I used to be a yes-person.
I’ve said before that I did a lot of volunteering for much of what my kids were ever involved in while they were growing up. I’ve even volunteered for a few things that had nothing to do with my kids. People got to know pretty quickly that I was a yes-person. I usually didn’t mind though (even though I would complain).
I mean, I wanted to help and isn’t that why people get involved in the first place? It just kind of snowballs. You help with one project and you’re asked to help with another. When your kids are going to school and are involved in Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, band, sports, etc. (you get the picture) and you want to help those things run successfully so that your child can have fun and learn something, well then you sometimes end up being a yes-person.
From 1985 when my daughter started kindergarten till 2007 when my son (my younger of my two kids) reached his last couple of years in high school and I had been actively involved in child-centered projects, I started getting tired. I loved and will absolutely never regret the time I spent as a volunteer. I do not regret being a yes-person.
It’s just that I needed to stop being a yes-person. Which by no means doesn’t mean I now say no! I now say yes only to projects that I really want and/or need to be involved in.
Pretty much my only regret in all those years is that I gave up every hobby I had enjoyed and I’ve found it incredibly difficult to pick them back up.
Another regret is that along the way I made some friends. (I can count on one hand the number of people that I did not get along with while volunteering.) Some that would only be my friends for the duration of what we were involved in together. And some that have remained friends to this day. I regret that I’ve lost contact with some of those friends that I truly loved, but I guess they weren’t meant to be lifelong friends. I cherish the friendships that have endured.
One of the things that I cherish most is the rekindled friendship that I am enjoying through facebook of someone that I spent a few short years spending a ton of volunteer time together before she moved away. I truly believe that if we lived closer together we would be very good friends…something I think that neither of us realized all those years ago when we were yes-people together and so so busy raising our kids.