How to ditch ‘fomo’ and foster ‘jomo’ – the joy of missing out

A prerequisite for jomo is to learn to value our limited time and how it is spent. In doing so, we create opportunities to experience the joy of being present. We value what we have, rather than worrying about what we may be missing out on
— Read on theconversation.com/how-to-ditch-fomo-and-foster-jomo-the-joy-of-missing-out-200400

Has social media had its day in the sunshine?

Volunteering- Be very careful about what you choose.

I’ve had quite a few volunteer experiences since I retired in 2017 and I am here to report on them all. I did a post on volunteering when I first retired. Nothing like real life experience to see how things work.  Baby boomers are not your grandparents volunteers who beavered away at rummage sales and church teas. Many BB’s had responsible jobs and know how to manage people and things.  BB’s have more knowledge and expertise than those who are hiring them as volunteers.  This can be intimidating for young volunteer managers.  

Clinical Trial at UBC

My first volunteer gig was being part of a clinical trial at UBC. The idea was to test an iphone App called BrainHQ to see if it improved your memory. There were already many studies on this app so I am not sure what was new about this study. The study involved two groups, one that used the app and one that did not. Sadly I was in the group that did not get the app until the end of the 6 week study. Of course you want to know the results but so far they have not published the results. There were many cool things about this volunteer gig. If you are interested in participating in clinical trials, some are online. Here is the link.

  1. I could walk because I was close to Vancouver General Hospital’
  2. We attended an activity three times a week for 6 weeks that included some exercise, games, spreakers and conversation.
  3. I got tested on a whole lot of cognitive function tests and they gave you the results at the end so you can see if you are loosing it.. or by how much you are loosing it compared to people your age. The testing included an MRI which is why I took one point off.

Rating

  • Fun factor 7/10
  • New friends 0/10
  • Worthwhile use of my time 10/1
  • Treated with respect 9/10
  • Overall Rating 9/10

BC Science center tried to recruit me to stand in the lobby and click a clicker to count the people coming through. You much be joking.

ESL tutoring

The next volunteer gig was assisting at English as a second language classes at Mosaic in Vancouver which is a huge organization. I have recently recertified as a teacher in British Columbia so I thought I could get some recent experience. I was supposed to be a teachers assistant to the real ESL teacher. I was assigned to a class with about 10 people who had close to no English comprehension and were from multiple different countries and from ages 20 – 90. One elderly person was deaf and cognitively impaired. Another person had some learning disorders. There were about 5 people who had potential to learn English. My job was to help students when they were doing small group work. This will rank as my worst volunteer experience ever.

  • Long bus trip to the classroom.
  • Waste of my time
  • Was told I was not to make any suggestions to the 25 year old tutor.

Rating

  • Fun factor -1/10
  • New friends 0/10
  • Worthwhile use of my time 1/10
  • Treated with respect 1/10
  • Overall rating 1/10

Review of the literature on non- symptomatic Covid 19.

I volunteered for this as my real job had involved a lot of health care research and it thought this would be a good use of my talents. I was assigned and the question and wrote a paper on the topic for a group at UBC. This was early 2019 and there were not many papers on the topic so it was rather a short job but interesting. I have been very interested in the whole COVID 19 process. About 2 years later a received a lovely thank you letter from UBC that I am thinking about framing. I was invited to an online think tank on Zoom but there were about 30 people talking over each other.. OMG. Won’t do that again I said to myself. So I decided I had had enough of this project. It was overwhelming. It was my first experience with grandstanding.

Rating

  • Fun factor -9/10
  • New friends 0/10
  • Worthwhile use of my time 10/10
  • Treated with respect 7/10
  • Overall rating 7/10

Immunization clinics

Fast forward to Covid 19. I volunteered at the immunization clinics for Vancouver Island Health Authority in Courtenay. I was responsible to herding people through the lines to the nurses and making sure everyone was feeling comfortable with the process. Then I would site in the after care space chatting with people. I feel that this has paid all my debts to society. It was very well organized. I was hard to stand for 4 hours. But I enjoyed chatting with the wide variety of people coming through the clinic. The big surprise at the end was the goody bag given to all the volunteers at the end include many gift cards and a bottle of wine. Who knew????

Rating

  • Fun factor -9/10
  • New friends 0/10
  • Worthwhile use of my time 10/10
  • Treated with respect 9/10
  • Overall Rating 9/10

Habitat for Humanity online auction

I volunteered to research objects donated to the Restore to see if they are valuable enough to put in their online auction. This involved going into a dark and dusty closet can pawing through cartons of old stuff. Stuff included pseudo vintage snow shows, copper tea post, vintage figurines and other strange things that I could not identify. Since this was a new job, I set up a process to do the online search and set up a file with the results. The Restore is a busy spot and space it at a premium. It was interesting to see why kind of thing people donate. This was a surprisingly time consuming activity. I went to a few meetings. Not my cup of tea.

Rating

  • Fun factor -0/10
  • New friends 0/10
  • Worthwhile use of my time 5/10
  • Treated with respect 2/10
  • Overall rating 5/10

Sitting the quilt

While on Hornby Island I did some shifts sitting in the courtyard among the businesses selling tickets for a quilt raffle. This is the ultimate meet and greet job. You get to chat with everyone passing through Hornby Island for all over the world. What could be more fun?

Rating

  • Fun factor -10/10
  • New friends 1/10
  • Worthwhile use of my time 5/10
  • Treated with respect 9/10
  • Overall rating 9/10

So what lessons have I learned?

  • Volunteer work can be physically demanding so be sure you have the stamina to do the job.
  • Do you like the person who is hiring you?
  • Do you thrive on chaos. Some do! Not me.
  • For me it is important to have some interest in the work
  • I like doing meet and greet and I am good at it. And it makes everyone feel good.
  • Its hard to find a fun and interesting volunteer job.
 
Recommendations to volunteer coordinators.
  1. Have written job descriptions for volunteers, including the number of hours per week and the length of the volunteer commitment. 
  2. Make it clear who the volunteer reports to.
  3. Have a schedule available from day 1 unless the job is on-call.
  4. Have a short job orientation including a tour of the premises and introductions to others.
  5. Avoid the requirements for criminal record checks if possible.  It’s a hassle.  Just because you can do it on the computer doesn’t make it any easier.  I have an existing criminal record check as part of my teacher certification, had one done in 2021 to work in the vaccination clinic, and then was asked to do it again in 2022 to volunteer for island health. I was just asked to do another one to volunteer to teach Ukrainian refugees. That’s three times in three years.  The RCMP has to process all these requests.  
  6. I did appreciate the gift cards I got from one volunteer gig.  I am not into volunteer appreciation events. Call me a curmudgeon. 😊😊😊. 
  • What has been your favourite volunteer gig and why? Or why haven’t you volunteered?

artwork is by ALPIN KELLEY on Hornby Island

Agency and Birdwatching in COVID-19

Gallery

This gallery contains 8 photos.

I bought a new camera as part of my COVID Coping Strategy and discoverd birds. Little did I know I would accumulate thousands of bird photos. Now Terry has posted a new challenge to prompt me to curate my bird … Continue reading

19 Tips For Reading More This Year

19 Tips For Reading More This Year
— Read on www.buzzfeednews.com/amphtml/ariannarebolini/how-to-read-more-pandemic-2021

My favourite is the Chrome Extension so you can synch your Goodreads with the library you use. I also discovered Libby is the app to download for Vancouver Public Library and Vancouver Island public library not Overdrive.

Overcoming Zoomaphopia. Part 2 Topics for discussion for zoom social groups

This is the second part of a series of three blogs outlining how to set up and run Zoom social meetings. The first part is how to download and set up the Zoom App, the second part is topics for discussion and the third part is how to set up a zoom discussion/support group.

This section is a list of topics my Zoom group has used. They were all interesting and sometimes controversial topics which added to the fun factor for me. The first 30 min of the meeting was a brief update from each person about highs and lows of the week and the group found this a very valuable part of the meeting.

“Zoom calls done right, with the right people and the right trust in place is an astounding opportunity to gain better understanding of others and most notably, better understanding of self” https://retirementreflections.com.

  • Did you have a desire to pursue another career, yet life moved you forward in this direction? What other career path would you have chosen knowing what you know now?  Why?
  • What is the most useless talent you have?
  • What talent don’t you have that you wish you did?
  • Share something that has inspired you this past week. e.g.
    • personal anecdote
    • good news story
    • photograph
    • piece of art
    • nature
    • blog post
  • Recall a time that you have been politically active in a political party as a volunteer, campaign manager, candidate, or in some other capacity. Or alternatively, have you ever been an activist (e.g., participated in a march, letter writing campaign, blockade, etc.)? What motivated you to become active in a political party or a political activist? If you have never been politically active or an activist, why not?
  • We are now in the ninth month of Covid-related restrictions. Please share one, or several, positive impacts this experience has had on your life and/or relationships. When this is over, how will 2020 not only be a year of loss and limitations, but also one that – because of the virus – we have personally learned something, done something, or experienced something we might not have otherwise?
  • Baking-Do you like to bake, or are you a big believer in getting sweet treats from the bakery instead? Does Christmas inspire you to bake? Do you have an old family recipe that you turn to again and again? Has COVID inspired a new interest in baking? Do you have a recipe or baking disaster you want to share?
  • Select an old photo of yourself that you really like – preferably one that is at least 10 years old.  Tell us the story of that photo – who were you? What was happening in your life?
  • Have you ever done a “gratitude practice,” and if yes, what was it and how did it work for you? Plus, what are the THREE most important things you are grateful for right now?
  • A colleague once told me that he didn’t believe in retirement – that it only happened when we passed away. Up until that point, we are merely ‘writing’ new chapters in our life. In that spirit, describe this current chapter you are living in right now. Where are you in this chapter – a new beginning, a middle, or an end? What 2-3 phrases best describe you in this chapter?
  • I have been fortunate to have had mentors. In school, work and in life. Do you have a mentor you would like to share with us?  How did they mentor you? How did they change your life? It can be more than one person from the past or the present.
  • What do you fear about getting older?
  • If you could be any animal, what would you be?
  • Do you have a favourite childhood Christmas memory?  A Christmas tradition you carry forward?  A new tradition? If you do not celebrate Christmas, do you enjoy the holiday season in other ways?
  • What long term change, or new habit, can you see in your life as a result of this extraordinary COVID period?
  • What are your coping strategies during Quarantine/ LockDown/ COVID19
  • Best Apps for your phone
  • If you could be any animal, what would you be?
  • What are some of your favourite books?
  • What is your Enneagram type?

With thanks to some of the Blogging Zoomers for their contributions. https://retirementreflections.com
http://gideonsockpuppet.blogspot.com/
https://widowbadass.com/
https://behindthesceneryphoto.com/
https://retirementallychallenged.com/

The 33 Best Retirement Blogs On The Planet – 4Retirees

Whatever you’re interested in reading, we curated the best retirement blogs for you that’s created and run by retirees, for retirees.
— Read on 4retirees.com/the-33-best-retirement-blogs-on-the-planet/

Christmas in Courtenay

This has been a challenging year for us all. I have been fortunate to end up in Courtenay on Vancouver Island where there have been few cases of COVID19. In past years I have spend Christmas in Hornby Island, Puerta Vallarta, Costa Rica, Phoenix, Ottawa, Algeria and London England. As I went down memory lane in my photos, I enjoyed the memories each picture brought. I am enjoying watching Rick Steves on PBS and trying to see if I recognize any of the places he visits. This year’s pictures don’t have people in them for the obvious reasons. I will be doing a Zoom Christmas as others will be.

My favourite things to keep my busy have been walking, reading, Netflix, and my instant pot. I have discovered cooking as other have and have tested a few recipes I would like to share.
https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/pho-recipe/
Slow cooker Spanish Stew
Jamie Oliver’s Pesto Recipe. Use fresh basil from Thriftys. I found a new pasta called pappardelle in a specialty deli which is like fettuccini which was not in stock at Quality Foods. Odd?

My Netflix favourites have been Orange is the New Black, Breaking Bad and several series about politics: Designated Survivor (US), The Crown (UK). Borgen(Denmark) and Marseille ( France). These all captured my attention for many evenings over the past months. My favourite books of the year have been Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, and Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I’d read them all again.

Another activity that has kept me engaged has been a weekly zoom meeting with 7 other bloggers from across Canada and the US. We have met every weeks since March. We had an in person meetup with 4 of the bloggers on Hornby Island during the summer. It is a fascinating way to get to know people in a more intimate level than in person. I thank the bloggers for their fun and support over the year.

I thought I would share some pictures of the area and my new COVID pastime with my new camera. It’s been amazingly mild here and there are some great beaches for beachcombing and birding.

I wish a happy and safe 2021 to all my readers.

Birding

Harelquin Duck

Bufflehead

barrows golden eye

pine siskin

heron

kingfisher

green winged teal

red chested chickadee

white capped sparrow

bewicks wren

house finch

How to preserve your sanity while keeping up with digital technology

Nothing speaks better to our technology challenges than a word cloud like this. Do we all need to do a reset on our defaults? Just when we got a …

How to preserve your sanity while keeping up with digital technology