February 2, 2018

Today marks 4 years together! I still remember the day we got together, which was lovingly recreated by my husband when he proposed. It ended, as all perfect days do, with spaghetti. My heart’s feeling as soft as this photo…Here’s some stuff I read this week:

  1. How to Maintain Friendships, New York Times. Some great practical advice here about how to nurture your friendships. “Ask questions that invite reveals (“How was your vacation? How’s your new job going?”) and avoid statements (“I hope you’re having a great day!” or “You’re in my thoughts”), which don’t tend to prompt meaningful back-and-forth exchanges.” I like the idea of bringing friends into some of the everyday routines you normally do alone, like exercise or grocery shopping. Also love the advice to just show up; that one has gone a long way in my best friendships.
  2. Not Every Hobby is a Side Hustle, The Cut. “Personal pleasure is what makes a hobby a hobby.” This is a good read and reminder to let some of the things you do be for the fun of it. I’m glad it also mentions how side gigs are a reality for young workers trying to break into a field and/or to supplement their paltry incomes (can you tell I’m exhausted this week, y’all). 
  3. Awkward, Funny Cookbook Covers. I laughed aloud at these, and I needed the laugh this week!
  4. Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies we Tell Ourselves, In the Library with the Lead Pipe. This is the first time in a while that a scholarly article has made me tear up. Inside libraries and out, librarianship is praised for its service orientation and daily (sometimes extreme) sacrifices, in pursuit of lofty goals like the defense of free speech and the guardianship of democracy. There’s sacred language that is used to describe libraries and librarians, and it’s made me uncomfortable for a long time but Ettarh does a fantastic job expressing this phenomenon with the phrase “vocational awe.” Here’s the part that made me cry: “Libraries are just buildings…we need to treat these people well. You can’t eat on passion. You can’t pay rent on passion. Passion, devotion, and awe are not sustainable sources of income. The story of Saint Lawrence may be a noble one, but martyrdom is not a long-lasting career.” [Emphasis mine]
  5. How I Got My Attention Back. “Take the morning. Hell, just take the first hour of the morning. Make a plan. Own your attention….Attention is a muscle. It must be exercised. Though, attention is duplicitous — it doesn’t feel like a muscle. And exercising it doesn’t result in an appreciably healthier looking body. But it does result in a sense of grounding, feeling rational, control of your emotions — a healthy mind. Our measuring sticks for life tend to be optimized for material things, things easy to count. Houses, cars, husbands, babies, dollar bills. Attention is immaterial, difficult to track. We deserve our attention.”

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