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Being thankful

With all the health issues (and the cost of all the health issues) and everything, it would be really tempting to write off 2013 as a “rebuilding year,” and I won’t lie: those words have escaped my lips. Maybe as recently as yesterday, when I found out that the Prednisone was more of a diagnostic tool than a cure. Now that I’m off it, the pain is coming back, to the total lack of surprise of my doctor; and now that my shock has worn off, I’m pretty angry that she didn’t warn me. Anyway, we’re looking into ways to head it off before it gets really bad again. I’ll skip details, here, but short story: there’s a chance it might still all be OK. Fingers crossed.

give-thanks-300x199Anyway, my point is, it’s easy to say “This year wasn’t so good.” But it’s not really true, on balance. Some really bad things happened. But LOTS of GREAT things happened, too! And I think it’s worth calling them out and reminding myself about them and really taking the time to be thankful. So, here are some things I’m thankful for, from late 2012 and 2013 so far:

  • Early this year I approached a then-acquaintance, now-friend, with the idea that we might create a local technology training group for women, a la Girl Develop It, and she thought it was a great idea. So Anchorage Programming Workshop happened, and we’ve held successful classes on GitHub, WordPress, Web Fundamentals, HTML, and CSS. We participated in the mini-Maker Faire this summer. And now we’re looking into joining up with other interested people to create a broader “diversity in tech” organization, locally. I couldn’t have predicted this project’s success, at the beginning of the year, and I’m really, really thankful that it’s working out. I’m also thankful for the new friend and partner in crime, who challenges me and who kicks me when I go all impostor syndrome on her.
  • 2556 people thought I would do a good job representing them on ALA Council. I’m incredibly grateful for all of those votes and for the chance to serve.
  • I got back word that my fourth year file was A-OK, and I pretty much don’t have to stress about the tenure thing. I mean, I still need to do my job well and work hard to put together a good file, but at least I know I’m on track.
  • I made huge progress on some really important stuff at work. Most important: we have adopted a web plan that makes students—specifically, students who haven’t yet been trained on library resources—the focus of our design/development efforts, above students who’ve been through one shots, above faculty, and above librarians. As a result, everyone agreed to standardize our LibGuides, to make them more usable.
  • Based largely on that effort, I pitched a talk for the LITA National Forum, and it was accepted. And then I got to attend a great conference! And then the talk went well! (I think? People wanted to see my web plan, anyway. :))
  • I got to serve on a panel at ALA Midwinter. I felt kind of like the token newbie, but honestly, that was a super fun role to fill. I felt great about the discussion we had!
  • I’m also signed up to participate in a panel at this upcoming Midwinter, and I’m super psyched about it, since it’s about an issue I think is really important.
  • I got to go to Hawaii for the first time ever, and it was great!
  • I participated in my first two hackathons.
  • I was invited to write a guest post for Letters to a Young Librarian. I’ve also been invited to write two other posts, on a different blog, but I haven’t actually done that work yet. ;)
  • Dale (that’s my Mr.) and I rescued a parakeet this summer. Like, from under a truck, at a stop light. And he’s kind of the funniest guy in our flock, now. He’s also made the other parakeet approximately a million times happier! (For those keeping count, we now have two cockatiels and two parakeets.)
  • Some awesome people got married, and we got to celebrate with them.
  • And, just generally, I have a smart, funny, loving husband; we have jobs we like; we have enough money to pay our bills; our house keeps us warm and dry; we have friends and family (and those people who cross that border) whom we love and who love us; our pets are happy and healthy; and things are going fairly well, all told. I have a lot that’s wonderful in my life.

So, yeah, I know there’s a very real chance that I’ll look back on 2013 as the year I started battling a life-long health issue. And I’m not thrilled about that. But it might also be the year I emerged from being a state-level public speaker to the national level, the year I started to come into my own as a programmer, the year the Anchorage tech community started to become more inclusive, or the year the Consortium Library really started focusing on the student user experience. It might be all of those things. That would be amazing. Any of those things would be amazing.

So I’m thankful, and I’m hopeful, and, on this Thanksgiving eve, I am content.

Published inon a personal note


  1. The talk went well :) I can go into more detail on strengths and weaknesses if you want (I always have all the opinions on public speaking ;), but it was a good talk.

    • Oh, good!

      Yes, I would be really grateful for feedback and ideas to improve! (Maybe over email instead of blog comment, but you knew that. :)) Thanks!

  2. […] and a reflection on the year’s experiences, but I feel like I did some of that with my Thanksgiving post. I realize I missed some stuff, and, sure, I glossed over the negatives of the year, because I was […]

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