This year I’ve started a new activity that I haven’t mentioned on the blog until now. I am a muse. “Why, I knew that already!” you are no doubt saying, “because you always inspire wisdom within me, and you are in many other ways quite goddess-like!’
Well, thank you.
But that’s not exactly what I mean.
A “muse” is an official volunteer for the Schenectady Working Group on Girls. In the fall, seventh graders, many of whom have been specially invited by a school clinician, go on a field trip to have a Girls’ Day Out. It’s basically a girl-power conference, where girls might attend workshops on topics like talking to parents or having healthy relationships, a panel discussion by 8th graders on surviving 7th grade, or activities like yoga or dancing. Plus a nice meal (last time was my first Girls Day Out, at Glen Sanders–here’s some more information about it). After the conference, attendees are invited to join a Girls’ Circle, where they’ll meet regularly with a pair of Muses who facilitate discussions, offer up some fun crafts, and advise about things like making goals and working toward them, dealing with bullies, or self-care, all with a school clinician nearby.
So, my co-muse and I (and yes: coping with the slightly goofy name might have been my biggest hurdle, but I’m willing to embrace it now) have been meeting with “our” girls since November, and in a couple of weeks we’ll end our sessions with a celebration at the high school, where the girls can invite a woman who’s a role model to them and the muses get to come along and meet them all, and then we spend a little time reflecting on our mutual awesomeness. Many girls wanted to continue to meet, so now there are Girls Circles made up of 8th graders and high schoolers as well.
I’ve really enjoyed it. The girls are terrific, and I just wish that we all had more time. I feel like I’d like to take each one of them out to lunch individually just to hang out with them and talk more. There is a lot of talking every time we meet, and when the girls realized that our last meeting is coming up, I think that we were all a little sad. I keep thinking of examples of times when I was like, wow, these girls really need someone to set them straight on this one. But of course it’s private, so I can’t tell you. Just trust me: you have untold wisdom that could be shared too, I’ll bet.
Meanwhile, part of what had prompted me to join this activity is that I spend way too much time sitting in the house typing on the computer. I read and pass along a lot of Girl Power stuff, and I wanted a little more direct action. But then I realized that the Schenectady Working Group on Girls has a Facebook page and a Twitter account, neither of which have been used very much. And the program has expanded every year, so getting the word out will help with recruiting more muses and more people to donate (you would not believe how much pizza those girls can eat). So I said that I would help to update the Facebook page, since I’m already on all the time, updating Capital District Fun’s page and KidsOutAndAbout’s page. Since I’ve taken over we’ve gotten a bunch more “likes,” but we’re still at a relatively measly 69. So, please, help us break out of the two-digit numbers and “like” the Schenectady Working Group on Girls Facebook page, would you? Pleeeeease?
If this sounds interesting enough that you might want to volunteer in the future, it’s the best way to get news and updates, but even if you don’t think you’ll ever volunteer, you could help me with almost no effort whatsoever.
Actually, speaking of sharing love via social media, you should totally “like” and “share” things with wild abandon. No: wait. I don’t mean that. Don’t “like” random videos of silly cats or jokey pictures that come from no one you actually know, unless you’re already doing that, in which case, that’s your beeswax. But DO like and share any post from your friend’s not-for-profit or small business or any cause you sincerely think is a good one. Because the difference between zero “likes” and two or three “likes” can mean that hundreds more people see that post–trust me on this one. It’s, like, ridiculous. “Liking” things or commenting or sharing on Facebook is one of the easiest ways that you can spread good karma. And somehow, this will come back to you.