I forgot to tell my mother I was going to Scotland. Things have been a little hectic lately. (And now I'm wondering if we remembered to tell Marian!!)
The Scotland trip feels as if it's a long way off, but in fact, we leave just three weeks from tomorrow. But MLA in Chicago is between now and then, and that looms much larger.
My ostensible purpose in going to the CILIPS conference in Peebles is to deliver a talk on how librarians are delivering health information to their communities. There's been a tremendous shift over the past quarter century in the focus that medical librarians have had and it's going to be great fun to go over some of those issues and talk about some of the things that MLA and NLM are doing, as well as some of the things that are happening locally. I haven't actually started to put the talk together (it's still three and a half weeks away, for heaven's sake!), but I've been thinking about it in spare moments and I think I've got a good handle on how I want to approach it.
The real reason they want me there, though, is so The Bearded Pigs can play at the awards banquet. We won't quite have the whole band -- Cogman, SG & Russell can't make it. But the nice thing about having an eight piece band is that there are many subsets of the whole group that can perform as The Bearded Pigs (or The Nucleus). We'll have a ringer for a bass player -- a local librarian. We've corresponded just a bit by email and he seems unfazed by the prospect of sitting in and playing with people he's never met on songs that he's never heard. Sounds like our kind of guy.
So on the Tuesday evening, I'll play guitar and sing my heart out, and on Wednesday afternoon (thank god it's not the first thing in the morning!) I'll spend an hour or so talking about health information and the impact that we can have on the communities that we're a part of.
There's been some chatter lately about the perennial work/life balance issue. These discussions often emphasize the importance of having a "life outside of work." I resolved that for myself a long time ago.
I don't have a "life outside of work." I have a life. It's comprised of many things -- many responsibilities, many joys, a handful of deep sorrows, a continual sense of wonderment as the days unfold. I never stop being the library director, but I never stop being the musician, friend, grandfather, lover, writer, or endlessly curious little boy, either.
When a "job" is what you go to for eight hours a day, five days a week, within rigid time & place boundaries, I suppose it makes psychological sense to think of "work" and "life" as two separate things. But in the networked world in which we now live, for many people that time & space separation simply doesn't exist. It certainly doesn't for me. When I go to Peebles, whether I'm playing guitar or talking about health information, I'll just be living my life as best I can.