Monday, April 29, 2013


For the first time in years, I'm working a job with a regular schedule.  I work 8-5, Monday through Friday, and have every single weekend off.  While a part of me misses having Thursday mornings off, and the occasional Friday all to myself, the larger part of me loves the routine.

Before, my days were bookended by stressful drives through traffic, creeping along the interstate at 30 mph and silently cursing the car that peels into the curb lane in order to get 50 feet ahead of where it would have been.  When I came in my door after driving home, I felt spent.  I was frazzled and didn't want to do anything.

I started my third week of taking the metro downtown.  Now, instead of becoming annoyed by other drivers, I read.  Instead of looking at my gas gauge, thinking about how much money I'm spending and how much pollution my car is creating, I read.  I'm on my third book, George Saunder's marvelous collection, "Tenth of December."

In a strange way, I feel like my daily commute as a passenger has given me the gift of time.  I have home life, which is great, work life, which is challenging and interesting, and bus life: bus life is when I don't have to think about anything but passing time, and I feel so lucky that I get to spend 45 minutes, two times a day, reading.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Ch- Ch- Changes

I mentioned in my last post that I'll be starting a new job next week.  I'll be working in a basement, literally, helping to bring library books to schools, nursing homes, and home-bound readers.  Part of my job will be selecting these books, part of it will be office manager, which entails a host of duties.  This week I've been telling some of my favorite patrons--those friendly men and women who regularly visit my branch, who know me by name (and vice versa), who chat with me after checking out their books--that Saturday is my last day there.   There's a sense of finality with most of these good-byes.  I'll keep in touch with my coworkers, I'll go to their parties, I'll like their Facebook posts.  But for the families who come into the branch, whose faces and book tastes are so familiar to me, the library is the only context we share.  It's easy to imagine I'll never see them again.  Not everyone was nice or friendly.  But many were.  And that's all I remember.  That's all I'll carry with me.

One woman, after I described my new position, how I'll be working less with the public, said, "That's too bad.  You're such a people person." It was the type of brief conversation where I couldn't protest and say, "But I'm an introvert!  People drain me!"Because, to her, I am a people person.  In that context, I'm friendly and outgoing.  I love finding the books and music patrons want.  I love helping people with using a computer, downloading onto their Kindles, etc, or finding library books.  I enjoy my brief chats.

I'm always so tired in the evenings.  I feel empty, like I have no energy left, having spent everything I have being friendly and outgoing for hours on end.  So that's my hope with this new position: that it will be more challenging intellectually while not taxing my emotional reserves.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

The Gift of Time

The wedding is in less than two months and, fortunately, I've become only more confident that we're making the right decision.  I was never uncertain, really, but planning a wedding is stressful: it had the potential to cause conflict or to bring us closer.  It's done the latter.  Neither of us wanted it to be a big event.  Neither wanted something very expensive.  Both wanted it to be secular.  And we're achieving all of those goals without argument.

In just over a week I start a new job.  It's still within our library system, but in a new capacity.  I'm very excited--I think my previous experience in the branch and in education will make me a good fit--but I'm also sad about leaving my current location.  My coworkers are kind, considerate, and hilarious.  I'll miss them terribly.

Planning the wedding and preparing for the job interview have dominated the past few weeks of my life; writing has taken a back seat.  I'll be able to take public transportation to the new job, which will be  over 30 minutes each way, and I feel like I've been given the gift of time: time to read, to write, or simply to stare out the window!