22 December 2014

Upon Reflection

So it has been a while, again. I have seen a lot of talk lately from other librarians that I know that they also seem to have lessened their blog posts. With the influx of social media and the amount of people that exist there, there isn't as much to share in one contained area. Plus time! Who has had time? This, actually, is what made me decide to do this post, to kind of give myself a gathering point of professional and personal achievements to remind myself of the singularities that have happened and led my Path from January to December. So that those times I sit and wonder what I am actually doing with my Life, I can remember that things have been done!

Things that have happened, in random order:

I was honored to be nominated as a Library Journal 2014 Mover & Shaker, as a Community Builder. My library had gone through some amazing changes since I joined it in 2012, and I loved working with the staff and community to showcase it as an important part of the town.

At nearly the same time, I left my lovely library for a job with the Massachusetts Library System. Now I work as an advisor, assisting libraries with their services and designing training and workshops for library staffs. I get to work as a liaison for small libraries, and share my love for collection development and readers' advisory with the masses. I love it; it challenges me and expands my view of librarianship on so many levels.

I watched my daughter return to high school after giving birth to her son. I am so proud of her, for she has met so many challenges over the past year with her life. Not only has she gone back, but made improvements through school and is on track with making plans for the future.

My son is working with his new therapeutic school, which I am so grateful to have discovered. It has been a long year of challenges and problems in the mainstream school, no matter what we all tried, he just wasn't getting what he needed. There are still challenges, but I know he is in a place equipped to work with him on those as he grows.

I travelled to Las Vegas for the first time in my life, attending the ALA Annual Conference. Besides being involved in a terrific program about first-time directors, I got to see what I always wondered about with Las Vegas nightlife (and day life). And heat. And neon. And heat. Did I mention the heat?

I get to continue working with books even though I am not selecting in a library anymore. As a social media subcommittee member for LibraryReads and a reviewer for Library Journal, I have been introduced to SO many wonderful titles that I will never be able to keep up!

I have gotten the chance to watch my beautiful Little Dude grow and hit his first birthday in December. I never expected to have another child in my house at this point, much less a grandchild, but he is beautiful and joyous and exasperating, like any wonderful being on this planet. I also became his legal guardian this fall, as his mom settles her Path forward. I know this was the right choice at this juncture. I look forward to each smile on his face.

I have met more people online that I truly consider friends. Who would have ever thought that people you never, or hardly ever, get to see will share your joys, triumphs, sorrows and travails? I am so, so grateful to those I am connected to, who have chosen to connect to me in large and small ways. You all honor me with your presence in my life.

Watching my children get older reminds me that I am getting older (dammit). I know that I am not "old" by most definitions, but definitely feel that I have not taken care of my body the way that I should. It is easy to forget that I am not in my 20s, or 30s, anymore, and things that I took for granted cannot be handled that way anymore. So I started visiting a bodywork specialist on a somewhat regular basis this fall and winter. I totally support the place of massage in healing and care for one's self, but this practice goes a little bit further, and tunes into whatever may be going on at that time in my life. Sometimes work, sometimes nurture, but always a chance to reconnect and listen to what I need.

Along that same venue, I signed up for a six month program with a nutritional life coach starting this month. My self-care tends to go out the window a lot, and food is definitely a component that needs to be tailored for my health, and the health of those I live with. I look forward to learning about my relationship with food and nutrition, and its place in the whole of my life and how it affects so much more than just my physical self.

Life finds its balance, and not all has been joyous:

Emotional challenges with my niblets lead me to wonder how good of a parent I am at times. Entering a time when I am supposed to be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel, I am now recommitted to another child for an unknown period of time, and I cannot deny I do not know how prepared I am for that. I was readying for the "Time of Me", but that is delayed as this new journey unfolds.

My four year relationship with my girlfriend ended. Change is always difficult on this level, and knowledge of truths and compassion can be hard to manage when things do not go as once expected.

I don't have the best relationship with my physical self as I should. Hopefully some of the changes I am starting will help with that.

I still struggle with my professional personhood: no matter what I do is it truly enough, or am I just being superficial? What is "enough"?

Friendships wax and wane and I struggle at times letting my friends hold what I cannot and trusting they are there to do that.

Winter's dark can emphasize the bleak, the aloneness, the struggle. However I write this on the Winter Solstice: the shortest day of the year, and the promise of a little more light from here on out. It is upon this that I think about what has come before, and realize that there is more to come. For all of us.

Namaste, my tribe. I look forward to our New Year.