Today’s Let’s Talk About It: The Pursuit of Joy, so I have been through a lot since 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic began. Someone said on Twitter that we need a day of mourning, and I think we need longer than that. We have collectively lost so much, even if it is in varying degrees of trauma and pain. Unfortunately, we have been pushed to continue life as usual or “normal” when nothing is normal about what we experienced. For instance, some of us couldn’t go to the funerals of our loved ones, and the silver lining is that we could tune in virtually depending on the situation. Hospital visits were limited, so the love and care people were used to getting did not happen, which caused a sense of hopelessness. Then our essential workers dealt with inconsiderate and angry customers who took their rage out because they were asked to wear a mask or the line was longer than usual. Our healthcare workers experienced constant death and burnout. Then our happy moments couldn’t fully be happy because there were drive-up graduation ceremonies or virtual weddings. And this is not all we had to go through in the last three years. So as I type this out, I feel overwhelmed and sad, so this is why I will intentionally make more space for joyful moments. What does that look like for me? It looks like taking the best parts of my grief, taking it easy, and having a life.
During a pandemic, you must rest. The time is now. With all the grief and uncertainty, you have to find the space for it.Tricia Hersey
If you know me, you know that I love celebrating my birthday. Since becoming a librarian, I started taking my birthday off to enjoy myself. However, in February 2022, I didn’t want to celebrate my birthday. I lost my good friend Kenya Flash and my grandmother in love suddenly in December 2021 then we lost three family members within a month of their deaths. Also, in February 2021, I lost my favorite aunt to cancer, so I was not in the birthday celebrating mood. For the first time, I didn’t know what I wanted to do, nor did I want to do anything. Despite all I felt, I decided to celebrate my birthday because I knew my loved ones would have liked that for me.
So what does grieving have to do with having fun? The three dynamic women I lost were so loving, kind, and positive in my life. They encouraged me and hyped me up when I accomplished anything. My aunt loved to travel and enjoyed good food. I know they wouldn’t want me to stay stuck in apathy and not do anything in my personal life because of all my feelings towards losing them. These women enjoyed their lives, so I take that and allow it to guide me to ensure I enjoy my life.
Taking it Easy
Capitalism wants you to believe that your body is a machine, and it doesn’t belong to you. We’re saying no, your body is not a machine. It belongs to you. You can rest now, and you have a divine right to do so.Tricia Hersey
In 2020, I stumbled on an Instagram post by the Nap Ministry. I have been taking naps all my life. Even when I worked 60 to 70-hour work weeks for most of my 20s, I took time to nap. Napping was something that I loved to do, and I was a self-proclaimed napper for life! So I saw Tricia’s work, and I was like, yes! Something that takes what I do to another level. My grandfather worked hard, and he was the demonstration for me. He would rest every day in the middle of the day. This was something that we bonded over. We would nap and finish our work day, so I continued this as an adult. Now Tricia Hersey has a book, Rest is Resistance: A Manifesto which I am excited to read this summer. I want to continue unlearning grind culture and continue learning rest culture, so I will get her rest deck as well. My body has been through a lot, so it is up to me to take the time to honor it, so I will be taking it easy. I don’t want to go all the time and rush just to get things done. I will make space for what I want to make space for, and this is my new mantra. I am excited about this new journey!
Having a Life
I had an epiphany on this Saturday morning. I have been non-stop since entering this profession because I subconsciously felt ten years behind. Now that I know this untruth, I will take it easy. I will put all my ideas that I have, and I will file them away and work on them later.
From 2020 to 2022, virtual spaces kept me going, so I didn’t do many in-person meet-ups; now, I am slowly starting to do more in-person events, which surprisingly brings this introvert joy. I am getting to know some amazing women who make me laugh and are so dope. In addition, I stay connected to other information professionals in my area, so this has been a rewarding experience. Last year, I had season tickets to the Geva theatre, which was so fun. I love theatre and hope to become a subscriber again this year. Now is the time to enjoy being a foodie, indulge in nature, go to festivals, concerts, and get a life!
I am digging into my lane of librarianship. Also, I want to continue to pursue things outside of librarianship. The pursuit of joy! I am enough despite being an outsider to this profession. So I want to focus more on my personal life and less on my professional life. I will not take on any more committee work and library stuff.
What does your pursuit of joy look like? Tricia Hersey’s work inspires and motivates me; who inspires and motivates you? I look forward to reading your comments about this post. Take care!