Sunday, November 18, 2007

The art of staying positive

I'm trying to be very positive today, but probably failing miserably.

On Friday, I attended the local/regional teacher-librarians' professional learning seminar. We forfeited our usual half-day meeting last term to enable us to take a full day in Term Four, and it was a great idea. Term Three is always busy with Book Week and related activities. (Shades of TV's "The Librarians", who are having their's now, according to the ABC.)

Anyway, several people were recognising me from my author picture in the latest "Scan" journal - an article about Circle Time in our school library - but, as some colleagues and I were gravitating towards the morning tea urn, one woman introduced herself and said, "Oh, I know your name! You're the one who writes all those posts to the teacher-librarians' listservs."

I sort of froze for a moment. "All those posts..."??? If I counted up "all" my posts for this, my first year back in a school library for a decade, there have probably only been only ten. Some teacher-librarians post ten or more comments per week. Some would post several times every day. (Kind of like me with my posts to the "Star Trek" and action figures listservs and online bulletin boards.)

"There haven't been that many, have there?" I asked, a bit bewildered.

"Well, not really, but they are always so positive. When I read them, I always think to myself, now there is a person with a positive attitude."

Wow. Okay. Yep, that'd me. Wow!

Hopefully, such ego-boo will get me through the next week, after today's big disappointment. I started a new Meetup group, you see, for people interesting in pursuing an improvement in their skills in life drawing and painting, plus an eclectic range of other art projects (such as building on my work with theatrical makeup, plaster casting, mould-making and sculpture, latex appliance work and, I suppose, photography, too). In just six weeks or so the group had grown to twelve people, and today was looking very promising: six people had RSVPed to meet for coffee, but the only one who turned up was the guy I'd already been chatting to by telephone. He seemed very enthusiastic, which is great, but we'd both really been looking forward to meeting all the other artists, models and potential models.

Gee, he and I had kept today free of other appointments for over six weeks, turning down various invitations to do other things so we'd be there for the inaugural meeting today. Now we're at exactly the same point we were six weeks ago, with no one else's input. Or, at least, it seems that way.

So how come no one else kept today free? I fear for this new mobile phone era; more and more I notice people becoming more spontaneous about their leisure time. They often seem to prioritise differently now that their phones bring them new, more interesting distractions. (So why couldn't they just ring us re their new plans? Yeah, us - the two guys taking up a huge table for eight at the coffee shop.)

I guess some of them were suddenly shy. I hope they hadn't gone walking past the coffee shop, checking us out to see if we seemed safe/cool enough to be seen with?

Let's stay positive, though, shall we? At least, even with a group of two, one of us is an artist and the other is the prospective model.

Sunday's magic number: 92.3 - slightly better than last week, thank goodness, but it's looking like I'm going to have to do something drastic. I'm getting in well over an hour of brisk walking every day, and my nightly meals are miniscule. I can't remember the taste of my last Big Mac; yesterday was the annual McHappy Day and it was a case of "Not happy, Ronald!", listening to all those radio ads about supporting the McDonald's charities simply by buying a Big Mac burger. Friday was a catered lunch, prepaid via my attendance at the conference, so those yummy pastries etc had to become the contents of my one Junk Food Day meal for the week.

Walking the dog on weekend early evenings is a killer, of recent times: everyone is in their yards BBQing, and both of us are driven crazy by the delectable smells. I really don't want to have to take out gym membership; I'm really non-sporty and walking is my only sporting pleasure. But obviously the diet is not enough when you've reached stalemate. Sigh. I know, I know; I must burn off more kilojoules than I'm consuming. But I'm really not eating that much. (Let's stay positive: I'm positive that the sneaky midnight candy-snacking has to be next to go, eh?)

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