Saturday, August 04, 2018

Simplifying My Life

This morning I sent in my resignation letter as a board member and secretary (acting) of my Homeowners' Association. 

I don't want this responsibility at this time of my life. 

I have enough going on in my life, I don't need this.

Unfortunately for our homeowners' association, very few of our fifty-seven homeowners want to be on the board.  I was nominated as a board member by my neighbor.  I thought I could help, especially with my secretarial recording skills that I had in my previous life. But once on the board I realized that with my part-time job, my caregiving responsibilities for Bill and myself (our life now is a series of doctors' appointments), and just running our household takes up most of my time. With what time I have left over I want to do what I enjoy like blogging, gardening, reading, following my political shows, researching my roots on, and organizing my photos and creating memory videos and spending time with my friend Pat and our four (quarterly) jaunts to our favorite cities. I'm seventy-six years old. I've been working since I was ten years old (as a paper boy - not just mowing lawns and running errands but actually working at a job), and I deserve and will claim time for myself at this time of my life.

Please friends and neighbors, do not volunteer me for any more jobs.  I claim my time.

Since we moved to Delaware I've been asked to volunteer my time at several thrift shops (for free), at the hospital (for free), and to run for political office and to solicit votes (for free).  

Folks, anyone reading this blog, DO NOT ASK ME TO VOLUNTEER for jobs that YOU WANT.

I have a life and I will decide how I live it.  

Volunteering is a wonderful option for those who have the inclination and time for it.  This is not an option for me.  Bill and I live on a modest fixed income. Our income will never go up. However, how expenses continually creep up. I need my part-time job just to try and keep up. And I'll never get a raise on that job either.  So if YOU want to volunteer, do it. Don't ask me because I'm turning you down.

I have no doubt some of these people who ask me to volunteer my time are well meaning , but I have to say I resent the fact that they think I have nothing going on in my life that I have to fulfill some desire they have.  Don't do me any favors friends. 

Every morning I wake up I roll out of my bed, sore all over. I'm unsteady on my feet. My whole body aches from my slowly advancing arthritic condition. I get up to go to the bathroom and I'm unsteady on my feet. My biggest fear at this time of my life is falling. I've fallen too many times in the past five years, three times causing serious injury.  Just yesterday I almost fell leaving the Food Lion parking lot when I stumbled over a speed bump on the way back to my car. Thank goodness I didn't fall on my face like I did in Philadelphia a few years ago when I was crossing a busy street. Thank God Pat was with me and stopped the cars from running over me as I lay flat on my face. 

Every day I need an afternoon nap to get through the day. If I don't I wind down like an old manual clock. I don't have the energy I used to have when I was younger. 

I'm an old man who doesn't have much time left on this planet.  I claim my time.  


Harry Hamid said...

Gigs that rely on volunteers can be some of the most thankless, nerve-racking gigs around at any age. Better to spend time around people who care about me, doing things that make me feel better about myself, I find. You've chosen well, it seems to me.

Deedles said...

You go, boy!

Linda said...

You have the right to claim your time! I love it! Live your life as you choose too! It is your life and kind neighbors and friends will respect your decision. If some do not, it is on them and let them volunteer their time. After all each of us only get a finite amount of time and we should live it as we wish...………..

Mike, Studio City said...

When we lived in Studio City, five blocks from Oil Can Harry's, and the 'Brady Bunch' house, we also volunteered our time for our local resident groups. We were on the Universal Studio neighbors committee, not to bad, and on neighborhood watch, and Studio City resident group. When we moved here to Chatsworth last year we had no desire to start that up again, amd we have been asked several times. It is so nice and quiet and no one asking us to "join in". Also, it seems we are adding more doctors visits.

Ron said...

Thank you Harry for your reinforcement of my decision. I do feel guilty leaving the board since hardly anyone here in my development will volunteer their time to be on the board. They don't want to be bothered. Seems like I'm the one some people always assume who is the volunteer rather than them. Why don't they volunteer? I'll always feel guilty about my decision but I just don't need the stress at this time of my life. I feel relieved already in spite of the guilt I continue to feel for leaving the board.

Ron said...

Like my co-worker at the hotel said to me when I was complaining about always being the one person asked to fill in for my other co-workers instead of the other part-time worker, "You could just say 'no' Ron", which is exactly what I did.

Ron said...

You are exactly right. For much of my life I have been the one who has "volunteered" and done what others don't want to do. I'm still the one who works the holidays at the hotel, as I did all my years at during my bank employment. I still remember a few years ago when I was paying for some items at one of our many local thrift shops and was asked by the person I was paying "Would you like to volunteer to work here?" Uh, no. Why did you ask? Then a friend of mine "offered" me the position of being a thrift shop manager (no pay of course) for five days a week. Like I have nothing to do with my time. As I said before, if volunteering works for you, go for it. Doesn't work for me. I don't have enough time to do what I want to do now. And I'm running out of time. I claim my time.

Ron said...

Pat and I were just at Oil Can Harry's again during our recent visit to LA. We're going to have to meet up there next year! About volunteering, I think it is great if that activity works for you which it obviously does for many. Doesn't work for me, never did. I want to be paid for my time. Maybe I'm being selfish. And like you and Glenn, our time is increasingly taken up with doctors' appointments. For both me and Bill. In fact when we get a week or two free of appointments, it feels like a vacation. I told bill last week "No doctor's appointments this week!" I'm coming to the end of my show now and my time is more precious. I'm going to do what I want to do. Selfish or not. Always good hearing from you Mike!

Joel Reisteter said...

You have a FULL-TIME job just taking care of yourself and your husband and running your home and that is hard work in itself. Then you have a part-time job that actually pays you a few pennies. You're probably working a 168 hour week - including a wee bit sleep, too. (a full week - 24/7) You don't have time for the HOA. I'm glad you're getting away from that. Just say goodbye to volunteering.
I'm in my early 60's with a full-time job and taking care of my parents who are in their early 90's with many problems of dementia, so that's 2 full time jobs there. I really don't have the time for anything else. Luckily the love of my life, Jack, left me some nice money in his will. I am a widower.

Ur-spo said...

Good for you!
It reminds me of what I used to hear in the Lutheran church by the elders: "Get some of the younger ones to do it"

Raybeard said...

Not before time are you living your life as YOU wish to, Ron. Make no apologies, especially when there are none to give. And don't feel guilty about it.

Ron said...

You have much more on your plate than I do. I admire your stamina and devotion.

Ron said...

Yes, "Let the younger ones do it!"

Ron said...

Thanks Ray!