly enriches our lives when we do it.

Image courtesy Google Images.

Image courtesy Google Images.

So as we move forward with 2015, I wish the best of luck to our new leadership team at the Sacramento Valley chapter of RWA and look forward to learning and growing by your example. I offer my continued support and bow humbly at your feet for stepping up to the plate.

Have you ever volunteered? Did you learn from that experience? Did you regret your decision to help out?

Word of the Day:  Xiphoid

Fun fact about me: I don’t volunteer because I have the time; I volunteer because I have the heart.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, January 2015. Photos courtesy Google Images.



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wrestle with a pig

Have you ever want so badly to be done with something that you can taste it? Like that book you’re writing that never seems to find a happy ending. That one chapter that’s only two pages long yet you’ve been struggling all day to write it. Those seventy-five cupcakes you promised to bring to your kids’ friend’s party. That last three feet of fence that’s needed paint for two years now.

volunteeringI’m there. Right now. I’m in a place that for the most part has been a lot of fun and very rewarding for me. I’ve inherited a new family who needed and appreciated me – mostly. I’ve shared in the joys and triumphs of a group of people who band together to support each other during these times of sorrow and glee. But, I’ve grown weary. And I’ve discovered the ugly side of this organization I’ve grown so fond of. I don’t like it and because of it, I don’t want to do this anymore. It is absolutely exhausting trying to please and/or appease every single person.

judgmental quoteAmidst this group of wonderful people, lurk several individuals who outwardly seem genuinely kind and caring. However, beneath their façade of goodness dwells something altogether not nice; something nasty and vindictive. It always amazes me that people can be so bold with ideas and suggestions for “improving” things, yet slink away like cowards when encouraged to step up to the plate and implement their ideas. Or how people can take one thing out of context and turn it into a poisonous dart with a heart-seeking device that when it’s finds it goal totally crushes a person’s spirit and willingness to go on.

caring too muchI suppose it’s a lack of education or understanding combined with an unwillingness to place themselves in someone else’s shoes that causes people to act this way, but it is hurtful and damaging to even the strongest of spirits. How I wish that, before passing judgment or criticizing someone else’s actions, people would stop to consider – for just a moment – what perhaps is going on in my life. Before you call me out for something that you think I did wrong or intentionally, why don’t you stop and reanalyze the situation. Was my action/word/deed so injurious that you feel it’s necessary to confront me in such a vicious manner? And do your actions perhaps wound more than just me? Is more at stake and if so, why are you hurting innocent people because you think I did you wrong in some way?

hurt feelings quoteI’m not opposed to criticism and if I’ve done something horribly wrong, please point it out to me so that it won’t happen again. I’m not perfect and I have bad days. But DON’T complain and criticize then offer no solutions for improvement. And DON’T tell me how to do my job when you’ve never done it.

But it doesn’t work that way with a lot of people. I know this, but it’s still hard to wrap my brain around why people act the way they do. And it’s hard to tell my heart to stop hurting, even though I know that my attackers are small-minded, self-centered people, who in the grand scheme of things probably aren’t contributing much in any way shape or form. They’re just leeches, here to take your blood then complain that it’s not their type.

high roadLet me tell you, it’s hard to climb up to that high road, but I’ve done it several times recently. I take comfort in knowing that the universe “knows” and that what goes around comes around and often in spades. So, while I may be down, it’s temporary and I know that I’m almost DONE. And I’m learning some things from the view down here. It gives me a new perspective. So watch out world because while I’m down here, I’m learning how to arm myself with new weapons and armor. I’m going to wallow around for awhile, but when I come back, it’s going to take a lot more than ugly spiteful words to keep me down.

sandpaper quoteHow do you handle situations where you feel slighted or wronged, but know that you need to bite your tongue and take the high road? Any advice for the down-hearted?

Word of the Day:  Pangram

Fun fact about me: It’s hard to sequester sarcasm.

Original post by Jansen Schmidt, June 2014. Quotes and photo courtesy Google Images.


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Welcome to 2013!!  We made it. The Mayans were either wrong, or they simply got tired of keeping a damn futuristic calendar. I’m voting for the latter. If they were as busy then as I am now, I’m not even sure what I’m doing tomorrow, so who needs to know what’s going on 2000 or so years from now?

2013 calendar

But, anyway, here we are. Another year stretches before us. So many possibilities, so many challenges, so many new things to try. I’m not a fan of resolutions, but I do believe in always striving to better oneself, exploring new things, taking risks and just living without sweating the small stuff.bucket on beach

So as we embark on this brave new year, here are some things you may want to consider:

Make a bucket list. Blogger, Myndi Shafer shares her list here: http://myndishafer.wordpress.com/2012/12/10/my-35th-year-living-with-intention/ It doesn’t have to be elaborate or even long, but write down some fun things you’d like to accomplish this year or maybe next year.dog and cat

Make a promise to be more like your pets. So much can be learned by following the examples set by our pets. Jenny Hansen tells us what she’s learned about her pets here: http://jennyhansenauthor.wordpress.com/2012/12/11/10-writing-lessons-i-learned-from-my-dog/

Pets are one of God’s many blessings that we often take for granted. Take time to enjoy the gifts your pet has to offer.

Keep a gratitude journal as suggested by Ginger Calem here:  http://gingercalem.wordpress.com/2012/01/04/writersbutt/ Ginger has many helpful tips and suggestions for leading a healthy and fit life on her blog. If you haven’t checked it out, I encourage you to stop by sometime for some kind words and positive advice for being the best you you can be.


cruise shipTry something new for vacation. Might I suggest a cruise? Debra Kristi had a fabulous time and tells about it here: http://debrakristi.wordpress.com/2012/03/15/spring-break-will-you-vacation-how-about-a-cruise/ I recommend resurrecting your inner child and take a trip to Disneyland or Disney World. There’s no place more magical than a world created by Disney Imagineers.

Every day we are confronted with a multitude of opportunities to make lasting memories if we simply slow down and take the time to enjoy what’s around us. This year I challenge my readers to try something new, something a little out of your comfort zone, a little outside your normal every day box.

Even if it’s as simple as trying a new recipe or experiencing a different type of food. Perhaps sushi, Thai food, Indian cuisine. If you’ve thought about it, but haven’t taken the steps to make it happen, I encourage you to join a writer’s group. The advice and uplifting support from other members are hugely rewarding. My gang at the Sacramento Valley chapter of RWA has opened many many doors for me and my creativity.

If you haven’t ever done it, volunteer at a food kitchen or other charitable function that gives back to the community. Volunteering your time is one of the most rewarding experiences you will ever enjoy. And who can have too many friends? Reach out to someone, touch a life, enrich your own world. You’ll be glad you did.

holding hands

Whatever you decide to do this year, make it brave, make it awesome, make it you!

Tell me, where are you going to venture off to this year? What exciting things do you have planned? What goals have you set for yourself? I’d love to hear them and cheer you on toward attaining them.

Word of the Day:  Natatorial

Fun Fact About Me:  I love to make scrapbooks.

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