A few months ago, my idea of a good time was to sit on my couch with some cookies watching TV. But suddenly, I have this urge to do stuff, stuff with purpose. My lazy, more practical side is telling me that two months ago, I couldn’t find the time or energy to clean the toilet on a weekly or even bi-weekly basis*. How will I find the time and energy to do extra stuff? I barely survive the stuff I have to do.
But the itch remains.
In the past month, I have pondered volunteering again and getting the whole family involved. Since my kids are 2 and 4 and my husband doesn’t like to move more than he has to, I realize this plan has its limitations. But I found I still want to do it; I miss it. I used to mentor. I used to volunteer at an HIV research center. I began both of these things more or less for my graduate degree, but I loved both and did them for far longer than I needed to.
I have looked into the Make a Wish Foundation, Big Brothers, Big Sisters and the United Way.
The Make a Wish Foundation seems like a reasonable time commitment and I feel that the work is very important. However, my practical side is telling me that this is not the job for me. I think it might be right, because anything sad involving kids makes me cry ever since I became a mom. I cried my eyes out at the Nanny Diaries when the boy cried because his nanny was leaving. I think dealing with a kid dying from cancer may be a bit out of my league.
Big Brothers, Big Sisters apparently has a surplus of big sisters and desperately needs big brothers. Alas, I do not have a penis.
United Way sounds great, but then there is my nagging practical side. “Don’t commit to something because you feel a momentary itch. You are a very busy person. You don’t have the time or energy to do the things you have to do, and the itch will eventually go away. Then what about the people who have come to count on you?” My itchy side says this is not reason enough not to something I think is important and meaningful. The jury is still out on this one while my two sides duke it out.
But I did hear about something fun and possibly meaningful I can do that requires me to commit to no one but myself and a website. I am going to write a novel. About what? I have no idea. I literally just decided this, like now. And I am 4 days behind in National Novel Writing Month. I better get a move on. Hopefully, this will scratch the itch.
* FYI – I now have a lovely cleaning woman who comes every two weeks to keep my toilets from turning colors. Perhaps it is the strange presence of cleaning supplies in my house that’s making me itchy. Who knows?