Thankful, changes, and time.

So I’m prepping up for a music concert this afternoon.

It’s for a Toys for Tots campaign being run by the Newark branch of LOV. They’re a local volunteer group staffed mostly by retirees and members of the VFW. They do things like serving a few thousand Thanksgiving meals to homeless and shut-ins.

It’s one of those things I don’t usually bother to tell people about. Unless you’re a volunteer in the group, its not exactly a concert to attend. And being a volunteer organization, the budget will be a shoe-string I bet. I know the venue is a cafeteria in a local high school. They “technically” pay for the band to show up, but we donate the check right back to them each year as part of the event. It’s not exactly something you can get a co-worker excited to go attend as a “thing.”

It’s going to be gaudy and noisy. The acoustics will be lousy. I expect the decorations to be over-the-top. And the program is nothing but Christmas music, much of it liberally cheesy.

But it’s going to be a fun, glorious mess. Because the real audience will be the volunteers. This is a big Christmas party and celebration for them and their seasonal work, even as they collect toys for kids who need ’em. They’ll be an enthusiastic audience, and that’s the fun part. That always makes it the best.

That and it feels really good to be donating to a good cause. So much of the last year has been taken up with sorting out problems of my own that it’s nice to stop and help others. Narcissism and selfishness can be soul rot. And while I will be applauded and it isn’t truly altruistic, it helps you feel a bit better about yourself to donate time and effort.

I’ve been here a year now. I’ll probably post more on that later. But with the stress rolling back in areas it’s been maxed on in years I sometimes feel left a little empty. I’m so used to being in crisis mode that backing off and living a little seems like a selfish luxury.

In some ways, playing a Christmas concert for a bunch of smiling community volunteers seems to both be enjoying life and atoning for that selfishness.

Merry Christmas!

One Response to “Thankful, changes, and time.”

  1. mongologue says:

    I think the notion that you can;t be applauded for altruistic, community-minded, efforts to help others is silly. It’s called positive feedback, and it’s human nature to want and enjoy it.

    We know it’s a subsidary reason, too. You’re helping kids, and that’s the big one. But you deserve all the applause, heck yeah. 🙂

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