Thursday, November 19, 2009

Doing What We Don't Wanna Do

There's a hidden value in doing something we really do not feel like doing. I've been worried, as you know, about my younger sister (now 69). In the midst of this, I've dealt with plumbing problems, financial woes, and previously-committed-to commitments.

I'm an obsessive volunteer. I never did this decades ago, but I became addicted from my 40s forward. This year, I've been volunteer coordinator for our senior mobile home park's potluck dinners once a month. This month, it fell tonight. Of all the things I did not want to do, it was this potluck thing tonight. My oven isn't working and I ended up running to our clubhouse yesterday with 5 boneless turkey breasts to roast over there and then bring home in time to shove them in the fridge before I left to pick up my nephew from work at 1:30pm.

Today, I need to slice those roasts, plus prepare 4 boxes of stuffing mix, plus open other foods (olives, cranberry sauce, etc.) and put them into serving containers. I did all this before 1:30pm. By the time 4:30pm came and it was time to take all the "stuff" over to the clubhouse, I was beyond any enthusiasm for the task. It did not matter that I did not want to do this. I was committed to it. Some two dozen folks would be showing up, looking forward to it.

I trudged off to the clubhouse with my "stuff," shoved a few tables into their proper places, put the turkey slices in the oven to warm them a bit, lugged out the big coffee urn and set it up for 24 cups, etc., etc., etc.

By the time the guests came with their potluck "sides" and desserts, I didn't care. But I needed this night more than I realized. The guests all came. Their offerings were delicious. They all loved the turkey and other foods. One of the guests said grace, something she had prepared years ago but which still warmed our hearts. When it was done, when all was cleaned up and I prepared to drop off two of the senior gals, I felt good. I had helped, in my own small way, to brighten the evening of about 20 friends and neighbors.

And for that hour or two, my mind was occupied with things other than my own worries.

Father, thank you for the chance to please others and for the opportunity to get away from myself for a little while.