I’ve been volunteering on one form or another for many years now. I’ve been treasurer of a Hospital Fund Raising Organization, managing its four businesses and $1.5 million dollars of investments; I’ve helped run charity golf tournaments and silent auctions, book fairs, and even conferences like Podcamp Philly.
I started joking with another friend, Mark Blevis, that I needed a twelve step program for volunteers, and he said it’d make a good blog post. So here’s my riff on the first six steps:
1. Admit you are powerless when it comes to volunteering. Somehow, you are always the person saying “Oh Sure, That’s No Problem, I can do it” even when your brain is screaming “What are you, Nuts?” Your rampant volunteerism has made your life unmanageable.
2. I’ve come to believe in a Power greater than myself can restore me to sanity. (I thought this was Steve Jobs when I bought my Mac Book Pro, but apparently I need to find a power higher than just iWork ’08 and Twitter).
3. I need to make a decision to turn my will and life over to the care of the Higher Power, however I understand him/her/it to be. (The interwebs?? Twitter? Facebook???)
4. I need to make a searching and fearless moral inventory of myself and my ability to manage my own time effectively. (I am stuck on this step at the moment. I need to triage the truly important and valuable from the black holes of time and energy.)
5. I have to admit to my higher power and to another human being the exact nature of my wrongs. (Confessions via twitter??)
6. I have to be ready to have my higher power remove all defects of character. (Does this mean cutting the lifeline I call High Speed Internet and Gmail access on my cell phone? Say it isn’t so….)
I’m hoping to eventually progress until I can have a true spiritual awakening and really understand what I can control, what I cannot, and become better at telling the difference between the two.
One of the things I love is eventually giving up control and letting things just happen organically. It always ends up working out brilliantly in the end. But being a parent for over 12 years now, I also know that it takes some level of practice, organization and preparedness to make things fly on their own. The trick is knowing when you’re over-planning. And when to say no.
Here’s hoping I get it together.