There is a familiar sort of guilt in my life. That feeling of all the things that I should be doing. I should be reading and replying to more library Facebook threads. I should be going to Twitter chats. I should be spending more of my summer planning for a school year that is impossible to predict precisely. I should be applying to present at virtual conferences this fall. But many days, all I feel up to doing is running to the grocery store, anxiously washing my hands and reading YA fiction. Or re-watching all the Harry Potter movies while sewing up more masks that I know I’m going to need when I’m going in to work five days a week again.
You have permission to NOT do ALL the things
I have to remind myself again and again. It’s okay to feel exhausted. To not know everything. It’s okay to realize that you don’t have the physical, mental or emotional energy to participate in everything professionally that you think you should be doing.
Yes, it’s important to plan for what this year might hold. And to make back-up plans for your back-up plans. And it’s good to remind yourself of what you’ve already done. Before the school year wrapped, I wrote up a document about possible plans for the fall that I’ve already shared with my administration. I started up our Sora catalog during lockdown so students could access books. I’ve been using Instagram to connect with students over the break.
What’s important right now (for me at least, but probably for others as well), is to not fall into the comparison trap. I go on social media, read blogs, journal articles, and see all these amazing ideas other librarians are coming up with for what their library programs will look like during pandemic times (in-person, virtual, blended, etc). And it’s so easy for me to start beating myself up about how I’m not planning x, y or z programs. Because I can’t do ALL the things.It’s okay to recognize that we need to recharge and be kind to ourselves. And that it's okay if we don't accomplish ALL the things. Click To Tweet
Slow down, find a focus
The key is to find the one or two ideas that really resonate. That would be fantastic for your school community and where your library culture where it is right now. Focus on planning those ideas, while accepting that you don’t have to attempt the billion other ideas floating around on the internet. And accept that this is a journey, we’re all figuring things out together.
And I do still want to go to virtual conferences and watch webinars and sketchnote them. I do want to connect with others. But it’s also okay to recognize that we need to recharge and be kind to ourselves. And that it’s okay if we don’t accomplish all the things.