Doing the Auntie Thing Today

I've got the four younger ones in my care this afternoon, although I've been told that Bunny probably will sleep the whole time Mom & Dad are out.

My bag is packed with some sidewalk chalk because it's a nice day out, so maybe we'll "decorate" the driveway!



All Right, All Right, I'll Start Talking

Well, here I am in front of the computerA cat with a shaved "scruff" is napping in front of the stereo cabinet.  (As long as she's napping, she's not scratching and making more "boo-boos" on her neck, so that's fine with me.)

But that's not why you're reading.

You want to know all about the dating webinar.

So how did I end up taking a dating webinar?  It's simple: I am signed up for the weirdest e-mail offers.  I'm sure you all know Groupon (that's how I mysteriously wound up with free food that one time--a voucher gone crazy) and while I usually ignore 99% of those, another site I belong to (luxury-type offers I just window-shop to please the Libra in me!) started offering them, too.

Most of them were for things in the city, but this was a webinar with none other than Siggy Flicker.  It looked too interesting to pass up, so I got the voucher and signed up.

It was supposed to be two Wednesdays ago, but her assistant sent a rescheduling email saying she got pulled into some show taping, so they postponed it to last Monday night.  In a way, it worked to my advantage because. . . only one other person logged in to the webinar and said/did absolutely nothing the whole time.  Granted, I had a mic problem that created nothing but feedback, but I used the chat window and she'd respond, so it felt personal.   She's very upbeat and bubbly (contrary to how she kind of of seems blunt and mean on TV).  Really, I just listened and took notes most of the time.  And it ran longer than the allotted hour, so I think I got my money's worth.

What did I take away from it?  Well, I don't want to give away all the expert's information--yes I did save a couple of screencaps for my own personal use which I won't post here--but I will talk about the one thing I'm trying to figure out how to make happen in my life. And that is to go out twice a week.

The idea of going out twice a week brings up a lot of questions:

1. Where do I go?

2. What can I afford?

3. How do I not go alone but still remain "open to meeting people"?

4. When the heck am I supposed to do this?

Hmmm.  It took me a while to work up to one night a week playing trivia, and even now that's in flux because our home-base pub closed for renovations (and whether or not there will be trivia again when it reopens is TBD) and we've been itinerant and looking for a new place to settle in.

I'd like to try going out somewhere on a different night, but honestly I'm already tired out from work and trying to recommit myself to three nights a week at the gym and getting all my chores done (ha).  So what is the "going out" that works for me?

That's what I need to figure out.

I'm considering it part of my mini-makeover strategy.  Because if I keep doing what I've been doing, I'll get what I'll always gotten.

Which isn't a whole lot of good stuff right now.

I have got to get the good stuff flowing in my life again.  I did it before and I can do it again.

I hope!



Dating Webinar Tonight

I'll let you know if I learn anything interesting.

(I'd say "I'll let you know if it works," but it's not fair to make you wait however long that is, is it?)



Still Thinking About This Today, Because on Thursday It Blew My Mind

Each year in September, I challenge my fourth-graders to read 25 books in a school year.  This challenge was a legacy from my predecessor--one of the very few useful things left to me.

This week I gave my "almost one-month warning" that the cut-off date was coming, so that either the last class or the penultimate class of the year (we meet weekly except when other events intervene, which is frustratingly too often) we have a little party, they get certificates for the fridge and little prizes, etc.  Usually at the beginning of class, they update their logs and often volunteer what they've been reading, or ask questions about something they've read.

On Thursday, a child who normally doesn't pipe up--and sometimes is too shy to ask for help--said she was reading Team of Rivals.

I actually had to repeat the title back to her to confirm what I'd heard.

"So are you reading it with a parent or just by yourself?" I asked her.  She said by herself, which very well may be true if, as I suspect, it was a book that was in the house because it was already read by one of her parents.  Lord knows when I was a kid I read anything people left lying around that I could get my hands on--not to mention the books I would steal from Older Brother's bookcase.  

Side note: After probably a year of sisterly theft, I got busted for borrowing The Hobbit because he wanted it back to re-read.  That probably explains why I have been cursed with starting that book and never finishing it, at least twice now.  I have a library copy in my car right now, not started, actually.

Anyway, I told the student she could count that as three books read (it's huge).  That was the start of probably the best class I had all week--pretty surprising, because they are a really volatile combination of kids, although I now recall that one of the agitators was on vacation, as was the special needs classmate (whose moods can turn on a dime).  Maybe the class felt more at ease.  We had a thoughtful discussion about a poet and did some poetry analysis, which we will finish next week.  I wish it could be like that all the time.

I wish it were enough to change my mind about everything I said in my last post, too.



Spring Renewal, of Sorts

It actually is starting to look and feel like Spring in the southeastern part of PA; combine that feel with Easter to get those thoughts about new life and life in general.

That life that I've been working on getting.

Last week, I finally admitted to a friend in reference to my work: "This isn't it."

Inspired by the big crazy matrix that Amy Webb drew up to score her potential matches in online dating to determine how much of match they actually were, I drew up not quite a matrix but a nice big table with respect to my current profession--i.e., the two jobs that I do in the library field.  I'm not 100% sure what I'm going to do with this table, but if my resources were unlimited--not to mention magical--I'd find a way to feed it into a special machine that would cross-index it all over the place and spit out a card with the actual job that is perfect for me.

Here's what I enjoy in my day-to-day (and weekend, I guess) work:

  • Teaching and guiding people to accomplish things/find information/find something good to read. Hunting down things people need and want.  Sometimes I’m just a sympathetic ear and that’s O.K. too. 
  • Reading and “talking books.” Discovering new and interesting titles and authors and sharing/discussing them with others.
  • Writing—be it correspondence, articles, guides, descriptions, reviews
  • Working with technology, learning new things to do
  • Library community--so many cool, smart, warm, helpful people (it’s practically Introvert Central when you come down to it). And sometimes I encounter different points of view.
  • For nearly as much prejudice as there is (see "do not enjoy" section), there’s also respect present.
  • Working with young people.  I don’t think I could go a day of work without interacting with young people.  It would feel weird.
And here's what I do not enjoy in my day-to-day (and weekend) work:

  • Constraints that have little to no relevance on what I do and in fact hinder what I am trying to do/want people to be able to access or do 
  • Pressure and mental exhaustion (I understand there are always “job stress” moments, but they should pass.)
  • Office/Field Politics (this may be unavoidable anywhere I go)
  • The uncertainty of job’s/field’s future--and the seeming threat of “evolve before you will made to evolve into an amalgam not of your own choosing”
  • Prejudice (librarians read all day and shush people. Give the work to the library--they have nothing to do, the library doesn’t need funding)
  • Low pay (at least at present)/no funding
  • Grading, the pressure to make teaching and lesson plans conform to non-library standards
My next step after having taken this inventory, as it were?

I'm not sure.  I do know I have to lay out where I really want to be, what I really want to do.  Also, I am thinking about the people to whom I would present all this information to get some guidance.

I figure I need to do something, even if it's just a little something, to work on this, every day--because I think once the "This isn't it" comes out of one's mouth, there's really no going back.  Not that I'm being brave or anything: I just know that right now, my best self isn't happening.  Isn't possible.  And I don't think I can go on being less than my best self for much longer, having been told I have so much promise, so much to offer, and just feeling incredibly exhausted and sad (and probably guilty) most of the time. 

I can't go on being this unattractive to anything or anyone positive because I feel this bad.

So I guess it's onward from here.