Larry Jordan

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"You Must Get Bored, Sometimes."

Jul 21, 2022 by Larry Jordan, in Volunteering

Sometimes, people assume that I must get bored, since I no longer have a full-time job, and that I must have trouble finding challenging, interesting, and rewarding things to do.

My last week looked something like this:

Monday:   coordinate a VA training program, volunteer at a Catholic Charities tax site
Tuesday:   volunteer at a children’s hospital
Wednesday:   drive a van to and from the VA clinic
Thursday:   attend meetings at the children’s hospital and at DFW Airport
Friday:   volunteer at an AARP tax site
Saturday:   volunteer at an AARP tax site

(Next week, we will be volunteering seven days, since we will be serving as counsellors at Camp Courage, a weekend camp for siblings of kids with serious illnesses and injuries.)

In our spare time, we also attended an adventure travel meetup, an art show, a festival, a food truck park, and two softball games. Also, I ran thirty miles, and I read two books.

Driving a van is pretty challenging.  At our training program, the “old” drivers (like me) told the new drivers about the highs and lows of driving a 21-foot van over 300 miles, like backing into posts, breaking down on the highway, corralling runaway wheelchairs, handling sick passengers, and taking calls at all hours.

Helping people with their tax returns is pretty interesting. Imagine meeting strangers, who tell you their names, addresses, phone numbers, and social security numbers. Then, they show you their payroll W-2s and pension distributions and unemployment checks. Then, they explain their immigration status and living arrangements. Strangers, no more.

Then, it gets interesting, as you assemble their documents and notes and recollections, to help them to complete their tax returns, which seems sometimes like assembling a puzzle. As my Lovely Wife, an artist, suggested, “Put something on the canvas, and the painting will emerge.”

My unique experience often proves invaluable. As I half-jokingly told one of our clients, “If you surveyed every accounting firm in Fort Worth and every H&R Block in Arlington, you would not find a tax preparer with as much personal experience with capital losses.” (Understandably, they were both calmed and distressed by my unique claim to fame.)

Everything that we do is rewarding, because we spend every day doing what we want to do. What excuse do we have for not being challenged and interested and rewarded?

So, no, we never get bored, and no, we never have trouble finding rewarding things to do.