Wednesday 4 September 2019

What would you do all day if you didn't have to work?

I often think about this and yesterday evening Karen and I were talking about it on our run-with-dogs.

Work and having to make a living gets in the way of spending time on other projects that I'd like to get around to.

Although Parys is a town with young (like me) people, there are also a lot of retired folk who spend their days at home. My parents are also of an age where their friends are retiring (although many of them are going strong and working over the age of 65).

What are they all going to do with their days?

Every town and city in South Africa has people-in-need; from babies and children in care facilities to the very elderly who sit in chairs doing nothing all day.

I've started a list of things that I would do if I didn't have to work every day:
  • Spend more time with Rusty doing things (not just having her lie next to my desk as I work)
  • Walk, run, paddle, bike more than the minimum I'm currently ticking over
  • Travel
  • Do online courses on different subjects for fun
  • Read books to old folk who are no longer able to read
  • Read stories to children - a morning/afternoon slot
  • Get involved with a literacy programme
  • Teach children and adults how to crochet and develop community projects
  • Wash and groom dogs and cats at the local SPCA
  • Get involved with or start a Funda Nenja branch in my town; a project that changes the lives of township children by teaching them dog care, training and ownership
  • Be a volunteer sports coach at any school that needs me
  • Create maps - lots of them!
(And I'd also spend time hiding in bushes to catch the people who continuously dump trash at a number of spots in our town. Catching them is essential to stopping them. I plan to be armed with a paintball gun, to make a citizen's arrest and to make them cleanup by filling bags and bags with litter. I fantasise about this!)

I've always been community orientated and I struggle to understand why people who have no work or people who no longer work can sit around doing not much when their precious skills and hands will be treasured by organisations desperately needing volunteer help. 

Volunteering is not eight-hours-a-day; it may be two-hours twice a week.

Sure, I understand that having nothing to do can make a person less likely to do anything - lack of motivation, depression all play a role here.

There are many things that one can do that will not cost you a cent. They cost time.

Not everyone is for washing dogs and reading stories. Someone who is good with child care can help to change nappies and feed orphaned babies; a person with accounting and bookkeeping skills can assist an organisation with their books; good photographs of animals in community papers helps to find homes for abandoned animals; a passionate cook may help prepare meals at a food shelter; a hairdresser (or regular person who is good with a set of clippers) can transform the homeless.

Needs are great. Hands are few.

If you are out of work and looking for work, doing anything is a feather in your cap and an entry on your CV.

Doing something for others is rewarding. It gives purpose. It keeps you busy. It creates friendships.

If you had every day to fill, what would you do with your time?

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