Project Energize

 

At the end of the school year, I find that I’ve made lists upon lists upon lists of the projects I want to do during the summer: tweak the scope and sequence; create new videos and games for library instruction; learn new apps and smash them to bits; read my way through lists of the best so far this year; and on and on and on. I love my job. I want to do it to the best of my ability. But I have finally realized that if I don’t take some time to recharge my batteries, I will limp along to the beginning of the next school year, no more refreshed than when I ended. If you will bear with me, I’d like to present several ‘finds’ I use to energize myself over my summer break.

Find Humor

In this current political climate, social media can be especially stressful. Most of us may have two social media accounts: one for personal use and one for professional development. This summer I am looking for images, tweets and pages that feature humor (and animals) to balance out some of the vitriol that also rides along in these accounts.  Some of my favorites (which can be found in most major formats) are “Fake Library statistics” (@fakelibstats), I’ve Pet that Dog (@ivepetthatdog) and anything featuring cats (or hedgehogs or manatees or add your favorite animal here!). I found I lost a lot of time but gained some deep belly laughs this holiday week with Twitter’s #secondcivilwarletters.  For example, chance@pkrandall, wrote:

“Our espresso machine is broken and our supply of Starbucks singles is running thin. Our avocado ration is cut in half and there’s a 10-minute wait for a charging port. Sherman was right: War Is Hell. Sent by my iPhone “

As Abraham Lincoln noted, “…If I did not laugh, I should die.” I have several comedies queued up on Netflix, some great funny reads in my pile, and a few dates with friends stamped in my calendar.  I find a good belly laugh at least once a day during the summer feeds me. What tickles your funny bone?

 

Find Wonder

National Geographic and NASA Instagram feeds showcase some of the most amazing photography available. I also subscribe to several authors that showcase work in progress, making me feel part of their creative process. Spending time outside everyday is important, even if it’s just watching clouds as they go by, or enjoying the lightshow of ladybugs. If you’re lucky enough to have a beach or a creek bank near you, spending time just watching the water burble pass or crash on a shore allows wonder to come to the surface. For me, wonder is awareness with gratitude. It can be found in nature or in the kindness we show to strangers.  Keeping an ever watchful eye out for instances of wonder feeds me for when I feel life flows too fast. These are ways that I find wonder. How do you find it? Can you be more intentional in finding wonder in the midst of this human comedy?

Here we see the spectacular cosmic pairing of the star Hen 2-427 — more commonly known as WR 124 — and the nebula M1-67 which surrounds it. Both objects, captured here by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope are found in the constellation of Sagittarius and lie 15 000 light-years away. The star Hen 2-427 shines brightly at the very centre of this explosive image and around the hot clumps of gas are ejected into space at over 150 000 kilometres per hour. Hen 2-427 is a Wolf–Rayet star, named after the astronomers Charles Wolf and Georges Rayet. Wolf–Rayet are super-hot stars characterised by a fierce ejection of mass. The nebula M1-67 is estimated to be no more than 10 000 years old — just a baby in astronomical terms — but what a beautiful and magnificent sight it makes. A version of this image was released in 1998, but has now been re-reduced with the latest software.

 

Find Curiosity

Summer is the time when I let my curiosity freak fly. Pinterest. How many times have you climbed into that platform only to discover an hour has flown by? Now’s the season to indulge yourself with no guilt. You can follow those pins to where ever your curious mind wanders. Bookstores? My phone is out and snapping pictures of books and displays. Bonus points if there’s a bookstore mascot of the animal variety. Public Libraries. Busman’s holiday! I may not be able to take any books out but I can peruse their shelves, check out the signage, grab promotional literature and check out programs. Summer is the time to explore interests that you may subjugate during the school year. A friend of mine decided to try woodworking with no previous experience. A beautiful mixed wood cutting board was her reward. Where will your curiosity lead you?

 

Sometimes the best way to find something is to stop looking for it. I find when I fill myself with humor, curiosity and wonder, important projects get the energy they need to progress and the warm breezes of summer blow away the busy work that filled my in box. Have a wonderful, restful summer full of humor, curiosity and wonder.

About Kelly Depin

DIrector of Technology and Libraries at Derby Academy in Hingham, MA.
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