Learn not to take things personally

Read.the.topic.AGAIN – and one more time for good measure.

One of my recent professional learning session leaders highly recommended the book, The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. Intrigued, I borrowed a copy from the public library. It’s not a long book, but it is a bit on the dry side. I have to be in a certain frame of mind to read this type of book. The important takeaway, however, is that you MUST learn to not take things so personally. The universe is not conspiring against you and people aren’t generally out to get you. Things just happen. (That said, there are some folks in certain segments in our current society who take pleasure in going after people they don’t know for the dumbest of reasons. Ignore them.)

This has been invaluable advice. It has helped me to dissociate myself from my day job. I’m much happier. My value as a person is no longer tied to my role as a school librarian. Sure, I don’t like it when they close the library for testing, reassign my paraprofessional or pull me to cover a 2nd grade class because the teacher is out. I’ve advocated to the best of my ability for them not do those things (as have many of my colleagues!). The difference is I no longer take these actions personally. Testing and class coverage are their priorities, not the library program. I do what library work I can in the time I have available. I no longer stay late or worry incessantly about library stuff not getting done when we’re pulled to do other things. That’s on administration, not me.

Learning to not take things personally is harder when it comes to personal relationships. Yesterday’s table runner club got a bit awkward when several of the attendees began discussing plans for the weekend retreat happening at the shop and they realized I hadn’t been invited. (I’d actually attended the same retreat last year and was wondering when this year’s retreat would be held. Guess I got my answer!). Anyway, I kept working on my table runner blocks and left when others started to depart. I acknowledged my disappointment and hurt feelings at not being included, but went about my day. In the past, I would have stewed for 2 days over the perceived injustice at not being included. Now, it doesn’t really matter. They didn’t deliberately set out to exclude me. It’s obvious (to me anyway) that I fall into the “B” category of quilty friends for the leader of this particular group. That’s fine. It merely means I need to go re-establish my own A team of sewing/quilting buddies post-COVID. I’ll continue to attend table runner club and enjoy spending time with friends on those days. What will change is that I will now deliberately look for groups meeting at other shops in the area – or start my own group.