Growing Roots Locally – The Best Laid Plans by Doreen South – Edition 2

CFN – The best laid plans of mice and men often go astray… Of Mice and Men is a novel written by Nobel Prize-winning author John Steinbeck. These words cause me to consider and contemplate intention, motivation and unscheduled changes in direction.

It was with a sense of full steam ahead when I attended volunteer orientation at the local food co-op. First there was a small series of emails from me saying, “I am attending.” As well as, “I am unable to make it.” Then, feeling exhausted with my own shiftlessness, I just showed up! Decision made and action taken. Intention is demonstrated through motivation. But, what about the unscheduled changes?

Our facilitator radiated energy of his commitment and his passion for the organization and its good purpose. He was enthusiastic over the fact that three people were in attendance. With equally good attention, he moved the small group through a PowerPoint presentation supported by pages of policy and information. He showed no signs of waffling about being here. The orientation was thorough and interesting. My sense of continuing and participating felt expanded.

So much so, that I quickly volunteered to learn the how to use the computer/cash register. Each one of the three newly inducted volunteers took turns learning the equipment; short bouts of laughter over our awkward attempts to appear proficient.

There was also some instant camaraderie when I heard a cheerful female voice say, “Hello Doreen!” One of my strengths is recalling a person’s face. One of my weaknesses is remembering their name. No longer willing to feel ashamed of this shortcoming, I simply asked where we met. With a bright smile, she said, “Where you get your car repairs. I book your appointments!”

This re-introduction of acquaintance moved us into a natural course of conversation about the organic and grass fed meats, recipes and discussion about the great taste of duck eggs. Ah, community. At least a sense of community forming.

Orientation complete, I am on my way home with the best intention of returning as soon as possible. The best laid plans raises the question, “How much time will pass before I return?” Another question that rears up is, “What do the varied faces of volunteering look like with one person?” Note to Self, consider and contemplate unscheduled changes in direction.


Doreen South is a Certified Traditional Healer and Holistic Practitioner. You are invited to visit and explore her new website


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