I am one that prefers to work behind the scenes. I don't like to be the center of attention and I get embarrassed when I am. (Unless it is my birthday, of course, as that is the one time it really is all about me). I take pride in what I do and I generally give it my all. Not always, but I try, especially if it is a reflection on someone or something else. For example, if I am a project leader or just volunteering for a project, I will often stay and help clean up after everyone has left-not as a reflection on me but as a reflection of representing Hands on Portland.
I have had a few moments lately, however, that have really warmed my heart and I have no one to share them with. I can't come home and say "Honey, guess what happened today?" I could tell the dogs, but they don't really care. They just want food.
The first happened in the midst of all the weirdos joining my meetup group. I had a widow join that responded to my introductory e-mail with doubts that I might feel she should not be a part of the group because she is older than my "cut-off" age. I e-mailed her back and recommended she come to a couple of our dinners and decide if she feels it is the right group for her and then explained why I started the group and why I decided to make it for widows and widowers 50 and under. Her response came right after I finished my blog post about the trolls and it warmed my heart. She thanked me for my kind words and said she would try out the the group. She was unable to make it this month though. As I finished her e-mail, my anger about the trolls subsided a bit and I thought "And this is why I do it."
Yesterday, I had another new member thank me for my sweet words to her. Several members of the group who came to dinner for the first time expressed gratitude for the existence of the group. That makes me feel like I AM doing something good even if I can't see the big picture.
It hasn't just been the group. Saturday, I did a volunteer project at an elementary school in Portland. It was a last minute thing-my friend's foster son needed some community service hours for school. So I decided to tag along. I got there a little early and the project leader was unloading his truck with breakfast goodies. I introduced myself and asked if he needed help. He said that would be great. Then he said that he had been talking to a gal at Hands on Portland the day before and she told him I was an awesome project leader. That totally made my day.
I don't normally toot my own horn. But it is so nice to know that at a time when it feels I am doing everything wrong, I am actually getting something right.