I still spend 40+ hours in a public library every week. I enjoy my work most of the time. Out of all of the library jobs I have had, I have found this one to be the most rewarding because it has challenged me to grow as an individual and I feel like because of the small-ish rural size of my library the work we do can actually have a significant impact. I always felt disconnected in a larger library despite doing some very one on one work with the community. I think that as organizations get larger things start to feel less personal. I’m 1.5 years away from being in my forties and one of the big themes I feel like I’m coming up on is that things and life experiences that are smaller, cozier, and more homely are the ones for me.
With all things, when there is stress or urgency I get a little bit out of whack at my place of work and I feel disconnected from the community and the staff. Over the last two months I have been working more nights. In between all of that I have been preparing a budget, advocating for salary increases, working to maintain benefits, doing the day to day stuff, and finally hiring a new employee that will start soon. Taking all of this together as I write it down shows me that I’ve felt stress and urgency in my work recently. I know that this will fade away in the next week and I look forward to that.
I am recognizing that work is work, energy is finite, and there will be ups and downs. The more I recognize this, the more I am OK with generally everything that comes my way in public libraries.
FINN & AERO
It turns out that tired old cliche boy oh boy they sure do grow up fast is 1000% true. Just in the past 6 months I’ve seen Finn & Aero go from kids to something else. They’re not tweens yet and definitely not teens. Most people would call them kids but there’s been this change. Finn has a bit more sass to him. He’s also zoning in on his creativity. His art and building skills continue to get to new levels of amazing. He’s starting to understand how he works best: lots of energy in the morning, a nice lull in the afternoon, followed by an evening burst and then a complete collapse. Aero is one of the most fierce human beings I know. Steadfast in his resolve at all times, Aero will let you know what he wants or what he thinks and that that is that. He’s zoned in on a love for all things tiny: small dogs, little action figures, miniature set ups. He may be the smallest kid on his hockey team, but his energy and determination make up for any size.
Both boys are loving a mix of homeschooling (or unschooling as we see it) and going to our local public school for music & gym class. There’s a good balance of freedom, structure, and learning happening. Some days we focus on some work in a work book, other days are dominated by cooking, and some are full of exploration. Unschooling is difficult but in the end these two boys deserve the best possible life and we’re doing everything we can to give it to them. I look forward to spending most of my time with them during the holiday break.
She is the best parent to Finn & Aero. She’s an amazing partner to me. She works at Stonehouse Jack on the weekends and then always fits in time to run events or fix up Fidelia Hall (we’re still going strong there). She even makes her own clothes. She claims that she’s low energy but I beg to differ. I look up to her, all that she is, all that she does, and everything she brings into the world.
On December 15, 2018, Haley (with the support of our local YWCA) will be hosting the first ever Holiday Contra Dance at Fidelia Hall. Contra dancing is something very near and dear to Haley’s heart and to have it in Fidelia Hall has long been a dream of hers. 3.5 years after we bought the space, she’s making that dream come true. I am really proud of her for starting this great tradition for not only our family but for our community. The Holiday Contra Dance at Fidelia Hall will become something that is synonymous with the holidays at Fidelia Hall. Onwards and upwards thanks to the love and great energy of Haley Hoenke, one of the best people I’ve ever known in this life.