"Winter can be harsh, especially for those not prepared, and it has felt long this year, but it is still beautiful."
“Winter can be harsh, especially for those not prepared, and it has felt long this year, but it is still beautiful.”

By: Korie Marshall

We have a lot of good ideas, and a lot of good intentions here in the Robson Valley. But sometimes, ideas are not enough.

I was recently involved in the first meetings for getting the Better At Home program from United Way started here in the Robson Valley, and it sounds like a really worthwhile venture. I’d love to be more involved – but I realized that I already have a number of commitments, and committing my time and energy to this project would mean I have to give up commitments to other groups. And I’ll tell you, it is a very tough decision, but I have to be honest. I’d rather try to do a good job on a few things than speed up my own burnout, trying to do a bunch of things, and probably not doing a good job at any of them.

It sounds like Valemountain Days is again on the verge of not happening. It was cut back to a day a couple years ago, and then a bunch of people rallied and brought back some events like the pageant, and introduced more events last year. And more ideas for events came out of the woodwork. But the same problem is again happening – not enough people stepping up to volunteer their time and energy. The organizers had a meeting recently, and have another one planned for this Thursday, trying to get more people out to help organize the events. They are looking for directors and people to lead the organizing of several pieces of the weekend’s events, and the executive has said if they don’t get those positions filled then the show will not go on.

The reality is that lots of people have great ideas about how things should be done, and what should happen, but what is really needed is someone to step up and say “Ok, I’ll do that.” And it’s not easy, because no matter what you step up to, someone will be there to point out what you’ve done wrong, or what you did differently, or how it worked back in one certain year or another. Whether it is organizing events, raising funds, or sitting on local government – that is always going to happen. You can only do your best, you can only work with what you’ve got to work with. And admitting that you don’t have the time, or the expertise, or the passion to work on something is not a failing.

We have a lot of organizations that all need a lot of help. They need volunteers, money, public participation and interest. But we also need to be realistic, and that is sometimes the hardest part. I’m not saying we shouldn’t shoot for the stars – but you need a lot of passion and an incredible ability to get people to work together to get to the stars. And when there are so many things that need attention close to home, it’s hard to get that focus on something so far away.

It is disappointing when not enough people step up to support an event, or when an organization you are working with doesn’t get a grant you were hoping for. That is not necessarily a reflection on the event or the people working on the grant, but a reflection of how much need there is. It is great that we have a variety of events and organizations looking after a variety of needs, but it will never be enough. It is important to prioritize, not only for your own time and energy – which often means you can’t step up to a task – but for our entire community. It’s not easy, because we all have different priorities, at different times. But it is worth thinking about, and talking about.