Monday, February 14, 2011


I have always had boundary issues, but several years ago I had done some voluntary work for a senior citizen non-profit agency. It all started when I said I would help teach computer classes to the seniors and ended up in charge of the program. Then I was asked to help with keeping the meetings in line with Robert's Rules of Order since I knew them so well because I had years of service in an union. One job kept multiplying into another, and I ended up in the midst of a political nest that I thought I left when I retired from state service.

It seems for many people when they retired, or at least this is my impression, they do not have enough to do. Volunteering is a serious business and I live in a very conservative town and thus the agency I was volunteering is very conservative. People were fighting for every job they could get even if they did not always know how to do it. By my doing those jobs that I was asked, I was taking away from those who saw them as their life's blood. No one was being paid. I was seen as not fitting in and taking away from those who did. It did not matter that I knew how to do the duties that I was asked to do. I did. I taught computers and ran workshops for years.

There was a third factor, I retired from state service because I was tired of fighting the system and wanted more time to do the work I wanted to do. I was tired of politics. I did not know how to get out of going to work at a non-profit agency in which I had to fight to do work I did not get paid to do. It was on a Valentine's Day that I decided to write myself a Valentine's Letter and to quit that agency. What I did not know was there were several other people in the same predicament as I was. When I handed in my letter, they did as well. I never went back and I have seen some of them from time to time and they said they did the same. They said they wished they could have all signed my letter with me.

We all give Valentines to the ones we love, but sometimes we forget to give them to ourselves. It was the best Valentine I ever gave myself.

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