(Chart by the hilarious Allie Brosh.)

Over the weekend, it was suggested to me that I should join the board of the local indoor soccer league if I felt that things could be done better.

“We are only volunteers, you know,” she said.

Implication being that simply the act of volunteering was sufficient and whether anything is actually accomplished by said volunteering is way beside the point.

But it’s a good point. Much of what we do is by choice when working to pay the bills and all that maintainance work involved with personal survival and parenting stuff is factored out. We take on everything else pretty much on a volunteer basis. Relationships. Hobbies. Sports. Exercise. Excessive grooming. Image maintaining. We volunteer what remains of our time each week to all these things.

So, deciding to coach your kid’s team or serve on a board or be surf the various media selections from your easy chair – all volunteer work – and being such, requires you to know how much extra time and energy you really have to devote to it. Those factors determining whether or not you can say that said volunteerism is productive or not. It also decides whether you can promote yourself as a saint, martyr or a well-rounded person, who just happens to have a bit of free time that many of us can’t seem to lay even a pinkie finger on.

Knowing your personal load capacity matters.

The sad fact (for others) of my life is that the time I have available for over-extending myself is during the day when they are all at work. Responsibilities for me are slotted in micro-shifts and aside from the book-ending of child, wife and housely stuff, my midday’s are as flexible as Gumby. If you want my assistance, you need to need it during the day. Expecting me to show up in person in the evening simply isn’t going to happen.

From Monday to Thursday, I am moving at an impressive rate of speed from 4 P.M. on til bedtime. Trying to shoehorn anything in on the fly takes considerable advanced planning and often isn’t feasible. While I am quick to point out my daytime availability, there are few who find this helpful in their quest to off-load those things that they took on by choice and now find cumbersome or don’t add to the world’s perception of them in a manner for which they hoped to become accustomed.

Let’s face it, We were designed to live in Eden that awesome carefree botanical garden/petting zoo and not built at all for a life of hard labour with too many distracting choices masquerading as obligations.