Sick kids. Arts and crafts. Me, teaching it to them. That was my yesterday.
FUNemployment has allowed me the time and the energy to try lots of new activities. They've all been about me and what I wanted to do. I decided that I should use some of my free time to give back a little bit.
The Art of Elysium is an organization that conducts arts programs in hospitals in Los Angeles (and NY, too.) Musicians play and teach music, dancers teach dancing and actors put on little plays. My lone relevant talent is writing which is not so conducive to a workshop. I fall into the more general group which teaches arts and crafts.
So, yesterday I went to the Children's Hospital of LA and made magazine bowls with 2 sick little girls. The goal is to make them smile, have some fun and hopefully help them make something of which they'll be proud.
I wasn't nervous per se but I had a little bit of anxiety about my session. It wasn't the kids that made me worry or that they're ill--I was a lifeguard and saw a lot of gross injuries. I'd keep the injured person calm not revealing the extent of their injuries with my "stoic" face.
What made me anxious was teaching crafts. I haven't completed a craft project in a long time let alone teaching it....to little kids. I asked the coordinator to take the lead so that I could absorb and observe as I assisted. And I realized that my anxiety was for nothing. The kids liked making the bowls but they really enjoyed having something to do other than lying in bed.
It was more rewarding than the typical fun I find myself having. And whatever worries that I have about generating income all seem so minimal in comparison to these kids' realities of surgeries, chemotherapy and dialysis.
I'll be volFUNteering again soon.