It’s that time of year: Hectic. Chaotic. Long hours. It’s not a time for us to step back, it’s a time when our efforts step up.
It’s also the best time to take back some moments for yourself. As volunteer managers, we pour every ounce of energy into making holidays special for the people we serve. We ensure our holiday volunteers soak up the warm moments as we stand in the shadows, sopping up the feels from afar. But this means missing out on the fuel we need to keep going.
I’m involved in a toy drive and the other day a man quietly rolled a girl’s 20″ bicycle up to the door. “Do you think she’ll like it?” He asked. His eyes radiated the joy of giving a girl he never met the gift of childhood.
I stopped what I was doing. He showed me the teal and pink helmet and explained how he realized she needed one or she wouldn’t be able to ride the bike when she got it because of well, you know, laws and safety and all. He recounted how he searched for one that matched the bike’s mad swirl of colors. He told me how he carefully selected this bike and how he envisioned her riding it through her neighborhood.
He ran his fingers over the handlebar and told me he had purchased a three-wheeled bike for another organization so that an elderly person would have something to ride. And oh, he chuckled at his own sentimentality, he made sure the helmet matched.
I needed that. I needed to stop and hear his story. I needed to fill up with one tale that encapsulated all the good in this world. It was like sitting down and opening a sparkling box that contained a map to the why.
Take time to connect, to fill your own hearts with joy. You work so hard all year and even more so at this time. You deserve at least one humble person to tell you their story and for a few chaotic -stilled moments, let you know it’s all right with your world.