To Be or Do, or Not to Be or Do: Is That the Question?


One of my all-time favorite treats:  quietly sitting on my back porch gazing at the beauty of nature.  The mist rising over the lake and glazing the sun.  The colors of the garden I have lovingly crafted.

The birds are chirping and busily hunting for breakfast; it’s early enough that the tree frogs are still serenading me.  Bandit, our manic little hummingbird, is  jealously guarding “his” feeder, perched either on the pool fence or in the crepe myrtle tree that overhangs the deck.

This is “being.”  I have not done enough being this summer.

Instead, I have been busily doing. Doing helps me prepare for the next school year. Having a strong school library program is paramount to me.  I want to be able to offer my teachers and students the resources and assistance they need to be successful.  I want to be well read in current YA lit so that I can suggest possible reads when students seem to be wandering aimlessly around the shelves. I want to be knowledgeable about the latest technology and online tools so that I can suggest the most appropriate ones for teachers to incorporate into their instruction.

All those “I want to be’s”….

Wanting to be knowledgeable has led to endless hours of “doing” this summer.  I finally completed my 2010-2011 Annual Report, I participated in the SCASL Summer Institute, I attended and presented at the Upstate Technology Conference.  I have read countless blogs, played with new-to-me online tools, skimmed through part of a backlog of last school year’s professional journals. I have devoured many YA titles (and found several gems) and collaborated with other SC media specialists to create Readers’ Advisory tools to promote our South Carolina Young Adult Book Award 2012 nominees.

All in preparation to craft the best school library program for the 2011-2012 school year.

And yet….

How ironic that in my summer quest “to be,” I have not enjoyed just being.

I love watching Bandit; each year I almost giddily anticipate his spring return.  His bright colors and passionate antics fill me with an inexplicable “everything is right with the world” feeling.

However, this morning as Bandit gallantly protected “his” feeder, I saw myself:  always poised to be alert and to act, and never just allowing myself the time to enjoy the scenery.  What if other school librarians learned or did something that I myself overlooked?


The question is not “to be or do, or not to be or do.”  No, both are necessary.  The question for me is, “When am I going to allow myself to be?”

This morning as I was savoring the peace in my own back yard, I remembered:  it is often in quiet contemplation that I receive inspiration.  What other excuse do I need to pour myself another cup of coffee and head out to my sanctuary?


Garden serenity