Saturday, February 14, 2009

Something new

I don't have a paid job. I haven't worked in a full-time office job for nearly four years now, and I've been a full-time mom for more than two years now, since I worked from home part-time for a while after the first little one arrived. At times it is shocking that it has been that long because I feel like it was just yesterday that I was getting dressed and going to work. Paradoxically, it seems like a lifetime ago since my life now is so incredibly different.

I've toyed with the idea of going back to work. In a moment of desperation last spring, brought about through the need to interact with adults, challenge myself, and be away from any and all things baby for a least a short while, I even put together my resume. I almost sent it off to two very positive job prospects, including my former job, where I probably would have been a shoo-in. I changed my mind, because, as crazy as I was going with an infant and a two year old, they were still babies, they still need their mommy, and the crisis did go away.

Even so, I've been itching to do something truly beneficial. Crafts do provide a bit of non-baby self-fulfillment, but I've been longing to do something more.

I looked into volunteering. I discovered a call for volunteers at a farmer's market, but a.) I've only been to a farmer's market once and I didn't buy anything and b.) I'd have to get up really early on Saturdays. So that didn't happen. I want to change the world, but only if it is after 9 a.m. I looked around for other organizations that would be in need of help. Studies have shown that a wealth of selection actually makes the decision process more difficult, and I found that to be true living in a big city teeming with organization after organization.

I set my sights on our new, small town.

It turns out there is a small environmental organization in town that focuses on litter clean-up, recycling, and beautification of the town, among other things. I've been trying to recycle as best we can. Houston offers recycyling pick-up, but only for single family homes, so we weren't able to take advantage of that while living in the condo. I tried to keep our recycleables to take them to a drop-off station, but we ended up with piles and piles of trash, literally an entire closet full. That effort wasn't fully successful, but we tried.

Moving to a small town, I was concerned that recycling would be non-existent. I was thrilled to discover there is a big recycling program as a part of this organization. So I joined. Then I asked if I could join a committee. They said yes and now I'm volunteering.

I've been trying to live a more environmentally conscious life for several years now, and I'm excited to take part in a more community-wide effort. From the meeting I went to several days ago, it turns out there are some really awesome things going on in town, and it seems like there are some great ways for me to help out. I'll let you know how it goes.

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