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Monday On My Mind

Recently Brené Brown dropped a podcast episode that she called On My Mind. She talked about a few things she’d been dealing with and offered some great advice and insight – as she always does. The topic got me inspired, though, to give it a try for my Monday posts.

So. This will definitely evolve over time. I may decide it doesn’t even work. But for this week . . . this Monday . . . these are some things on my mind.

Books. Of course, these are almost always on my mind since I’m a librarian. But last night Dale and I had a great conversation about books. He’s currently reading The Dutch House and I was explaining to him that it was written by the same author as Bel Canto. Remember when we read that for Book Club? And he said, nope, he hadn’t read that one yet. I’m sort of jealous that he will get to read it for the first time, it’s just so good. We also touched on: East of Eden, The Sun Also Rises, Sleeping with Pancho Villa, and the works of James Baldwin because I am currently reading Begin Again.

Flowers. My home is bursting with flowers right now. There is a vase full of dahlias from week 3 of my flower CSA. There are zinnias in the bathroom and bedroom. There is a tiny vase of dahlias from week 2 that are still alive. And in my living room there is a huge bouquet from a local florist. This one was a gift from my coworkers at the COA to say thank you . . . and goodbye. You see, as of today, I am no longer serving as COA Director. I did it for 10.5 years and that’s enough. It’s another of those things the pandemic made clear and I’m excited about the change and ready to be “nothing” but a Library Director again. There’s a pay cut that goes along with this change but you know what? Money isn’t a motivator in this situation. Satisfaction. Fulfillment. Purpose. Those are my motivators right now and I feel great about this decision.

The loss of RBG. I have a lot of thoughts about this, as I’m sure you do, too. I won’t comment on the power grab and hypocrisy that’s happening with the rush to replace her because I just . . . can’t. What I keep considering, though, is the fact that so many of us were utterly gutted by her death and I wonder why. I mean, I know she did incredible things for women . . . the right to have a credit card in our name . . . the right to have a mortgage . . . and so much more. The future of women in this country had to have been such a burden for those small but powerful shoulders to carry. It makes me realize that we (women, in particular) need a deeper bench. When a powerful man dies there are plenty of other powerful men to look to as role models. But RBG? There’s just no one to look to who can be all that she was to women in this country. I know I’m preaching to the choir here but we need to teach our daughters to be leaders. We need to recognize the unique talents that women have. We need to promote women, uphold women, and VOTE for women.

Have a good Monday, friends.

This Post Has 13 Comments

  1. I like this idea, Carole! Very much! I hope it does work… what a great way to inspire conversation. I too, have thought long and hard about RBG. Although, I don’t think she is a solo person, but her loss does leave a jarring hole for the coming days. There is no way around that, and I think it is up to us to raise our voices, to speak out, and yes vote. But fortunately I do think we have a deep bench. A very deep bench. But, you know women… they just quietly go about doing the work. I think we have an army of shoulders to stand on as we lift our daughters up.

  2. I love hearing what’s on your mind — and I think this is a great idea you’ve got here! I also think you’re on to something with the “deep bench” thing. Because you’re right. Women ARE gutted. RBG was SUCH a presence for so many of us. A fighter, a doer, a thinker, a role model . . . just an icon. And while other women are out there – doing the work (as you know they are) – they have not reached the iconic status of RBG. (I can maybe name a few others, but not many. And not enough, for sure.) We need a deeper bench. (Also . . . Bel Canto is so good!) XO

  3. I think you’re both right and wrong about the gap RBG left. She was exceptional, but there are a lot of strong, thoughtful women doing important work out there. You’re correct that there aren’t enough, and certainly not as many in powerful positions as there should be. There are two reasons, as far as I can tell. Women have many more choices in what their life looks like (and more responsibilities) with work, filling the largest part of parental roles, care giving for elders and on. We often aren’t good at respecting and supporting different choices than our own which is not helpful. Our society depends on these things, but that’s no reason these things can’t be done by both genders, and that’s slowly changing. I guess, women need to do a better job of looking at potential in ourselves and our sisters and figuring out how we can boost each other, and get men to be a part of that.

  4. On My Mind is a great idea, and I also hope it evolves and works for you. Congratulations on doing one job now! That sounds like a big improvement, pandemic or not. I’ve thought about the loss of RBG also, and while it was (and still is) very sad, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan are both quietly doing their jobs on the Supreme Court, just as Sandra Day O’Connor did. There are many stellar females serving as mayors and governors, and while sadly she is not our leader, I am continually inpressed by Angela Merkel. Hopefully we will soon have a female VP, and maybe someday it won’t matter if a position is held by a man or a woman if they both work for equality.

  5. Congratulations on the one job! The loss of RBG is sad and I hope that people are learning about her and what she stood for and what she accomplished. We need more like her in the future.

  6. Books! Flowers! Both wonderful things to have in your life, Carole, and on your mind. Great idea, BTW. I am still verklempt about RBG’s passing. She was so passionate about women’s rights, and equality in general, that I think we will not see another like her in my lifetime. But I like to dwell on the fact that at least I lived in the same time as she did. I feel very lucky for that. Perhaps all those little girls in “I dissent” collars will be inspired to follow her. I agree that we don’t have an apparent deep bench, but there are women who could do her work, if we could just get them on the court!

  7. Such a thoughtful post. We need more women in positions of leadership. I hope some of the girls growing up are inspired by the Kamala Harris, RBG, Michelle Obama, and Nancy Peloski. As Bonny wrote Kagan and Sotomayor continue to serve. We currently have a progressive female mayor who is doing a fantastic job.

  8. On My Mind is a great idea Carole! Hoping it continues to work for your Monday posts. And congratulations on going down to one job! That sounds like it was the perfect thing to do. Books, Flowers, BRG – all great things.

  9. What a treat of a post, Carole – thank you! I loved that episode of Unlocking Us last week (Brené is my new crush … gosh, I’m enjoying her books, and the podcast, her playlists …) and the “on my mind” is such a great frame to share. I would love to re-read Bel Canto … it’s been so long I have only the vaguest memories and I’m sure I’d get a lot more from it now. Congratulations on your COA achievements, and retirement! … and yeah. no more words.

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