Featured blogger: Myrca Ceran
Monday through Friday, 9am to 5pm with 30 minutes to an hour for lunch…
For some, this is a regular week. For many others, this is just the start of their work schedule, lucky to have a night free or weekends off. It’s so easy to let the day-to-day rule our lives. So easy to let it consume our thoughts and before you know it, work-life balance becomes a balance of projects and meetings, with little to no emphasis on life and it’s true purpose. There’s only so much fulfillment that can be found within the four walls of one’s office or three walls of one’s cubicle.
I find it so important to balance my weeks with external opportunities to volunteer and spend time giving back to those around me in the best way I know how. It was a little over two years ago that I moved from Connecticut to Georgia. A move that brought a great deal of transition both personally and professionally. Now, instead of working from an office, I found myself working from the comforts of my home.
One would think, “how wonderful to be able to work from home”. Often, the perception is that I can wake up whenever I want, have the flexibility of working from anywhere, and can “pretend I’m working” while lounging on the couch watching the latest episode of Vanderpump Rules. However, that is far from the truth and I slowly realized that I was spending all my time at home working instead of getting out into my community and making a true impact. I decided that I needed to change my daily habits and establish some boundaries in an effort to prevent my work life from bleeding into my personal.
Cue my visit to google, one of my many trusted advisors.
My search for volunteer opportunities yielded a variety of websites and organizations with many options and applications. It was overwhelming. I needed to consolidate my trusted advisor’s options to what makes sense for me and what makes sense for my definition of fulfillment. I wanted to think outside of my normal box and find opportunities with organizations I haven’t had experience with in the past. Remember that "balance" I mentioned above? It was important to me that this volunteer opportunity didn’t feel like another job but rather a part of my life that balanced me out more. I wanted to feel fulfilled. I wanted to feel like each minute I spent volunteering filled my cup and made me walk away feeling that I helped someone or contributed to the greater good of those around me.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Atlanta and Bosley’s Place
were my top two volunteer choices.
BBBS, as the name implies, is an organization where I serve as a big sister to a young, school-aged child in the community. The end goal is to support a child and help him/her reach their highest potential. In the world that we live in now, which seems to be full of violence, cyberbullying, etc., this could not be anymore important. I want to be able to show my little that life does get better and that even if you’re struggling as a young child now, it will all be worth it! After a lengthy interview process, I’m talking well over two months going through interviews, reference checks, background checks, and match meetings where I’d meet my potential little and her parents, I was finally matched with a little sister in the fall of 2017. I’m fortunate enough to spend time with her twice per month focusing on anything from increasing her self-esteem to elevating her writing and reading skills. Being an only child, the time I spend with her and activities we participate in align with what I wish I had when I was younger. In a way, it’s almost like I’m helping my younger self get to where she wants to be.
Bosley’s Place, on the other hand, is a nursery for underage puppies. On the weekends, I essentially get to play with and take care of puppies during weekly adoption fairs where prospective families come and meet potential fur children. Let me just say, puppy kisses are the best kisses and knowing that every weekend I’m getting a chance to complete a family unit makes me feel incredible joy. I mean, how could it not? I’m basically facilitating the relationship between man and his best friend!
Both these volunteer opportunities could not be any more different in meaning and purpose. However, one thing holds true and that is with both these opportunities, I’m able to lead a life full of purpose and joy; a life that is worth more to me than the projects I complete and deadlines that I meet.
For those reading, I encourage to take a moment and write out what fulfillment means to you. It’s different for everyone. Do you feel like you’re living a life of purpose? Do you feel like when you go to bed at night, you’re proud of what you’ve done that day or that week? One thing for certain is that no matter the answer, from my experience, volunteering has allowed me to feel that sense of fulfillment and it could do the same for you!
We all have the same 24 hours in a day. Let’s strive to ensure that while we’re balancing our normal day-to-day, we’re also setting aside time to help the community around us. If you’re not sure where to start, I’ve heard google is accepting new clients!
Sipping on a cup of maple bacon coffee...yes, from the comfort of my dining room table.
Special thanks to my sweet friend Myrca Ceran for writing this!