Not gonna lie. I totally thought I was going to get out of doing something that is not my favorite annual activity.
Inventory is the tedious process of accounting for every book, DVD, cd (yes we still have these), and a variety of other materials that live in my library.
I straighten and scan for three straight days trying to find all that is lost and account for as close to 100% of the belongings as possible.
The first 90% is easy. It’s that last 10% that is the stuff of nightmares.
While the process leaves a little to be desired, there is a bright spot.
Inventory allows me to examine everything we have in the media center collection. I look at the condition of the materials and make sure it’s placed in the right area so when it’s needed, you can find it.
It shows me where we are lacking. What do we have enough of? What is old and does not serve my teachers, my kiddos or myself? What do I need to find and obtain so that we have what we need to reach our collective goals? And where do I find that stuff?
So while I don’t necessarily like inventory, I understand its importance and its place in the big picture of my work and the academic lives of my students.
This whole process got me thinking. I do this once a year at work. Do I do this at all in life?
At what point do I stop and take time to figure out what is not serving me and, by extension, those I love? It may be a relationship, a job, a belief, or something else.
What in my life is out of date? What can I let go of so that I can make space for things that are important and will help me achieve my goals?
What do I need to work on or obtain so that I can use this life in the way I was meant to use it? Skills to build. Organizations to share my gifts with. People to meet. Relationships to build.
What about the things that are working? Do I celebrate them? Do I take time to appreciate all that is good? Can I share that with others?
Taking inventory doesn’t have to be a three day take no breaks process. It may be an hour where you take a piece of paper and pencil, find a quiet place and write down all you have and all you want to have.
Once you know what you’re working with, you can better plan for any changes you need or want to make. But that’s hard to do if you don’t know what you are working with from the get-go.
So if you’ve got a little time today, take some for yourself. Do an inventory and make a plan to celebrate what’s good and change what is not serving you. I promise, once you focus, it’s easy. Probably not as tedious as counting books but the end product is incredibly rewarding.