Last weekend, while I was discussing the viability of a vulnerable friend volunteering in a local charity shop, I did something that surprised myself!
The charity shop in question was unable to accept my friend, as they had no vacancies in their sorting room ( my friend is uncomfortable around people.) Me being me, a conversation ensued, with the Manageress explaining how they were in need of till staff. I heard myself asking if they would consider taking me on!!! I certainly hadn’t had any intention of volunteering there, especially as my role has been as a flexercise leader with older people. I recently had to withdraw from my voluntary job, as it had become too physically challenging for me , which really upset me. I’ve been trying to decide what to do, I like feeling useful but my health has to be taken into consideration. Hence the reason why my offering my services that day had taken me so much by surprise.
As a total believer in following where the Universe leads me, I realised that this had happened for a reason, so duly filled out the application forms before self doubt got the better of me. I should mention that this shop is one of the busiest in our City, so it would be anything but a quiet job!
At 12.30 today I got a call to ask if I was able to start this afternoon -at 1pm, as somebody had called in sick. Talk about shock! It was actually wonderful, I didn’t have chance to doubt myself, or my abilities. I am very aware that I can be clumsy, forgetful & tongue-tied, yet my head told me that I was more than capable. Most of my self doubt has been cultivated through years of depression & anxiety, now thankfully long conquered.
Newly found confidence allowed me to say that I would be a little late, as I needed to have lunch first, which I did. Then without panic or fear, I headed to town. There was no hesitation, I entered the shop, telling myself that I am as capable as anyone else. And I think that I proved it!
It was a really enjoyable afternoon. The staff were welcoming & after introducing me to the wonders of the kitchen & toilet ( vital!) I was left with an experienced volunteer. Thankfully the shop was quiet at first, although got manic later. I have been allowed to take things at my own pace , so haven’t yet used the touch screen till or taken credit cards, but it isn’t much different than using a touch screen computer. I loved it! I am a people person anyway & found a natural affinity with the shoppers, finding it so easy to chat naturally with them all. I was surprised that I managed to sell several of the more expensive items in the locked cabinet – I didn’t really try! Our sales figure was good, the Manageress was delighted & I felt like I’d been working there for ages!
Where were the nerves? It was great because I was able to remain seated between customers, so didn’t get too exhausted, met several friends that I hadn’t seen for ages & shockingly wasn’t tempted to buy anything myself! Absolute Win, Win!
I am so glad that I followed where I was being guided & trusted enough, not to try & talk myself out of it. I have never worked in retail before, although have lots of market & boot sale experience. The job entailed me doing several things that were alien to me, yet there was no mistakes or panic at all! I don’t doubt that mistakes will happen, after all, I’m human, however I can’t wait to go again. Nowadays I am eager to learn new things, life is far too short to shy away from them. 17 years of agoraphobia have taught me that!
The absolutely amazing thing is that all of this, the new courage, the enjoyment of challenges & more, only really came to fruition one year ago when I undertook a sponsored walk for charity. Until then I had always thought that I wasn’t capable. That walk was a catalyst! My life continues to improve day upon day.
Retirement has been the opening up of my life & oh boy am I enjoying it!
Thankyou for sharing my journey,
until next time, take care.