Don’t die in Maryland

”Don’t die in Maryland, Dad,” my son said as he hugged and kissed me goodbye before I left for my most recent trip. Wheaton colleagues and I visited the libraries at Goucher College, Johns Hopkins University, and Salisbury University last week. As I did in previous trips, I took a lot of photos in order to share them with local colleagues. And my son got his wish, thankfully.

Today, as I get over a migraine, there are plenty of things to reflect on. (Fortunately, migraines are more infrequent these days, but I’ve missed a lot of work days this year, and each day that I miss feels like a defeat of some sort.)

About library building projects:

  • You can have all the budget you want but as important as a physical facility is, equally important is the library organization, the people who make it work. Having a healthy, vibrant, well-functioning library organization is so important.
  • This trip reinforced a previous impression that we should be very careful and thoughtful about use of technology in a new or updated library facility. As one example, every place we’ve visited has implemented new technology and regretted that it has become outdated, or doesn’t work well, and no one has a replacement budget available to them to keep things updated.
  • Flexibility is all important. This is in terms of space use, furniture, and so on.
Yesterday I received word after six months of doctor visits, tests, and retaking tests, that my blood clot appears to finally be gone, and it also appears that I do not have some sort of autoimmune disease. That is really good news. During that time, I’ve also lost about thirty pounds, and I’d like to lose even more. What is missing is increased exercise, so I need to improve there. One thing I miss about summer weather is the ready availability of fresh fruit and vegetables, and I’ve noticed in the past few months that I haven’t been eating as many healthy meals as before. Frequent travel hasn’t helped.

Ironically (at least to some people), I find this time of year to be stressful and depressing — anything but joyful and happy. We are always stretched very thin in terms of our finances, and there are so many expectations to meet for celebrating the holidays. I’d rather crawl into a hole and hide somewhere than pretend to enjoy it all. But I’ll attempt instead to focus on what is truly important, worthwhile, and lasting. First of all, the Advent, which has so much meaning and purpose. Second, family and friends and relationships for which I am so grateful.

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