So here it is - the last month of 2012 - packed with Christmas plans, thoughts about the past year, ponderings about the coming one - and I am adding the last habit into my life. It may sound like an odd one for a librarian - but it is important for me to reveal the Great Librarian Secret:
We do not read books all day
Yup. That's right. We don't sit around reading all day.
What do we do?
We introduce little ones to their first act as citizens - to benefit from the common good, to care for the borrowed books, and to return them to share with someone else.
We help 9 year old boys find something they can do a book report on that isn't full of princesses and dresses.
We listen to teenagers as if they were adults. And then we answer them as if they were adults.
We help your mother log on to the Internet to see the pictures you emailed her.
We mop up the bathroom after somebody evil has made a mess.
We fix the lights outside.
We explain to county/city/state/federal sources why they need to fund the library
We entertain the Rotary/Lions/Chamber of Commerce/Masons/Women's Club with stories about life among the stacks - before we ask them for money too.
Oh yes. And then there is the paperwork.
So - what we tend to read all day are book reviews. We only get to read books at home .... like you. And for a couple of reasons - I don't seem to have enough time to read all the books I want. this is especially true for reading teen and tween fiction - where I believe some of the most innovative writing is happening today. Don't get me wrong - I love a good mystery and now and again I can find a historical writer who is not into Vampires or time travel. Ken Follett comes to mind first but there are other great historical writers out there who can put a convincing amount of modern mores into the world of Castles and Kings. But I don't like a lot of the adult fiction that's coming out right now: Mean complaining women and weak men ... Ugh.
Alas, I've resorted to reading mostly non-fiction or familiar old friends - novelists I can depend upon - Austen, Bronte, Lovelace and Wilder - and while this is certainly alright - my choice - even a good thing, the danger in avoiding contemporary fiction is that one looses touch with the values and beliefs of society - for it is only through fiction that we pass on what is important to us to the next generation. The teacher in me wants to find out what type of fiction - story - is actually reaching young folk these days. So this month's habit is to add reading YA and junior fiction for 20 minutes a day.
And how am I doing with my other habits? How was November?
Clean the kitchen every night.
Not perfect but good enough to make me take notice how pleasant it is to walk into a kitchen that is clean and tidy. I would give myself an A-
eh - there have been some days when I just didn't bother - but then there was Thanksgiving when I Pre-tracked! I give myself a solid B
Yep. here I have done well - and even done very well so it gets a solid A
Drink 6-8 cups of water every day
Can't figure out why I haven't been drinking water - but I can feel it. Not a failure but I need to do better. I give myself a D+
The Charles Schwab list at work
I realized I was letting this slip and ... uh. no. not a good thing. Not enough work gets done when I forget. I earn a C
Read my 5-year plan every morning week
Eh. Not. What was I thinking? This earns a C-
Compliment someone on my staff every day
This month has been all about planning for someone's retirement so I was aware of what everybody does and how valuable they all are - and said so. I get a B
Draw 20 minutes a day.
I did some art most days till I finished the 40 watercolor Christmas cards I'm sending out - and then I stopped because ... there are other things to do that demand artistic effort - I get an A
Select a big life goal - a big personal thing - and take one step towards it ... every day.
Got to admit this - I have drifted a bit in November. It's the beginning of the Holiday Season so I won't be too hard on me, but I will only give myself a C
Ditto at work - Same issue - same grade C
I realized last month that I needed to do lots more of this ... and I did. the healthy, kind, grateful, honest kind. I'm proud of this. I get an A