We always said that when on retirement we ‘would do something worthwhile.’ There are ample volunteering activities – the choice is endless both locally and abroad.
However, it seemed far easier to slot into community life up in Kinghorn than it does down here in Bedfordshire. I wonder why? Within minutes of arriving (literally) I had a list of groups I could join and there are many activities I was aware of that I just could not fit in…working at the eco-centre at the Loch and the Historical Society to name a couple, but I did join Kinghorn in Bloom and went to meetings and did some weeding. I loved the concept of gardening for the community and had such admiration for these volunteers who worked 12 months of the year to ensure the displays dotted around the area were tidy and at their best. The group were always coming up with new ideas too! We lived in a flat at the time and suddenly the hours I spent doing the gardening here down in Bedfordshire seemed almost pointless in comparison, for personal pleasure rather than the good of all.
The second activity I became involved in was The Friday Lunchclub, but I think I gained far more from the friendliness of the members that they did from me serving them tea or clearing away their plate. Maybe volunteering is usually like that.
Why is it so different ‘down south’? People seem to have far less time ~ always rushing ~ getting stressed. Or is it us? Are we less willing to take the step to get involved? It just does not seem so easy to slot into community life here. I went on a village facebook page the other day and it appeared to be high-jacked by a guy who was fed up with illegal parking around the Green. Now that’s important, but surely there’s more to say.
If you’ve been reading this series, my struggle is not with filling personal hours in retirement ~ It is my husband who is retired and not me. I have lots of writing activities and a fledgling business which could take up all my time and more. Having said that, I would like to get involved, especially in something we could do together, but what?
I’d like to share a story I read on Facebook of a 90 year old who spent his time ‘doing good.’ Having written the memoir of Norman, who lived to 103 years I am extremely aware that life needs to be lived to the full to the very end. Norman did.
This story about Arnold is a lesson in societies rules and regulations gone mad, against the good of the community, but I so admire Arnold’s spirit and would love to follow his example if I live to be such an age.