Friday, September 16, 2016

How can you feel positive...

... if you always look at the negative? For those of you that know me as a person, and not just as words on a screen, will hopefully think that I normally express a happy positive outlook at life. This doesn't mean my head is stuck in the sand and I don't acknowledge that there are terrible things going on all around me, it just means that I choose to spend my energy thinking positively.

There is one BIG flaw in my positive thinking strategy. More often than not I think negatively about myself. While I can come up with several reasons, scenarios or possibilities on why another person may say or act a certain way, I'm not willing to look for those reasons in my own life. Enough on that thought for now, I had something else on my mind to share.

While it is more evident during a political campaign season, negativity grows and spreads like wildfire if we allow it to gain a foothold in our life. While making my weekly trip to Ohio last night I was looking forward to one of my favorite landmarks. A large crane flying an American Flag. This flag is huge and when the weather is just right, it waves across a bold blue sky. For weeks this sight as filled me with Patriotism and a sense of pride for my Country. A Country that is struggling to hang onto its founding beliefs and freedoms, but a Country that I'm still glad to call mine. Of course being that it is only 1.5 months away from a Presidential Election, there were campaign signs all around too but this didn't bother me since one of the freedoms we enjoy is the right to support and elect our leaders.

Last night, this beautiful Flag and blue sky was tarnished just enough to spread some negativity in my life. As I was driving by I noticed a banner had been added to the crane. This banner did not support a candidate but instead vilified the opposing candidate. I was instantly reminded of childhood playgrounds where name calling and cooties were a real thing. (On a side note, why is it that childhood behavior of name calling and picking on someone is considered bullying but as adults it is considered freedom of speech?) My uplifting moment of observing this beautiful American Flag, and all she stands for, has now been damaged by negativity. Do I agree with what the banner said? I believe it was accurate and truthful but does that really matter? It is accurate and truthful that I am a fat spinster who will most likely die alone, but would you put that on a banner and fly it out where everyone can see? I would hope not.

Maybe Americans need to relearn the lesson that our parents or grandparents tried to teach us so long ago. If you can't say something nice, or positive, don't say anything at all!

Friday, May 13, 2016


...where does it come from? So we all have birth certificates, social security cards, licenses and junk mail that identifies us by name, gender and in some cases age. But where do we get our identity from? I have been thinking about this a lot lately. I frequently struggled with how to finish the sentence; "I am ...". I wasn't a mother or wife and while I was a daughter I was one of four so it just didn't seem to be an identifier that worked for me.

Maybe I was wanting to be unique in a way that gave me value. I know that when I finally earned my Masters in Library Science, I felt a type of relief that now I had an identity. I could now finish my sentence; "I am a Librarian" and that was my identity. By now I'm sure some of you are shaking your heads and muttering about how I've put my value and identity in the wrong place. I realize that but I'm still proud to be a Librarian.

I recently heard a someone talking about the issue of identity and value. He had brought up the point that so often we feel we must do great things so that we can be identified as a person of value. I often do this in my Christian life too. I think that for God's approval I have to complete this list of expected behaviors. That God won't claim me if I don't earn my Christian identity. The Pastor that I was listening to used Matthew 3:17 to show that God puts Identity before Action.

17 And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

This was the voice of God at Jesus' baptism. Jesus had not performed any miracles yet. He had not gathered any disciples or started His evangelical journey through the countryside yet. He had not taken any Action that would have earned Him God's favor and yet, God was pleased with Him.

All that to say that while I may not have it all down I am working towards knowing who I am. I may have earned the identity of Librarian but the identity of God's Child was given to me and all I had to do was accept it.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Reading myself into...

...a career. Do you remember when you decided what you wanted to be when you grew up? What inspired you to follow that career or life path? For me, I believe the books I read played a big part in my plans for the future.
Nancy Drew and the 3 Investigators helped me develop a love of mysteries and puzzles. Because of this, Police Officer and Private Investigator were high on my list of what I wanted to be. The modern and successful women in my Grandma’s Harlequins made me think that a big city career would be the direction I would go, so I added Lawyer to my possible career choices. Following my interests I earned an undergraduate degree in Criminal Justice and Communications only to discover that life isn’t as well planned out as fiction.
One thing that didn’t change during my search for a career was my love of a good story. Though different jobs gave me different skills and experiences, it was the books I read that helped me dream. When the opportunity came to work in a Public Library I jumped at the chance to spend my workday surrounded by books. It was this job that showed me that the perfect career for me, included a lot of fiction. While a Librarian’s job does NOT include sitting and reading all day, it does include helping people, providing information, teaching computer and research skills, and talking about books.
So what started as a job 16 years ago, became a career that I love. While the majority of my work days are filled with tasks that don’t revolve around books, it is the books that I enjoy most. Now when I see a book about a library or librarian I have to give it a try, because after all this is my career I’m reading about! Here are some of my favorites.

Free for All: oddballs, geeks and gangstas in the public library, by Don Bochert. The author recounts his experiences working as an assistant librarian in a public library in suburban Los Angeles, as he encounters patrons who range from bored latchkey kids left there for the afternoon, to rowdy teenagers.
I Work at a Public Library, by Gina Sheridan. Collection of strange-but-true anecdotes, heartwarming stories, and humorous interactions with patrons from a public librarian.
Open Season, by Linda Howard. Daisy Minor is bored. Worse than that, she's boring. A plain, small-town librarian, she's got a wardrobe as sexy as a dictionary and hasn't been on a date in years. She's never even had a lukewarm love affair, let alone a hot one. So when she wakes up on her thirty-fourth birthday and wonders how it is that she still lives with her widowed mom and spinster aunt while her friends have all gotten married and started families, she decides it's time to get a life.
Good Girls Do, by Cathie Linz. After his father's death, Luke Maguire returns home to Serenity Falls to take care of the family bar and, while trying to liven the town up a little, forms an unlikely alliance with Julia Wright, a sassy librarian who can read him like an open book.
Here Lies the Librarian, by Richard Peck. Fourteen-year-old Eleanor "Peewee" McGrath, a tomboy and automobile enthusiast, discovers new possibilities for her future after the 1914 arrival in her small Indiana town of four young librarians.
Louisiana Saves the Library, by Emily Beck Cogburn. Librarian Louisiana Richardson must resort to unconventional methods if she is going to save Alligator Bayou Parish's struggling library from being closed.

Tuesday, March 08, 2016

I've been discriminated against...

...and I'm okay with it. First, some background information. This idea started to grow after reading a review on a Sheriff Departments Facebook page about how "some people are disliked and discriminated in this city". I started thinking that I could agree with them but probably not in the way they expected. 
I abide by the laws. I do not intentionally speed, and cruise control helps keep me from unintentionally speeding. I don't take or distribute illegal substances. I do not destroy personal or public property nor do I consume anything that would alter or impair my sound judgement. Because of this, I have not had many encounters with brave men and women in law enforcement. No tall dark and handsome man, in uniform, has come to give me a ride in his cruiser or flashed me on the highway. I am okay with that and to be honest I would have a major panic attack if one did. 

I also believe I am discriminated against when it comes to retail therapy. Just because I like to eat and hate to exercise I am unable to just go into many clothing store and buy cute and affordable clothing. I actually have to do the majority of my clothes shopping online where you can't try things on and see how they look before paying. 
Have I gone protesting in the streets? Have I called for a national boycott of Khols? Have I taken the fight to court demanding that all clothing retailers sell all their styles and products in all sizes from 0-50? No. Because I am a reasonable person that understands that no one business or company can or should provide everything for everybody. (Amazon comes the closest but that's a different post) 

America has free enterprise and even though some people claim differently, I believe that business owners have the right to sell the products and services they choose. Because of this, if you don't like Big Macs you have the right, and the opportunity, to to buy Whoppers. If you love cupcakes but won't eat animal products, you can splurge at a Vegan Bakery. If you don't agree with the charitable contributions Home Depot makes, you have the option to shop at Menards or Lowes.  

In a society that is quick to cry "discrimination" let's be sure that we just don't want our own way at the expense of someone else's rights.