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December 17, 2021: One Day to the Next

It used to be that I dreaded the following day. This was because I felt that I would fail at the tasks that I set out to do. Then at the day’s end, after successfully completing them, I would tell myself that what I accomplished was no big deal. I’m still this way, but less so than I used to be. This is because I took on a project, one that had a component that I felt passionate about, which is books.

I thought at first that I would be able to do what I most enjoyed doing, which is salvaging books. And I believed that someone else would take care of the administrative end of things, which is make phone calls, seek grant funding, and sort, categorize, and clean books. This is not how it worked out.

I was ousted from the VCRS book sorting area because I truly believed that the staff would step in and give me an assist with that which I didn’t want to do. It never happened. And so, the books piled up and I was rightfully to blame. I wasn’t taking care of the administrative end of things.

It finally was what my mother said was an instance of “shit or get off the pot.” I literally gritted my teeth and began doing what needed to done, which is all of the above. Fortunately, the Bright Lights Book Project was (as I was to learn) a feel-good project, which is one that was both tangible and of benefit to the community.

I’d make calls, and on most days, those who I talked to were enthused about the project. And I learned to do other things on the days when those I talked to were less enthused. I also wrote a few grants and an equal number of proposals. I then quickly discovered that since storytelling and grant writing are synonymous terms, that this was an okay activity. The sorting, cleaning, and categorizing of books – no, this was not as much fun as salvaging, with its element of surprise. But I learned that a sense of self-satisfaction went hand in hand in finally being able to locate and give a reader a book off a shelf.

I also, in doing all these things, was the recipient of considerable kudos. And if I needed this, all I’d have to do was go and stand for a while in front of the Vagabond Blues bookcases, where inevitably, someone would appear and say that providing free books to the public was a wonderful idea.

I may now be over the hump that comes with starting a project like this anew. Having a volunteer staff and forming a few partnerships makes me feel as though I am not exclusively pulling the cart. Rather, we’re all shouldering the load. In this case, shouldering the load means there is continued encouragement and backing. The other cart horses also have foresight. Yes, we are an enviable lot.

Next: 349. December 18, 2021: Light Years

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