Welcome to a Secret Subject Swap. This week 15 brave bloggers picked a secret subject for someone else and were assigned a secret subject to interpret in their own style. Today we are all simultaneously divulging our topics and submitting our posts.
My Secret Subject was submitted by: http://www.thediaryofanalzheimerscaregiver.com/blog.html
This was my prompt: You received a notice that an author is interested in writing your biography. What would the title be and give us a brief synopsis of the book!
Regular readers will know that my key phrase this year is “Out of the comfort zone.” People close to me will realize how very much this prompt pushes the limits of this phrase. Though I do share personal stories here, I really don’t like talking about myself (to be honest, it is sometimes panic-inducing), even writing my author bio was incredibly difficult, but I agreed to this writing challenge, so here goes…
She Couldn’t Help Herself, the Confessions of a Chronic Volunteer follows the life of Kimberly Yavorski. Though she was painfully shy as a child, she was tasked at age 12 with finding an organization with which to volunteer. She chose an animal shelter and learned that talking to people was not as scary and dangerous as she had thought. Though conversations initially centered around the animals needing homes, she found that she was good at coordinating people and sharing her knowledge. She was soon in charge of volunteer scheduling and training.
She moved away and found that these skills transferred nicely to other groups she had an interest in. Though it was not in her nature to take charge, once she saw a need, she stepped in and took the lead. By the time she had kids, she had become, by her own admission, a “chronic volunteer.” It was a compulsion; she just didn’t feel complete if she wasn’t giving of her time. The story goes on to detail how she added volunteer positions, some before even realizing she had said yes, and how it impacted her life, in both a good and bad way.
As she approached the inevitable point of “burning out,” she backed off a bit, and tried to limit volunteer activities, setting certain criteria that activities needed to meet in order for her to get involved. This seemed to work, but people still said she did too much. An epiphany occurred when she realized that telling people (and herself) this was what she wanted to do rather than it being something she had to do avoided these conversations. She also learned that simply saying no was acceptable. The burden of coming up with an excuse was lifted, and she was able to devote time to things that really mattered.
She saw the value in volunteering: the experience it provided, the fact that it filled a need in society, that it made her feel good, that she made a difference, and that sometimes it was actually fun. Plus, she felt that she had a debt to pay, that initial volunteer job got her out of the rut she was in and taught her that people are not scary, that she would survive and even thrive talking to them.
Kimberly’s kids grew and moved on; her volunteer opportunities dwindled. She realized she could certainly find more if she really wanted to, but perhaps that debt was finally paid. Her comfort zone had grown tremendously; even speaking in public no longer inspired terror, but instead a more manageable case of nerves. She rediscovered a passion, sharing herself through her words. She could still be of service; the written word can wield great power. She found that she had much to say, there were decades of ideas buried inside her. It was time to let some of them out, to share with the world in a different way. So she scribbled in notebooks and tapped at computer keys with the hope that these words would somehow make a difference in someone else’s life.
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