Sunday, September 25, 2011


Yesterday was my 30th birthday. 

On this day last year, I set three goals for myself-- New Years resolution style. In no particular order:

1. Find a job

Done! And not the one for which I was initially hired. Through a series of bizarre and fortuitous events, I am not managing a rural library after all. Instead I have accepted a job behind the scenes of public librarianship, although still with the same library district. The specifics of my job description are still being worked out, but I will be helping to process new materials, doing some web work, training the community librarians when the need arises, and "maintaining the integrity of the database."

That last one cracks me up a little bit, although it's definitely an accurate description.  It means fixing sloppy or incomplete records to ensure continuity in the integrated library system -- the catalog. But doesn't "maintaining the integrity of the database" sound so elegant?

I cannot say how pleased I am with the recent turn of events. I feel like I can breathe again, and make some long term plans now that I know where I'm going to be for awhile. Staying in Prescott was not always my ambition, but I couldn't be happier with the way things have worked out. 

2. Get healthy

I started working on this one late in the year. I took a nutrition class with my father this summer on the benefits of a plant-based diet. Even if I am not able to stay vegan (and recently it's been hard), that class has forever changed my understanding of the importance of healthy eating. For the most part, I try to make good choices and I can already see what a difference it has made to my life. I haven't had a migraine in 4 months. I have energy and I feel good after eating, instead of tired and heavy.

And of course, Bella has had a big impact on my lifestyle. I don't get to sleep in anymore, because I have a puppy that needs a lot of exercise or else she destroys everything in sight. But it's been very rewarding seeing how the daily hikes have improved both of us. The changing season (and my new job) have restricted the amount of daylight and time we have for these walks, and I can tell I will have to make them a priority or else it's going to be hard to fit them in. On top of that, I dropped Zumba because I thought it wasn't going to fit in the schedule -- turned out I could have fit it in, but not until after I'd already dropped it. Oh well...

I still have a long way to go, but I'm really happy with my progress so far.

3. Finish the first draft of a manuscript. 

I didn't think I'd achieved this one and for a few days I've been consoling myself that 2 out of 3 isn't bad. My only regret about the new job is that I've had to drop all my classes. I was taking Creative Non-Fiction and Advanced Fiction writing. I wanted to make it work, but it was immediately clear that I wouldn't be able to write or do my new job well if I tried to do it all. Once I get settled in, I'll look into a night class. Maybe next Spring or Summer. 

Sometimes I think that I wasted the year since I moved back from England. But that's not really true. Yes I went to the movies almost every day, and I spent a lot of time doing nothing at all, but I also spent a lot of time with my family. 

And I started The Daily Theme. I don't think I realized what a special project it was, and how lucky I am that I got to share it with my mother. We started the project on September 1, 2010 with the plan that it would take about one year to get through 250 essay topics.  Periodically I worried that a year would pass and all I would have to show for it would be that website. We didn't make it to 250, but with 217 entries of approximately 500 words each, my mother and I wrote more than 217,000 words between us. (By the way, the complicated equation I used to get that result is: 217 X 500 X 2 ... in case you want to check my math). 

My point is, we now have a novel length manuscript. So, I'm gonna go ahead and scratch that off my list as well.

I have not made a list for this year, maybe because I'm feeling so good about where I am right now. Some people might freak out about turning 30, but I'm excited about it. By all accounts, there's a lot to look forward to in the coming decade. It would have been hard if I was still unemployed, but even the fact that I'm living with my parents doesn't bother me. 

But I should probably start thinking about getting my own place.

Friday, September 2, 2011

The Next New Thing (Again)

Today I was offered a job managing a small, rural library. 
I accepted the position. 

I know I just got started on this website, but the truth is I was unemployed for 15 months. 

Things are going to be quiet around here while I learn about my new role (as well as my employer's policy on  personal websites). I hope I don't need to abandon this place completely, but we'll see how it works out. 

Wish me luck!