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Things I Have Learned About Myself

I might have mentioned a time or two that this year has been one of transition. Boy, has it been. Last June I took a part-time job at our local library. I really felt that the job was exactly in my wheelhouse. It's a quiet place. There are books. The end. However, I learned some things about myself at this job, things I knew were true but didn't realize were so true. Next week I will close that chapter of my life to go back to working full-time at home doing what I started out doing 28 years ago, being a legal assistant. My how the circle of life turns.

What did I learn about myself this past year?

I am not a people person. I can appear to be a people person, but deep down I absolutely am not one. And all the energy I expel pretending completely wears me out. Like, I-need-to-go-home-and-go-to-bed wears me out. Small talk zaps me of my energy. I am not a talker, I'm a thinker. And when people come into the library, they want to talk. I just want them to check out a book and head on back home.

The majority of library patrons only want to use the free internet. This is one that has saddened me to the core. I would say 80% of our patrons only have library cards so they can come into the library to use our computers. We do have our regular patrons who are in at least once a week checking out books. But most just want to use the internet. Sad.

Kids and teenagers are not interested in learning or participating in programs. We spend a lot of time coming up with fun and educational programs for our children and teens. And they don't participate and they don't care if they are here participating when a parent has made them do it. But there aren't very many parents signing their kids up for library activities. Being a home educator, my LIFE is education. I get excited about it! I want everyone to be excited about it! There is so much to learn and experience in this world and so few want to take advantage of it. We are a "have to" society and only do what we have to do to get by. Again sad.

The schools do not work with local libraries to get kids reading. I was told at our local high school that they do not keep library records on how much or what the kids are reading. When Brynne started back to public school I knew that her reading time would take a hit. And it has. She doesn't read at all. Occasionally she will pick up a book at home. But, honestly, she is so tired from a full day at school that all she wants to do is veg out. Eli still reads at least 30 minutes a day, sometimes an hour, and listens to an audio book another 30 minutes to an hour. I have reached out to both our elementary and high school school to try to get some cooperation between us to get kids excited about reading, with no real response. Triple sad because non-reading kids will be non-reading adults.

A great majority of people are entitled, hateful, and rude. This I already knew. But I have to experience it every day. The IRS no longer provides tax forms at libraries? That's my fault. Our printer is down? That's my fault. A patron didn't turn in their dvds that were due last week and now they owe $30 and have lost library privileges until the fines are paid? Somehow that is also my fault. The Amish (who aren't supposed to use electricity) give me crap because our copy machine doesn't do what they want it to do? Yeah.

If I wanted to be a video store I would put in a Redbox at my house. I spend much more time shelving dvds than books. I want to make it a rule that for every dvd you check out, you have to check out a book and then give me a report on it when you return it. Read, people, please!

I am too grouchy to be let outside my house for more than an hour a day. All of these things combined make me a grouch because I don't like what I see in society. We are a bunch of technology-driven (hey, I get it .. we need technology .. I use technology ... I'd be sad without technology .. I wouldn't be starting this new job without technology), spoiled, entitled, angry, bored, zoned-out people who need to expand our minds, read, get out and get some exercise and enjoy nature. I need to not spend 5 hours a day around these types of people.

I love my home even more than I thought I did. I love being home. I didn't think I would miss it that much when I went back to work part-time, but I do. With the exception of some leisure travel, I could be in my home all day every day without any need to leave. We have worked hard and spent a lot of money getting the house exactly the way I want it and I just don't want to leave it. I love it, and I am so excited I get to spend every day there.

Working at the library, overall, has been a good experience. I do believe it is what I needed at the time. It has also allowed me to really learn these things about myself which will only help me in the future. I am grateful for the opportunity to work there, but am more excited about the opportunity to go back home.


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