After my previous post (and rant) about volunteering in the Charity Shop, I thought I'd write a much more positive post about my experiences so far. So, here's five good things I've experienced by volunteering to work in a charity shop.
1) It helps a charitable organisation and allows me to do something with my time, that aligns with my values in life. This is generally very satisfying.
2) It makes me travel outside of our borough in London. Having lived in London for nearly 20 years now, I have somehow slipped into the habit of not venturing very far from home.
Although in the early years of living here, I travelled around London a lot and visited lots of tourist spots and places of interest, in the last few years when OH and I have both been working from home, we have found that it takes a lot of mental effort to go out of our comfort zone and get out and about.
Having to travel to the other side of London for my volunteer work makes me get out and about more and experience life in a different part of London. I'm hoping it will make me more willing to get out and about on weekends sometimes too.
3) Getting out of the house and working at the charity shop two days a week has also made me realise and appreciate how much I like my home.
That feeling of coming home, especially on a Friday, has returned and I also appreciate weekends a lot more too, as when I set off for home on a Friday afternoon, it signifies and feels more like the start of the weekend.
4) Working in the charity shop is a very social activity, meeting and serving customers, chatting about everyday things to people I've never met before is a very positive thing.
I'm enjoying helping customers find what they might be looking for, keeping the shop looking tidy and inviting, sharing a joke with colleagues, learning new skills.
5) Finally, there are some other personal benefits of working in the charity shop.
I've been making more effort with my appearance, wearing clothes that have been sat in the wardrobe for months unworn, gaining confidence in talking to people, snacking less as it's not so easy to graze during the day, getting a bit more exercise through being on my feet all day and starting to get more organised and proactive in an attempt to keep on top of everything at home, despite spending less time there.
So, I'm enjoying all of these benefits of my volunteering work and am hoping that they will continue.