Last week I should have written my “thanksgiving” bookworm, but I didn’t. This morning I was a little sad, so I started with a thank you for the day, then as usual I followed that with an “Oh, crap, it is a short week and I need to write a bookworm.” I started thinking about what to write, maybe why I was sad, nope, how about what had been going on at the library, nope, filling out the budget for 2019 does not make for fun reading. Then I remembered what happened before we closed last night. A family spent the last 20 minutes at the coloring table. I will admit that I first was worried about getting them out the door at 5:30pm, but looking at it the next morning, I loved this moment. I love when people hang out at the library, when they are comfortable enough to just spend time here. It made me come back to the idea of thanksgiving.
By the time you read this, Thanksgiving will be over and you might even have your Christmas tree up, ready for the next holiday. You will have already eaten all the yummy fixings and probably have decided when the holidays are over you are starting your diet. We tend to think of Thanksgiving as the holiday of food, don’t get me wrong I am pretty psyched about the food, but this year I am more excited about spending time with my family. I am excited to just hang out with them, I crave that comfortable, peaceful feeling of just spending time together. I want the library to be a place for people to spend time in, it might not be quiet, but I want it to be comfortable and I want us to feel peace when we are here, enjoying those we are with or treasuring some time alone. The library might not have your comfy recliner, but I would love for it to be an extension of your home.
This year will make the holidays for special for me. My thankful list is full and doesn’t necessarily start with what you would think. I am not most thankful for being cancer free, I am thankful for the love and support from my family, friends and community. I am thankful for the gift of vulnerability. I have mentioned Brene Brown and her research on vulnerability, according to her, “Vulnerability is basically uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. I was raised in a “get ‘er done” and “suck it up” family and culture (very Texan, German-American). The tenacity and grit part of that upbringing has served me, but I wasn’t taught how to deal with uncertainty or how to manage emotional risk. I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few. Learning how to be vulnerable has been a street fight for me, but it’s been worth it.” My good friend, Nolan Sousley, is battling cancer. Like Brown, at the beginning of his fight, he tried to outrun vulnerability, he tried to fight cancer on his own. We throw around words like, strong, warrior, courageous, important words, key to surviving cancer, but I know Nolan will agree with me, sharing our journey and the support we have received gives us power to be all those other important words. Nolan has become the definition of vulnerable as he shares his journey on his Facebook page, Nolan’s Tribe of Warriors Against Cancer. He does live videos of doctor’s visits and has even shared a chemo treatment. This from the guy who didn’t want anyone to know, this from the guy that now realizes how much he is loved and that he is not alone. We are his warriors; his vulnerability will make him strong.
Yep, this thankful themed bookworm is a week late, giving thanks shouldn’t just be for one week out of the year. It should start our every morning; it should be shared with others. It will give us peace, it will make vulnerability a gift, it will make us stronger.