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Ringing Out Stress | Northern BC Business

Ringing Out Stress

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Eager for stress relief after a very challenging week both personally and professionally, I considered my Friday night plans. I pondered the healthy option of going to the gym but the thought of joining friends at a local pub seemed far more attractive. First though, I had to work my volunteer shift ringing the bell.

I joined the Salvation Army Kettle Campaign three years ago after checking with volunteers about their experiences. When I first volunteered in November 2013, I was asked if I had a preference on where I’d like to be placed. Some locations – Costco and Save-on-More stores – are popular with volunteers because the kettles can be placed indoors and out of the elements. Swept up in my macho-stubbornness, I instead asked to be put in a hard-to-fill location and wound up outside Shoppers Drug Mart, at Spruceland Mall.

Three years later, I still volunteer at this location. I prefer to be outside on the Spruceland promenade where I can see more people on the sidewalk. The two-hour shifts pass quickly regardless of temperature and I’m mindful to remember that I volunteer in front of a drug-store where the people passing by may not be feeling their best. Worse, they might be struggling with life-altering news. My job is to smile at them and help ease their day.

So I arrived Friday, eager to put the struggles of the day behind me. The weather was mild and easy to manage with gloves and good jacket. While greeting passers-by with a “Good Evening” or a “Hi, how are you?”, I kept the bells ringing with a non-stop medley of contemporary hits. Though I have no musical talent, imagine if you will, Coldplay’s “Viva La Viva” or Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” or Garth Brooks “The Dance”.  More than once, my performance earned a smile. More often the “familiar” beat earned a puzzled expression and the odd inquiry.  Several times, I was thanked because I made someone’s day.

There it was – the stress relief I’d been seeking.

I didn’t need the gym or the pub. I just needed to pay-it-forward. Armed with little more than a smile, I made a stranger’s day brighter. In letting me know, they reciprocated and made the troubles of my week far less significant. With each brief exchange I gained a great deal of happiness and found the relief I’d been seeking. Yes, I will be back out again ringing the bell again soon. I hope to see you there.

Life is too short. Eat dessert first.

Cheers

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Posted by on 3:57 pm. Filed under BC Economy, Business Advice, Economic Development, Employment, Featured, Prince George, Retail, Viewpoints. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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