So for the first time in ten years, I missed giving a talk (missed the whole trip) because I was sick. And I’m bent out of shape about it. No one likes being sick, of course, but I have a weird “Am I TOO sick to do the thing?” set of anxieties that I start getting when I am doing something with other people. Do I just lump it and suffer through it? Do I stay home and get better even if people are relying on me? Do I put the people on the airplane at risk of getting the crud because I have unrefundable AirBnB reservations? I have a hard time making these decisions and I am lucky that I have sensible people around me to help me make them. I’d been feeling punk for a few days but it was waking up on the day of my flight with a fever that clinched the “Don’t go” decision for me. The nice people at TXLA were totally understanding. My talks were even online and ready to go and I toyed with the idea of giving the talks via Skype but 1) no one really likes that and 2) I still didn’t feel that great.

And so since then I’ve been digging out of feeling bad about that. And I’m heading to Mackinac Island on Monday (assuming the ice gets broken up in good time) for the Michigan Rural Libraries Conference where I’m keynoting and I’m trying not to get phobic about staying healthy until then.

Meanwhile there’s been a bit of waiting-game stuff going on at some–oh let’s be honest, most–of my other jobs and I’ve realized just how terrible I can be at just waiting and being still without some sort of geography quiz or Vermont cop mystery or todo checklist to occupy me. I’m in Massachusetts for a few days (love the jobs I can do from anywhere) because it’s school break in Vermont and I’m trying hard to go for gadget-free walks and see how things are going in the frog pond day by day. The waiting isn’t easy but I think it may be healthy.

What do you think?


  1. YOU AND ME BOTH. Am in a waiting game on professional and personal fronts and it is making me nuts. I keep thinking back to when I was stage managing, in the moments before a show started; there was always a 15-minute window between the time we started letting in the audience and the time the show started, when I could no longer had props or sets I could check or actors to herd, and the only thing I could do was just wait for fifteen minutes to pass. I would go slightly mad and always ended up having to warn the people at the box office that “I am going to come and check on how many reservations got picked up about 38 times; this is entirely because of nervous energy. Just smile and I’ll go away.”