Before I retired 2+ years ago I read many articles on retirement and retirement happiness. A lot of articles focused on money and different strategies of saving and spending in retirement. Many articles on health and well being. Many articles on where to live. And, many articles on filling your time with activities, including volunteering or charity work. I thought the idea of volunteering sounded appealing at the time and thought I would start doing something like that soon after retirement began. Well, here I am 2+ years in and I haven't done any volunteer work at all. Since retirement, I seem to be pretty busy even if I'm busy doing nothing at all. I did leave my name and phone number at one charity thrift store because they had a sign up that said they were in need of volunteers. I said I could shelve items and test electronics. Sounded like it would be a job that I would enjoy. I never heard anything back and I'm not sure the kid I gave my info to really passed it on the the manager or not. I've shopped in that thrift store many times since, but didn't inquire or follow up on volunteer work.
I have seen on several blogs and in several articles that retirees can get overwhelmed with volunteering some times because once you do one thing, many other people and places begin to come to you for your help. I guess once you get started it sometimes is hard to say "no".
I still think I need to give back some of my time and skills somewhere, I'm just not sure where. I guess once I got on a schedule and knew every Wednesday from 1-3pm was my time, I would get used to it.
There are food banks, homeless shelters, charity thrift stores, charity 5Ks, etc that probably need volunteers on a regular basis. In the past my wife and I have served food at a local homeless shelter. It made me think of how lucky and blessed I was every time I did it. So, I agree with the theory that giving is good for the soul. I just need to get myself motivated.
With the world still in a pandemic, is even safe to be out volunteering? I'm vaccinated, so I feel pretty good about being out, but I'm still cautious and awaiting a booster to come out to make me even more confident about getting out.
Do you volunteer anywhere and if so how is it going? What are other ways a retiree could help others? Have you found yourself like me with good intentions but little or zero follow through? Are you one of those that has done too much volunteering?
“The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.”
“Every person can make a difference, and every person should try.”