Today’s post is brought to you by chamolille-fueled late-night homework sessions, the atmosphere of the picture book section in the library, chillhop background music, and the maple leaf-shaped lights that are strung across the top of my desk. No, this post isn’t sponsored. These are just a few of the things I’m appreciating during a semester that already feels long in September!
This is kind of more like a check-in than a usual blog post. It isn’t a review, although I do want to talk a little about the good book I’m reading. It isn’t a linkup, although I thought about participating in one today. It isn’t even an analysis of books I want to read or used to want to read or might someday want to read. It’s just what’s on my mind, and if that isn’t the heart of blogging, then I don’t know what is.
Have you ever started something and had a general idea of what you’re doing and where you’re going, but also acknowledged that you didn’t know exactly how things would turn out? In a practical sense, that’s honestly how I’m handling this blog post. But realizing this got me thinking about how much that’s true for life in general as well. A year ago I was just starting graduate school, and I knew it meant I would be busy and often tired, but I didn’t know what the projects would look like that I stayed up late working on. I knew I would have virtual weekend classes, but I didn’t know both the stress and relief that would come with distance learning. And I knew that I would probably ask my library colleagues a lot of questions along the way, but I didn’t know how much their thoughtful responses and support would mean.
I’m trying to appreciate both the good and hard things from this season. There are a lot of good things; for instance, there are fun children’s books that I wouldn’t have read otherwise and there are thoughtful conversations with coworkers, classmates, and others; there are the YouTube Pomodoro study channels I have stumbled across and found that I enjoy quite a bit; there is always something in my pantry to eat and coffee to brew and a safe, clean bed to fall into. But I’m also tired, and I’m not going to romanticize how hard it can be to get up for work in the mornings or the way my head hurts after staring at the computer screen or the fact that somedays if I don’t get an afternoon coffee, focusing is a major struggle. I am so thankful for this season and the opportunities it is bringing! And I miss having time to plan meals that require learning something new or at least more than a few minutes to throw together. This is the tension of working toward goals, and maybe it’s the tension of life. Choosing one goal to chase means I can’t chase all the other potential goals, at least not right now. Choosing to do my absolute best on each assignment means I don’t get as much sleep as I would like. It also means that I read the books that are required instead of whatever strikes my fancy, and it means that I don’t have time to volunteer for extra projects or work on knitting as much as I used to. But, in the end, it will mean more practical skills and theoretical knowledge which I can use to better serve my community. Hopefully it will also mean a somewhat higher ranking job where I am more comfortably self-sufficient, with the time and means to pursue some other dreams while continuing to work at the library.
One of the books I’m reading at the moment (Where the Mountain Meets the Moon) is about a girl who goes on a fantastic journey to find the Man of the Moon to ask him her burning questions – things like how to have good fortune, why are things the way that they are, and what does her future hold? I’m close to the end of the book but I don’t yet know how they are going to wrap these up neatly. I wonder if the journey is more of an answer than any words could be. I think that’s how it is in my life. Where will I be in another year? Who knows, but looking at the journey so far, I don’t doubt that I will have an entirely new set of things making me busy and giving me things to think about (and hopefully good books to blog about). I doubt I will come across a friendly flightless dragon, but again, who knows.
Perhaps this post is a little less coherent than most. I don’t honestly think that I care. I just wanted to share with y’all a little about where my mind is and what has been on it lately. What have you been contemplating or discovering?
Until the next chapter,
From this post (again, these are NOT sponsors, just things that I like and am sharing because you might like them, too):
- My favorite chamomile tea for studying (after caffeine hours)
- Decorative lights similar to what I have on my desk can be found here and here
- Where the Mountain Meets the Moon is a fun and easy-to-read middle-grade novel about a Chinese girl on a journey to find the Man of the Moon and ask him her big questions. So far I’m enjoying it a lot.
- The study music I’ve been using A LOT recently while working on projects: