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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Sometimes I think about what it would be like to have a flashier job, a better-paying job, a job that would allow me to use my creative talents for "greater" things, a job where I felt a little more respected and a lot less frustrated.

And then a kid comes over and talks about something going on in her life and she asks for advice, and maybe complains a little bit like kids sometimes do (and when you hear what the thing was, you feel sad for her and know that she really just needed someone to talk to).
Or an adult will come over with a grown-up problem and I help him and then, because he couldn't fix the problem alone, he has actual tears of gratitude in his eyes, and suddenly I do too, and I remember that these are things that matter and I'm where I'm supposed to be.

So maybe the flashier things are empty and meaningless and maybe they aren't, but it means more to me to be there for someone than to be someone.

Sometimes I think about that.


  1. Awww, thanks, Rita. I hadn't teared up yet today... can cross that off the to-do list now.

  2. This reminds me of one of my better days too... good to know we are all doing the important work together! Thank you..

  3. Agreed - flashier jobs (some would say I have a flashy job) aren't always what they're cracked up to be! It's all an illusion...

  4. Very, very true. I can be having the most rubbish week ever - people moaning and complaining, books getting damaged or going missing, aggressive customers demanding discounts or shouting across the counter, bad weather and poor sales - but it only takes one wonderful conversation to make me remember why I opened a bookshop in the first place. Maybe the little boy eagerly telling me about all the books he's reading from his school library, a little girl asking her dad if she can buy a book for her baby brother instead of herself, a nostalgic conversation with an old lady about our favourite classics, finally placing a book into the hands of someone who's been looking for it for twenty years, or even just a good laugh with a group of book club members on a day out...

    This morning I had a conversation with a very chatty couple, which wound up with us eagerly comparing 'ideal fictional family members' for a good fifteen minutes. Laura's dad from Little House on the Prairie and Ma and Pop Larkin from The Darling Buds of May came out top. Made my day! :)

    1. The good outweighs the bad (most of the time). :)

  5. Thank you for this. These are the things that keep me from going insane at the reference desk!

  6. Thank you! I'm a school librarian and on Friday I had the 4-year olds with their colds and tales of colds and the "remedies' inflicted on them, and their intermittent yet forceful sneezes. Flubugs aside, their eyes DO genuinely sparkle during our times together and they have deLIGHTful stories! I love the 'presence' nature of your writing--be is the place to be! Good for you.
    Plus, I have a friend who once, only once uttered: "You always go for the sensible shoes." And what is a librarian if not at-the-ready-for-any fly-ball-reference-or-other-question but sensibly clad??!? Born this way!

  7. I really loved this posting. Thank you!!