Every now and then I get this weird sensation of… bigness. I don’t know how else to describe it.
It’s like my whole life momentarily inflates and I become acutely aware of the things, the people, the responsibility and the obligation in my life. In essence, it’s like being in a dream state for a few seconds where everything around me feels both centred and expanded at the same time. I am overwhelmed by what I do, what I am accountable for and who I am answerable to. It’s like a thrilling and terrifying dream. Only I’m awake and it doesn’t last very long.
A part of me asks myself, “What have I done? What was I thinking? What possessed me to take all this on by myself? Who the hell do I think I am to buy a house, manage a library, own a car, look after pets, renovate rooms, landscape a yard, buy power tools and build shit…?”
Then a little voice answers back, “Who are you not to?”
And the bigness isn’t so big anymore.
I find myself able to breathe again and I see how absolutely wonderful my life is – with renewed appreciation! The happiness and contentment I normally feel returns and my only wish is that my bank account would overwhelm me with bigness someday. It will.
Yesterday, my staff and I met for our once-monthly get-together away from the distractions of regular library life to talk about issues, brainstorm new ideas and generally spend an hour and a half bonding as the team we are. As I was about to start talking about the first item on our agenda, one of the girls approached me with a card and a gift. I had no idea what they could be for or why I would be getting them.
I looked at my grinning assistants and was struck by the happiness and pleasure that I saw on their faces. Even before I opened the card, I was touched by the gesture. I still had no idea what it was all about.
The card was in honour of Boss’s Day, which was actually held on October 16th. I happened not to be in the library that day, so the staff decided that the staff meeting would be the perfect substitute.
The moment of realization was mixed with pride and humble pleasure to be recognized this way by these amazing women, who, quite frankly, make my job so much easier than it could be. They are the front line workers who deal with the patrons, solve so many problems, ensure that the day-to-day stuff is kept up with, look after programs and displays, keep the library looking neat and tidy among myriad other things that come up quite out of the blue. All I could think was: I should be honouring you guys!
|If I do make the world a better place, it's because of the|
wonderful people in my life that help me do it.
And then the bigness happened. But this time it was not so much overwhelming as it was comforting. It was affirming. I knew then, with absolute certainty, that I am in the right place and that everything really is okay.
The card now sits in pride of place on my book shelf at home. A reminder that, as big as life can seem sometimes, I am quite capable of handling it.
I just hope that my wonderful, incredible, talented, creative, amazing staff know how much I have learned from them; how much better they make my life and how great an honour it is to work with each of them.
So what was the gift that went with the card, you ask?
Triple chocolate cheesecake!