It wasn’t a New Year’s resolution. Maybe it was just a nice passing thought but with the New Year, I wanted to spend less time volunteering at my kids’ school and more time writing.
For the past two years, I have been an officer in the parent-teacher association (PTA) at their school. With that volunteer position comes a big time commitment. It means helping out at PTA functions as well as doing my officer position as Treasurer.
I volunteered enough hours in the past two years to receive the Silver Presidential Volunteer Service Award. This is a national award given to those who volunteer between 250 and 400 hours a year. (I received a certificate and a lapel pin each year.)
This year I am the first vice-president in charge of parent education and PTA programs. This position isn’t as time intensive as keeping the books for the PTA, but I do still volunteer a lot of my time helping with our programs.
So at the beginning of the year we had a PTA board meeting. I took myself off the scholarship committee announcing that I was trying to cut back my volunteering. I didn’t raise my hand when they were forming the budget committee.
When they talked about things that need to be done for our upcoming festival, I agreed to do the flyers and signs because that is something I love to do, and since I did them last year, I have many of the files already done.
Then came the news that the woman in charge of the fifth-grade pool party (an end of the year celebration for those leaving elementary school to attend middle school) had to step down. They were looking for those who would chair the committee or at least help out. Since I have a fifth-grader, I couldn’t say no to helping.
I bet you can see where this is going. Yep, by the time we had our first committee meeting, I had begun talking to people about last year’s party. And since I was treasurer the past two years, I had access to the party expenses. And before I knew it, I seemed to be in charge of the committee even though I haven’t officially taken on the chair position.
Ok. The party isn’t until the end of May and tons of parents usually want to be involved so I think I should be fine with this additional responsibility. And then…
The PTA needs to form a nominating committee to elect officers for the next school year. When the PTA President announced this at our general meeting last week, there was dead silence from the audience. No one wants to be on the committee, and we need five members. Finally a few of us dedicated PTA board members raised their hands. (Yes, you know I was one of them.)
After the meeting, the five of us on the committee were supposed to meet and pick a chair. Somehow three of the others met without me and said while they didn’t mind being on the committee that they didn’t want to chair it. I bet you can guess what happened next. Yep, I am chairing the nomination committee.
The good news is the nominating committee is a short term commitment. We will be done by next month.
So I had good intentions to volunteer less. I do want to spend more time writing. I guess now I will just have to find a way to do it all.
Just practice saying, “NO, I’m sorry I’m unable to help at this time.”
Easy to say, sometimes hard to do. Kudos to you for volunteering though.