Moment Over

Each year at work, they do a March Madness pool. I always participate, just for fun. This year was no exception. Unfortunately, I did not do well. I had a super strong first round, and by the second round, I only had one team left in the final four and I didn’t even have them winning. Things were not looking good.

This morning, the person who organized it came in and said “I’m tallying the results today, you have a real shot!” I was astonished. How bad must everyone else have to have done in order for me to actually win this thing? The real humor in the moment was when I said “it’s over?” Yep, I follow so closely….

Then, I saw him at a meeting, he said, “sorry, you didn’t win. You came in third. Well, I guess technically fourth as there was a tie for second.”

I was still thrilled. How exciting to come in fourth! I know next to nothing about basketball, so I was strangely proud of myself. Then a few minutes past, he sent an email with the “Final Results”.

I opened it, so excited and proud to see my name listed at the top, near the winners.

And I read the list….1st place….2nd place….2nd place (tie)….4th place, Olivia.

And.That.Was.It.

I had no idea that hardly anyone played this year….turns out, ONLY FOUR PEOPLE PLAYED. Here I am walking around feeling all proud of coming in fourth OUT OF FOUR.

Moment Over.

Another First

People seem obsessed with “firsts” when children are little. I get it, it’s exciting the first time something happens (mostly). But the thing is, I’m on the cusp of being 35 years old and I still experience many firsts. I just had another one today.

As you may know, my part time job is subbing for a county system. There are a dozen or so of us subs. Recently they just hired a couple more, one of whom happens to be named Olivia. Recently, I got an email of thanks from a branch manager for something I did while staffing that branch. Except, I did not staff that branch on that day and did not do the thing for which I was thanked. It was odd. I forwarded it along to the correct Olivia and copied my supervisor so they would be aware of the snafu.

Today, I received an email from my boss, copying the branch manager where I am working on Saturday. The email said this:

Saturday has been partially filled at NTN and Ruth thinks they’ll be OK – thanks Olivia M!

And just like that, I had another first. First time (in my recollection) that I was called by my first name and last initial. I understand this is common practice for elementary schools, where classrooms often have students with the same first name. Growing up as an Olivia in the 80s, all my friends were named Jennifer and Katie, this was NOT something I had encountered.

But, here I am, a professional, an adult, and suddenly I’ve lived this first. I have to say, I don’t really care for it. I think I should just be Olivia and this new girl should be Olivia 2. After all I came first (both in the job and in life), but it was nice to experience it, even if slightly out of traditional context.

Sincerely,

Olivia M. (see, you thought it was weird, too!)

On Working

I don’t talk about work much on the blog. I allude to it here or there, but for the most part, I’ve stopped actually talking about it and airing my grievances here on the blog. But today I wanted to, I just wanted to put this down.

I worked at my part time job today, in a public library. This is vastly different from my full time job, in a corporate library. I’ve known for a while where my heart truly lies, but for some reason, today, it really struck home with me.

I’ve had an exceptionally busy week, I was sick, I’ve had a lot going on, and then I had to work today. I’ve been avoiding working at my part time job, mostly because I’ve been working multiple jobs for seven years and I’m so very tired of it. I want ONE job, just 40 hours and that’s it. That’s the dream. But that is still a long way off. At any rate, because of that and because of the busyness of life in general, I’ve not worked a ton lately. I still work, sure, but not as often. I was scheduled to work on Saturday morning. This was after spending my Thursday night with Arionna, then a sleepover, having her all day on Friday, then hanging with Kelly for her birthday on Friday night, THEN work. Then going out on Saturday night. It’s a lot.

I think it is fair to say that I was dreading this weekend. Not the events. Most all of it was fun. I sure wished I didn’t have to work, sandwiched between all the fun. Then, my night with Kelly went later than expected. I didn’t get home until 3am. That’s pretty late, to have to get up in the morning and work at 10am. Plus having to drive an hour to get to work….yep, I was dreading this day.

Then I arrived. It was chaos. CHAOS. And I was so tired, but there is no option. This is the job, this is MY job, and I need to dive in. So I did. Before I blinked, an hour flew by. I was working in the children’s room, which is so much fun, and I answered questions from little kids. I helped parents track down books. I watched a little boy jump straight up, just once, in excitement, when I found the next installment of a series he was enjoying. I felt my heart lurch when I turned a corner and almost tripped over a little boy, about four, who sat on the floor, up against a bookshelf, next to a stack of books nearly as tall as his seated body. He couldn’t even read but he just sat there, flipping through his books. He looked like a poster for how awesome libraries are. I told his mother that when she came over to check on him. He was “reading” about snakes and asked me a question and I told him that I used to live with a snake (*not* a metaphor!). I grinned out loud at the not-quite two-year-old boy who couldn’t even reach the counter who asked me about pirates.

That was just a few of the interactions, a smattering of the things I did today. Then there was the actual “work”, where I pulled holds and weeded the EJs and reshelved books and straightened messy shelves after hordes of children stormed through. In the late afternoon, a young man and a young girl came in, without children, looking much too old to be using this room. (In the library I was at, there is a separate room for children’s, so people don’t randomly pass through, you have to pointedly walk into the children’s area). I was instantly curious about them. I approached, to ask if I could help them find something. Turns out, they were library school students in a children’s lit class, doing the universal “find books of different ages/genre/media” assignment. I did it. We’ve all done it. You leave the library with like 50 different books. I thought it was fun. The boy seemed to be loving it, but the girl was not. I offered my assistance. I told them that I wouldn’t find them anything (which is actually my job) but I would show them how to find it themselves, if they got stuck. They have to learn and I was so happy, so eager, to help them. They had lots of questions, not surprisingly, it’s not an easy assignment. I realized that I was having a blast.

A blast. I was having flat-out fun at work.

It has been so long since I’ve felt that I’ve honestly forgotten what it’s like. I no longer cared that I was tired or that I was busy or that it is inconvenient to work a second job or have to drive halfway across the state to do so, I was happy and having fun and, dare I say, GLAD to be at work.

What’s my point?

No point. This isn’t some deep-seated psychological realization or some soul searching quest for truth. I know where I want to work and what I want to be doing. I just can’t get there, right now. I wanted, today, to commit these thoughts to “paper” so that I’d remember. I want to be able to look back on this period and remember that it wasn’t all bad. I want to remind myself to focus on the positive and minimize the negative. I want to be able to smile, in the future, thinking of the boy with the stack of books taller than himself. I need to confirm that I’ve been right all along. This job, this purpose, being a librarian, it is in my soul. It truly does make me happy. I’m just not there yet. I just have to keep trying, keep waiting, keep searching, but someday, I will end up where I’m supposed to be. I’ll be a public librarian again one day. I’m meant to.