Today was pretty low-key, I guess I needed some recovery time from sitting next to a close-talker last night. It has been an illuminating lesson for me about boundaries, body language, and my tolerance levels for being incidentally spat on while people talk loudly.
(things I should do: ironing, sorting more stuff in line with being less cluttered, make a cake for my neighbour, catch up on my secret so-neglected shame that is 23 RD things…)
Oh, blogjune! I have neglected you as both a lover and friend, but I have caught up on your 684 (!?) posts . I wonder if I could squeeze 16 days of posts into a single one – a good idea that’s already been done (for 3 days) by Thomas and Blake.
Anyway, I spent some of my non-blogjune time on holiday in Adelaide with not much internet access.
Sometimes being quiet is good, and powerful – something else is making the words, or perhaps using up the allocation. If you search for “Sorry we’ve been quiet lately!” – there are so many results! It’s okay not to add to it, there’s enough. Brings to mind artist Danielle Freakley’s The Quote Generator where she only spoke in stolen quotes for years (which reminds me I’d like to see a movie on a similar theme: And Now a Word From Our Sponsor). If you see her performance on Enough Rope – the lesson could be the importance of life dates in serials?
My favourite post from my mega reading cramming was Margaret’s post seeking book donations, and the story behind reinvigorating the library at Greenville High School/Indian Valley Academy (California):
“Will you donate a book? A real book. Something literary or fun – something that speaks to your truth, their truths. …help us to build a library we can be proud of. Just one book.”
I wonder if the blogjuners (junebloggers?) in Australia could work together to organise a parcel – or am I making this overcomplex, would it be better to purchase online and just use their shipping address? Hmm. Considering which books to send!
Apart from my blogjune guilt, I was trying to conjure up a post about gloves (it’s cold here! I guess that counts enough for inspiration – or desperation?). I couldn’t find any matching ones in the wardrobe – which probably says something about my clothing information management?
Bereft of gloves, I rediscovered this trio of socks which were handknitted by my Grandma. It’s a weird thing to be given 3 specially-made socks, but she reasoned to me that:
1. I wear odd socks
2. I am likely to lose socks (I’m not sure where that came from – after all, I still have all these ones).
3. There was just the right amount of wool left to make a third sock, and what else could she have made? (perhaps some undies, but I didn’t feel it was worthwhile to argue).
I miss her very much, and I love the fact that she wanted to risk-manage my sock habits.
As you can see, our Mr Cat rather likes them (or just wants to be a blogjune feature cat like ‘Scuse me and Purrkins, Maggie, Shadow Norton and mysterious). And yes, it’s another cat photo, continuing just the same as where I began this year’s blogjune!
A sock fancier – sounds like a wonderful and outdated career choice?
Reference: George, E. (9 January 2007). Artist happy to talk up witty project. Mx (News section), 2, accessed via EBSCOhost.
Okay, we are in August. But I have been thinking about blogjune since June!
I posted much less this year, and was dreadfully behind in keeping in touch with other people’s posts. I have only just caught up on hundreds of posts in my feed from people who did blogjune (so, some of June and everything since). I have missed lots of them too, but that’s okay (as is an August-timed reflection!).
Low-key blogjune was because my priority for June (and beyond) was/is to relax. I started towards this in a small way during last blogjune, thinking about what I wanted to have more of in my daily life. Yesterday’s card on self-care, selected by Doreen Virtue couldn’t have been more accurate. I spend (invest?) a lot of time working and volunteering in the library sector, so I figured if I could have more relaxing baths, face masks, recreational print reading and seeing friends, it would be an achievement. These are the things that migrate to my “to don’t” list when everything else borrows my time and energy.
“The capacity to offer your own time to service is grounded in the privilege of having that time in the first place.” (Kate Bowles’ post via Kim’s retweet) (and which tasks end up eating the time privilege?). Task creep and expansion is like a sundae made of time allocation, all the melty bits drip down into the tiny spaces between the wafers. I really did end up spending more time on life balance activities which is a success. More books! More movies! More fun!
My blogjune output for this year has been 8 posts, or maybe 9 including this one (I did 30 last year, and 23 in 2013). Each year, my desire to post more during that month means I reduce my cull rate and try to be a bit more open. This year I also helped facilitate the blogjune posts for a group blog (Canberra Library Tribe), which made me appreciate what an accomplishment regular posts are for other group blogs. I’m particularly thinking of ALIA Sydney, which hosts many guest posts every blogjune (I was very pleased and honoured to be able to contribute a post in 2012). I also helped to organise two Arlis/ANZ activities during June: an exhibition tour and a day roadtrip. This definitely made me realise that it’s easy to make time for volunteering when it’s enjoyable!
From this self-development focus, I really enjoyed Janice’s blogjune post about her Aurora experience. I’ve always thought the Institute held a lot of mystery – almost like MLM companies or something a little bit cultish. Her point about personal reflective learning made so much sense, and her link to Mike Robbins’ “Bring your whole self to work” TedX talk really rang true for me:
“…nothing changes until you do. So it’s an internal process. And if you think about this for yourself, where are the places in your life, where are the places in your work, where are the situations, the circumstances, the conversations you that you want to have? The risks you want to take, and where do you find yourself holding yourself back in with compassion? Can you challenge yourself to step beyond what might be safe, what might be comfortable?”
Another element that resonated with me from her post was about personality types and library work. Part of my desire for more personal time is about considering my next career path direction. When I began studying towards being a librarian and library technician, I had absolutely no idea about the niche specialisations and options available, and what would be the best fit. I really should have investigated more before diving in, but the beauty of doing information studies is an understanding of the value of research. There’s a good post about a study on the Myers-Briggs psychological types found within librarianship – i.e. what are the most common personalities in the library field and what type/who is drawn to work in our sector. If you don’t know your type, there is a free and easy test online (complete with cute illustrated explanations of each type). I feel like understanding this is going to help with my next direction, but it would also be good to find out more about this same data being sampled across library sectors (e.g. is there a personality type more suited to some libraries over others, like special, government…?).
Steph talked about “Commando shopping” (I have always thought of this as “Surgical shopping”, slicing and dicing through the bargains), as a very direct way of finding what you need in a restricted timeframe. I think there is definitely a temptation for a “Commando career path”, which seems very desirable in hindsight. But everything feeds into everything else, and a direct route is not always the one that provides the most learning opportunities. My life/work balance is also being improved by a new business idea that includes art. As part of my self care, I really need to spend time making art, which I haven’t done for a long time.
Internal shifts and learning can be hard to articulate, but I feel really positive about the way I managed my time for blogjune. As Constance said, this year’s blogjune may have been smaller numbers-wise, but the discussion involved more significant and impactful discourse.
I’m trying to keep better track my reading this year by following another librarian’s example …but I realise that I’ve already changed the list parameters. I wasn’t counting non-fiction books which would greatly expand my count, but it’d also mean I was including books I hadn’t read cover-to-cover. Brings to mind a Cathy cartoon where she started a new year’s resolution of keeping a diary, but used the wrong colour pen so it was ruined. I will continue and aim for a December 2014 list of my inhaled fiction books & movies.
Of the well-read books list from K, I have only read 6% which is a poor result:
63. Life of pi by Yann Martel
64. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
65. The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
91. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
99. 1984 by George Orwell
100. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
I could work through the list, but so far I’ve focused on fun books like Tom Holt’s Doughnut, which is like a sweetly salted cookie packed with beautiful descriptive chocolate chips. My favourite quotes:
“She’d sort of ground to a halt, and was looking hopefully at him, like a dog that can see the biscuit in its owner’s hand.” p. 21
“That drip-drip noise you can hear is my heart bleeding.” p. 176
“He lay back and stared at his little pink toes,
which rose up out of the froth like ten bashful mermaids.” p. 328
You can even take a quiz on Holt’s site to find out the perfect love-match book for you. Spoiler: it seems to only choose between 2 of his titles! Doughnut is the first I’ve read by I’m happy to try out some bibliographic polyandry.
Lots of drawing today, with the Sketch (like pictionary) in Mr. S’ new Game & Wario.
You can see my rabbit below, which was guessed quite quickly – sometimes things look better when they’re a little unfinished and not overdone.
I’m rather pleased with it, considering it’s a drawing that took a few seconds without any reference material. Normally I use a lot of photographs and preliminary sketches.
Roxanna Vizcarra’s feature in curvy is about knowing that artists do research: “As a teenager I was under this false impression that in order to draw really well you needed to be able to do so without any references. I wish someone had taught me differently earlier.” (Curvy 6, 2009, Paper Tiger Media Group, p. 6).
Her drawing in Curvy is of Jack Rabbit in Year of the Rabbit, one of hordes of scrawny men dressed as bunnies working in an elderly lady’s mansion. Tighty whities!
I also did some sketches of feet, hands and legs, here is a gratuitous podophilist drawing:
Interesting to compare the feeling of drawing on a screen and paper in the same day.
…the pristine nature of the screen, sounds of the materials and the beautiful feathered deckle edge of the paper.