Thursday, 30 June 2022
Monday, 27 June 2022
And like that, I've somehow missed three days of #blogjune. In my defence, I've been in the midst of moving into a new space, and there's still a *lot* of unpacking of stuff to do...
Today's question: If the average human life span was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
I think so many of our important life decisions are forward-looking, based on assumptions about how our life will go... whether we start a family, or need to hit particular career goals, or want to be able to retired with a sizeable nest egg to keep us comfortable and secure in our final years.
And really, with a life expectancy that's *hopefully* into my 80s and beyond, that's a lot of preparation. Usually in the form of getting a mortgage, and having a salary where I can sufficiently put enough into my super so that I'm not retiring in poverty.
If we only expected to live until 40, my life would be much different. I'd certainly work less - enough to live comfortably within my means without feeling the need to earn more than I necessarily needed to. Probably around 3-4 days a week. I'd spend less much accumulating 'stuff', and spend more time exploring and appreciating the world that I live in. I'd learn to be grateful with living a simpler life, accepting its temporary nature, and come to terms with my mortality sooner.
I mean, I like to think that I'm getting good at this stuff already, now that I'm into my 40s. I have a minimalist attitude to 'owning stuff', and currently work four days a week, which has in a way forced me to keep 'downsizing' my regular costs and lifestyle. I can't remember the last time I bought clothes, let alone new ones. if I needed to, I think I could comfortably fill a suitcase with just the things I need, and walk away from everything else.
Yesterday, a friend of mine was talking about the book Die with Zero, by Bill Perkins, which admittedly I had not heard of, but the premise resonated with me: that we need to make the most of our lives while we're living them, rather than trying to save up riches for our so-called golden years. I feel like I've already embraced this idea, albeit unintentionally, but for the last five years I've started falling into this trap of feeling like I need to 'catch up', in being a real grown-up, so that I don't end up with nothing to live on when I retire.
But I also think back ten years to when I started doing volunteer assignments with Australian Business Volunteers, and there were so many retirees taking the opportunity to continue to get out there in the world, and live their best lives in amazing places around the world, sharing their knowledge with communities and having enriching experiences in the process. They weren't living particularly exotic or fancy lifestyles, but they didn't need much in the way of possessions to continue to have fulfilling experiences.
I hope that these kinds of opportunities are still around thirty years from now.
Thursday, 23 June 2022
Wednesday, 22 June 2022
Today's question: If I could learn anything, what would it be?
Tuesday, 21 June 2022
Today's question: Do I consider myself a feminist?
I will answer briefly: Yes, I am a feminist. I believe there is a need for feminism due to gender inequalities that are endemic in society. I believe we need to constantly create initiatives that address gender inequality through interventions that support equity in our homes and workplaces.
I also don't want to talk about this at length, because there is so much excellent literature out there that explains I much better than I could, and I don't wish to take up that space with my overly simplistic drivel.
However, we need to move beyond "just" being feminist. Flavia Dzodan once famously said, 'My feminism will be intersectional, or it will be bullshit.'
That means that it's not enough just to consider the gender inequalities - especially if we're not considering how race, class, disability, sexuality, age and cultural/religious background affect our level of privilege in society.
I recently went and saw a production of the musical Priscilla Queen of the Desert. Musically, it was excellently put together, and the set, lighting and costumes were amazing. This show is intended as an empowering statement of queer pride, occasionally addressing hard truths about Australian's acceptance of its LGBTQ+ communities. The version I saw even updated the content so that the characters walk around Ulruru, rather than climbing up the rock. So, I was bitterly disappointed that they still kept one horribly misogynist line - an insult designed to get a big laugh - and the infamous 'ping pong' scene where a character's Filipino bride goes off the rails in an over-the-top stereotype of Asian women on a par with Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's. My point? It fails as a celebration of queer pride, if it needs to use oppressive techniques to put down women - particularly women of colour - in the process.
Looking back at the library and information industry, it's wonderful to work in a sector where I get to support so many women in leadership positions. Though I would still say that there is a higher percentage of men in executive/leadership roles than there are in entry level / operational roles. And through some online channels that I inhabit, I regularly hear women of colour sharing their experience of being in the vast minority of their team, being forced to do everybody's emotional labour when it comes to addressing diversity in the workplace, and burning out.
Entry level initiatives are one thing, but we need to do more to recruit and support women of colour at all levels of the library sector, but particularly those leadership positions. If you think it doesn't apply to you, take a look at your organisational chart.
Monday, 20 June 2022
So, on Saturday I packed away my desktop computer for the move, and have been without one for a number of days. I considered blogging from my phone, but it's not the same as being able to sit down with a keyboard. All of my stuff is still in boxes - including my computer - but then I remembered that there is another place, where you can use a computer for free...
Do you still consider yourself to be a librarian?
What other careers did you consider beside being a librarian?
Friday, 17 June 2022
Today I'm breaking my self-imposed rules, and I'm not answering any #JuneQuestions. Instead, I'm actually going to blog about the stuff that's actually happening in my life!
I've been in the middle of moving house - from my little two-bedroom apartment in the Inner-South, to a much bigger house in the Inner North. So, tonight is my final night in the place that has been my home for a little more than four years now.
Four years - that's the longest I've lived in the one place since moving out of my childhood home, half a lifetime ago.
It's a strange feeling - bittersweet even. I fell in love with the space when I first moved in, with its courtyard view of birch trees, and stylish architraves in the living room. I had high hopes for this apartment, and the lifestyle that it might afford me, being cycling distance from work, in a popular and exciting suburb. I've been a minimalist at heart for many years now, and it was definitely spacious for one - yet once once became two, it definitely became crowded.
|In the beginning - 16 June 2018|
It's also where I spent both COVID lockdowns in 2020 and 2021 (plus the unofficial Omicron lockdown of January 2022), and where my west-facing windows were pulverised by the notorious hailstorm of January 2020. I am no longer in love with this space.
So, when a recent opportunity arose to move, I decided to jump at the chance for a change. I'm looking forward to having more space and, importantly, having dedicated me-space. I'm looking forward to having a yard, and the opportunity to cultivate and grow a new garden. I'm also looking forward to being less financially stressed, and alleviating personal tensions that have been growing for some time now.
But still, I walk around this apartment this evening, and I wonder about the lives that might have been - in the Andrew Multiverse - had circumstances been different. I am sad that it hasn't worked out, and it does feel a bit like a breakup of sorts. I just hope it brings some joy to the next people.