Yikes, what have I done? Volunteering in Retirement
Sometime in April of this year, my husband Art and I agreed to be on the local Garden Tour. It would be easy I thought; all I had to do was plant some petunias to fill in the many empty spaces in the yard. They grow well and they’re colorful. Besides, I think volunteering in retirement is a good idea.
That was before the monsoon rains we have had this season. Now our garden has a severe case of elephantiasis; The hosta plants are beginning to resemble rain forest bushes and the yellow loosestrife has filled every empty space. True, this particular plant has pretty yellow flowers that add to the charm of a small garden, but when watered forty days and forty nights, they spread their roots and pop up uninvited everywhere. Eventually, I’ll pull them out, but I can’t do it a week before the tour—nothing will grow in their place in a week.
YIKES, what HAVE I done?
For starters I’ve reinforced some lessons I seemed to have forgotten.
- Never assume anything will be easy. We all know how to spell assume.
- Expect the unexpected. Allow time to get necessary chores completed in time.
- Find joy in even big surprises. It helps to remember that I volunteered to do this because it would be fun—and it is!
What Have I Learned?
One of the greatest things about volunteering in retirement is that, we usually can choose where and how we volunteer. Generally speaking our choices involve activities we enjoy or know we can perform well. As far as the garden tour goes, I do love being in the garden and I enjoy working with the group of people organizing the event. Besides, it will be fun to meet new people and to hear their comments or questions. Best of all, the money raised from the event goes to an important program in our community.
What’s to Complain about volunteering in retirement?
It appears that I have nothing to complain about. The mammoth plants will hide the weeds I miss pulling, the back will heal, and I’ll take pictures of plants that will be moved AFTER the tour.
What do you think about volunteering in retirement? Have you ever gotten yourself in a pickle you hadn’t expected? If so, what did you do? Please tell me in the comment section that I’m not the only one who had to remind herself that this is something I am truly happy to be doing!
By the way, if you’re in Rhode Island, Massachusetts or Connecticut —or New Hampshire, on Saturday, June 24, join us at the Wickford in Bloom Tour. You’ll be delighted by how beautiful the gardens are. See you next Saturday sometime between 10 AM and 4 PM!