My life was full. I was on partnership track at a “Big Law” firm, a single parent to two small children with no nanny and no family nearby, exercising to keep off the weight I’d lost since my divorce, trying to date … there wasn’t one thing more I felt I could add to my plate. But a friend convinced me to volunteer at a local business organization, and soon I was serving on one committee and, by the next year, chairing a second committee. It was only after I became engaged in my community that it became a community for me. Before I’d been living a life focused on getting my work done then going home and taking care of my children. I knew the people with whom I worked, and a few of my neighbors but was otherwise isolated from the broader town in which I lived. It felt like a City I lived in, but not a part of me.
Getting involved had huge benefits for me by getting me outside my small circle and integrating and investing me I’m my community.
When I say “Yes” to joining one more committee and taking a leadership role in it, I often forget that at the same time I am saying “No” to something else, which is a lesson I’m still working on as I continue to say “Yes, Yes Yes” to most opportunities that enter my life. I don’t want to miss anything! But maybe doing fewer things with more intention and focus is best. It requires taking the time to think through my goals in life and turning someone down-which makes me feel guilty- but I’m working on it!