This week the Ladybug asks: If you could find it in yourself, that bit of bravery to leave the comforts of your everyday life behind and pursue your own happiness and if money wouldn’t be an issue, where would you go and what would you pursue?
I can’t say that I have any burning desire to leave my everyday life behind. I have “reinvented” myself many times already, changing careers, unexpectedly ending up in places I never thought I would. It has kept life interesting and allowed me to meet so many different people and participate in many different things.
Years ago I actually had the opportunity to do something I had “dreamed” of being able to do. It had always been my desire to become a volunteer in a hospital when I was able to stop working. My “dream” of wanting to visit patients stemmed from my own hospitalization for a week after surgery and realizing what a boost it was when people came to see me. It turned my day around, made me smile, made me feel cared for and loved. I saw the importance in it for healing. The opportunity presented itself back in 2005 when I was going to change jobs but instead headed into “retirement.” I became a “full time volunteer” getting involved with many different volunteer opportunities, but most special for me was now becoming a volunteer for Pastoral Care in the hospital and visiting patients. It opened a new to world me. I usually spent 4 or 5 hours making “rounds” and talking with people. Sometimes we talked about religion or faith, but most times we just talked. We talked about what they did in their “real life” outside the hospital walls, we talked about family, with many older patients we talked about what their life had been like, what the world used to be like. Some patients came and went home quickly, others were there for many weeks and looked forward to my coming. It was life changing for me in that I had never witnessed illness before in such an intimate way. Never really thought about young people dying, the horrors illness can wreak on a person and their family. The terrible loss. It also taught me about hope and being positive when faced with adversity. The sheer will people have to get through things.
I volunteered for 8 years and then life changed again and I went back to work, becoming an assistant teacher in a classroom as a result of having volunteered in one and enjoying it so much. Once again pursuing something I love, and finding happiness doing so.