Flannel Friday: What it Means to Me

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In a Word: Friendship
The camaraderie among those in the Flannel Friday community always astounds me. Whether on Twitter, Facebook, or blog comments, so many of the members are ready and willing to offer help, support, and ideas.

Professionally, knowing that I have such a vast network of librarians and early childhood workers with all kinds of experiences to draw upon is incredible. My staff here is very supportive of all the crazy things I do, but we each have our own duties to deal with. So while they are ready and willing to accept delegated tasks, or assist me with programs, I'm still the one using all my creative energy to come with with the ideas. After awhile, even finding a few, simple storytime extension activities started to feel overwhelming. Flannel Friday came into my life at just the right moment, when the excitement and newness of a position was wearing off and the daunting reality of coming up with all that content by myself threatened my confidence. Now I have Kay and Katie, Pinterest and lots of other blogs to check for ideas.

(Gonna get sappy here now, folks!) Personally, Flannel Friday has given me a tribe (see here and here). Future Librarian Superhero Anna and I were able to meet in person at our state's conference this year after a job move put her in the same metro area. Anne at So Tomorrow has been giving me first-time mom advice to pass along to my (currently pregnant! yay!) sister via Twitter. Kendra (Read Sing Play) and Mel (Mel's Desk) give me recipes, interpersonal relationship advice, and Sharon (Rain Makes Applesauce) is a great cheerleader. And that's just the tip of the iceberg. I'm the kind of person who has friends, family, and acquaintances from different pieces of my lives scattered all over the country, but very few actually where I live now. Having such an active group of ladies on Twitter has helped meet my needs for friendship in a different way. Nothing substitutes with good, old-fashioned, face-to-face communication, but owning and recognizing my tribe gives me a place to belong. On days when I'm just not feeling my best, I know that I can count on my Flannel Friends to support me.

Friendship, in the US for sure, can be an imprecise, imperfect term. Some people use it for every person they meet. Others only for those they count as their closest confidants. Is is possible (or necessary) to differentiate between "online" friends and those we know "in real life?" Google "friendship in the digital age" and you get more than 3 million results. Is someone whom you know IRL more a friend than someone you interact with only online, even if you only see that person IRL once or twice a year or less? Beyond being a great resource, and source of personal support, being a part of this online community has really made me think in the last two years about what defines "community" and "friend," and how collaboration really works. I can't wait to see how Flannel Friday evolves and grows over the next two years, and beyond!


This week's round up is hosted by Sharon at Rain Makes Applesauce. We're in the process of building a map of Flannel Friday bloggers and readers to unveil NEXT WEEK! Add your info via this survey so we can build and connect with those in our areas! As always, check the Flannel Friday websiteFacebook, and Pinterest accounts for more information and past Flannel Friday creations.

CONVERSATION

12 comments :

  1. Perfectly stated. This will make us all feel so good. thanks ~ jane

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  2. Perfectly stated. Your posts will bring that "feel good" state of mind to so many of us. Thanks ~ jane

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    1. Thanks for your kind comments Jane. Flannel Friday always puts me in a "feel good" state of mind too! :)

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  3. Amy, your post is touching. It's great to see that I'm not the only one to have benefitted from interacting with this great group of dedicated folks!

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    1. I'm having so much fun reading all these posts. Want to hug the whole FF community!

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  4. Oh man, Amy, so much this. I'm in the same boat you are-all my friends are far, far away. So now my hubs hear all about FF tweeps and not so much about IRL friends (though lots of those ARE IRL friends). Such a crazy thing, but I really love it.
    Here's to many more convos and friends (and Xmas cards!). So glad to know you! <3

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    1. Agreed! I am so glad to know you too!

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  5. Amy, you have brought so much to the FF world! What would we do without you? You and Kendra are the ones I rely on to gnaw on geeky early literacy details with me EVERY SINGLE TIME I have a question. Thank you for so many thoughtful posts here on Catch the Possibilities and for so much good hang out time on Twitter. So glad you found FF!

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    1. Me too! I can't imagine the explosion of early literacy nerdery that might happen if the conversation starter is chosen for ALA.

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  6. "helped meet my needs for friendship in a different way." - beautifully stated, Amy. It seems that is what so many have found here, what's at the heart of it all <3. What a wonderful discovery! ....when I was just skipping around looking for storytime ideas.
    Thanks for being part of what makes this "place" special!

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    1. "skipping around looking for storytime ideas--" that definitely describes about half my job! Glad you skipped our way!

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