Giving Back

Nine months ago today, I walked out of my classroom for the last time! Wow! It really has gone by so darn quickly.

When I quit teaching, I knew I wanted to give myself six months before committing to any new endeavors ~ six months just to breathe. I needed, wanted, craved a window of time to unwind from my career, to focus on my health, to get strong again, to explore new hobbies, to create a new home in Idaho with Pat, to deepen my Catholic faith, and a few other things. Yep… I know I said breathe, and this sounds like a big ‘to do’ list, but these are many of the things that do help me relax and feel grounded. Nothing on this list committed me to anyone else except myself and my husband. My time, our time together, was used for healing, creating, exploring, and enjoying new adventures.

As that time frame stretched out past six months, through the busy holidays, and has rounded the corner into the new year, I am finding myself ready to reach out again. It feels like I have been self-indulgent long enough, and that it is time to start giving back in some way. I expressed this to Pat, and we ended up having this unexpected conversation over several days about what it means to ‘give back.’ He told me he doesn’t understand the concept. The giving he gets, but what or who are we to give back to? For me, ‘giving back’ is a spiritual concept. I want to honor God and show appreciation for the gifts He has given me by sharing with others. With the help of a friend joining in the discussion, it ended up mostly being about semantics. If we use the social term of ‘paying it forward,’ that seems to satisfy both of our notions of the importance of giving to others and sharing our blessings.

So, now what? How will I use my time, treasure, and talent to do some good in this world? Exciting question for me to explore! As I’ve considered several options over the past 4-6 weeks, a few guiding questions have become clear:

1.  Who am I being called to help?
2.  How am I supposed to serve?
3.  What will be flexible enough to fit our lives?
4.  Will it be meaningful enough?

This fourth question is the one that keeps hanging me up. A couple of my ideas would not benefit many people. In reality, perhaps only 2 or 3 a year. So, is that ‘enough?’ This is the concept I have been praying on and trying to wrap my head around. My bold approach to life has always pushed me to do more, be more, etc. Perhaps in this softer new phase of my life, it is time to look at things a little differently.

I spent some time with a close friend last week and shared my thoughts. She has a solid faith and such tremendous insight into life’s big questions. I love her sage advice, and she helped me clarify a few things in my head and heart.

A new endeavor is in my future….

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9 thoughts on “Giving Back

  1. Terri Burns

    I love these. You are such a good writer, so entertaining. Was wondering if you share these with my mom. I know she’d enjoy reading them too. Love ya
    Terri

    Sent from my iPhone

    Like

    1. Thanks so much, Terri! That means a lot. I shared the link with her early on, but I don’t think she signed up to follow me and receive emails when I post something new. I’ll resend the link. Love you!

      Like

  2. Lindy Webber

    Morning friend, what a nice way to start my day reading your heart-felt, thoughtful blog.

    I think 2017 is going to be a wonderful year of self-discovery for you Lorna!
    Looking forward to watch it all unfold!

    Like

  3. Marc holt

    Funny thing Lorna, Yesterday I was thinking about our Conversation at dinner after Dylan’s wrestling match When you first brought this up. As I still believe you gave much back to the community for teaching for 30 years. It’s obvious that God is calling you to do something new. Whatever you decide to do I’m sure it will be done well. You are an amazing person and I’m proud to call you my sister.

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  4. Thad D

    Boy, you never cease to amaze me. I always knew there was something about you that makes you into the amazing teacher were. How did I miss this not seeing it till today? Oh well. I usually watch for them. May 2017 bring you nothing but the best. It’s just one of those days, and we all have them. Heh.

    Like

  5. Pingback: New Endeavors! – RETIREMENT BLISS

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