“How’s it going?”
There’s a conversation we are all familiar with!
Interestingly, Many marginalized people struggle to find something meaningful to do with their time. In fact, there are publicly funded agencies whose entire mission is to find ways to make good use of time for people with developmental disabilities. Now with budget cuts, services that provide recreation, part-time volunteer and paid employment are always the first programs to go.
(click here for a recent news article on the subject)
Possibly the single most difficult challenge to our citizen advocates is the issue of our schedules. I’d like to combat this challenge by saying firstly, yes it will take a sacrifice, but a highly worthy one. It’s often said that people who may function a bit slower (or differently) helps to slow us down and realize what’s really important in life. Secondly, don’t think of being a citizen advocate in terms of “adding something to your schedule.” Think of it as “adding someone to your life.”
To make your commitment feel natural; consider your personality and schedule. Do you jog? Do you frequent museums? Are you good with budgeting or general life management? You might be surprised at how these ordinary skills and interests could be life changing moments when you invite your partner into your life rhythms.
One advocate exercises with her partner. Another advocate has invited his partner to his wedding. Some go grocery shopping. Others attend church together and share the same circle of friends.
Don’t let the issue of time deter you from life enriching opportunities!