My daughter and I signed up to volunteer for two hours this morning to help with tasks involved in getting ready for the annual library book sale. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Even though I looked forward to and attended the book sale almost every year, I had never been involved in any of the activities that preceded it.
We arrived a little early to find a smattering of other early birds there at the crack of 9:00AM, ready to help. We jumped right in.After a few “thank you’s” from Susan, the lovely woman in charge, I said, “Actually, I’m having fun!”
And you know what? I was having fun. More than that, I was having a great time. Even though it was very muggy and I was sweating and thirsty, I was enjoying what I was doing and the time was passing quickly. As I thought about why, I realized that volunteering to help set up for the library book sale combined two of my favorite things:
- Being with the books
- Bringing order to chaos
I was especially pleased because I was able to identify, almost without thinking about it, exactly what it was that made me enjoy the work so much. It was a physical job: hauling books from one end of the gym to the other. Usually I don’t love exercise, but then it occurred to me that I was getting my ‘workout’ this morning doing purposeful activity with something to show for it at the end besides sore muscles: the dozens of cartons of books that were arranged on tables, spines, up, ready for the customers tomorrow–another bonus.
Our two hours of volunteering turned into four and a half. We stayed until the job was done.
As it turned out, the day included another one of my favorite things: PIZZA! Susan unexpectedly treated us to pizza for lunch. Because in the end, it’s always all about the food…and today, it was also all about the books!