From One Little Word To Great Satisfaction

Y’know that phrase, “if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life,”? I’ve come to realize that you can burn out on doing what you love, too.

For the past three years, I’ve been an at-home wife and volunteer. The thing about  volunteering is that it’s, well … voluntary. That means you come to it willingly and  in whatever you’re doing, you’re feeding a passion.

I love to write. (I know. You’re surprised, right?) I also love to learn. In January 2010, I began volunteering as a fundraising copywriter with a local non-profit. The development director — a personal friend of mine — was pleased to have me on board because by her own admission, she hated to write and what’s more, wasn’t very good at it.

I was given a reasonable amount of responsibility and it felt great. After all, I didn’t want to be one of those volunteers who pushed paper and licked envelopes. Nope, I needed intellectually challenging work. And it was.

I was asked to write direct-mail fundraising letters, articles for the charity’s newsletter, copy for the annual report, blog posts and more. I was writing and writing and writing … and checking my email for assignments, even when I wasn’t there and working on projects at home, even on weekends… . I found myself giving more to my volunteering than I ever did to my paid jobs. Crazy…

I knew I had to stop putting myself on the back burner while my “volunteer” work came first, the weekend I spent 10 hours creating a two-minute video. Yes, you read that right. Ten hours of work to produce a 120-second film. Yikes! (Now I understand why a two-hour movie can take a year or more to make…)

Some time afterwards, I was asked to take on a very big project — coordinating a silent auction for a gala fundraiser for 350 people. I thought about it and decided that if I did accept the challenge, exciting though it was, my life would not be my own for several months.

So I said, “No.”

No. Just two measly letters, yet invested with so much power! Who knew that from that one little word, I would derive so much satisfaction? With that in mind, when necessary, I find the word “no” much easier to say these days.

After all, when all is said and done, I’m a volunteer, so I’m not too worried about my performance review and attendant salary increase.

Do you, my fair BlogFEST 2012  readers have a hard time saying, “No?”

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1 Comment

  1. Good for you Daphne!! I’m sure your presence was missed for that project-but you did what was best for YOU!! I’m proud of you 😀

    Cheers, Jenn
    http://www.wine-n-chat.com/2012/10/putting-yourself-last.html

    Reply

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