Thursday, January 6, 2011

Break the Routine

For many of us, every morning is exactly the same. We wake up at the same time. Get out of the same bed. Take a shower just the same. Eat the same thing. Watch the same news. Drive the same car to the same parking space at the same job. Say hello to the same people. The only thing that changes is what you're wearing; if you're lucky.

My life has gotten that same way. I was starting to see a pattern. Wake up at the same time with the same pain in my back. Eat the same thing. Brush my teeth. Walk the same streets. Look at the same buildings. Today, I spiced things up.

Occasionally, after eating the oatmeal that the winter shelter serves in the morning I would go to a place called Glide for second breakfast. It brings me back to standing in a very long line for a little bit of food. I usually decided it's not worth the wait and so I don't go there very often. I have an acquaintance named Will who, in order to get full "General Assistance" payments volunteers at Glide two or three times a week. So, this morning, in an attempt to break the monotony, tagged along. 

To be a Glide volunteer, you have to be there at 7AM. You first set up the dining room putting the chairs up, and helping to get breakfast ready to serve. Then everyone is assigned their own task; either working on the serving assembly line or helping in the dining room. I was on the serving assembly line. I was charged with the task of putting one salt and one pepper packet on each tray. I did this for about an hour and a half.

After eating time was done, we cleaned up the dining room. And then, volunteer breakfast. You can eat as much as you want and it's not crowded and loud. It's a nice relaxing breakfast. Then when that's all done and you're ready to go back out into the world, it is light out, and those awkward mornings of nothing really to do are totally bypassed.

It felt great to do something I don't normally; both to get some change in your day, and it's also nice to be able to give back to an organization that keeps a lot of people, including myself, well fed.

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