27 Sep 2016
- Last Updated on 27 September 2016
- Written by Brenda Lee-Heilmann
It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.” — Tolkien
This is a true story, (all the best ones are), of a young woman who joined a group and found more than she was looking for, changed, grew, and became an older woman with memories to last a lifetime.
Yes, that woman is me and 18 and half years ago I had what Dr. Phil describes as a Life Changing Moment. Many of you know this story, but for those who don’t……read on.
My friend Anne Marie Corbett called me up one afternoon and said to me ”Hey, the OSCA Board has two spots still open, the AGM is tonight, we should join”. In a fit of spontaneity that was and still is very unlike me (and very un hobbit like I might add) , I said “Sure. Let’s do it”. With no forethought, no research, no pro and con list, I just showed up and was voted in.
I knew nothing…and I mean NOTHING about what I was signing up for. I didn’t speak for the first four months, I listened to them talk about Robert’s Rules of Order and wondered to myself who this 'Robert' was…but slowly I learned, I spoke up, I found a place for myself and realized that I would never care about bylaws, and infill, and zoning the way I probably should, and that was ok. I could contribute to programming and special events and fundraising. The board was big enough to encompass all kinds of people and all kinds of interests and we each had an important role to play. I wasn’t always on the board (I have joined, quit and rejoined four times…just call me Celine Dion), but I have always been involved in some way with special events or programming. To say it has been wonderful all the time would be a lie, but to say it has been life changing would not. I have learned organizational skills, how to juggle things, how to roll with the punches, rally from failures, rejoice in successes, I found my voice (in many, many ways), found myself, found friends and community and a place to expand my horizons and stretch what I thought myself capable of. The memories I have of these years are beyond value, the people I have met and worked with and served are innumerable, and the changes that happened to the young woman I once was are beyond measure. I have a sense of self that I did not have before and I know that these years of volunteering are part of what shaped that.
So, what is the moral of the story? For there always is one.
The moral of the story is simple—giving to others is wonderful in that it changes not only your community but also you. Join a group, make a change, take a chance—it benefits you and your neighbours more than you can even begin to imagine. Don’t be hindered by second thoughts, pro and con lists, worries of your inability to be useful…join for an hour, join for one event, join for many events, but join—take that step out your front door—that is the moral.
The Special Events Committee has need more than ever for new members. Three members who have contributed for many events and years are stepping down—a big thank you to Ilona Peltz, Nancy Brunet, and a VERY BIG THANK YOU to Julia Morency who has never lived in OOS but loves it enough to have been a part of special events for over 12 years .
I will be stepping down as Chair of the Special Events Committee, will still be a member of the committee but will be leading fewer events and lessening my role. New adventures and experiences call to me and I must away.