Bear books for children

These are all very good picture books for children that feature bears. I will add to this list as I find more.

Where’s My Teddy? by Jez Alborough

A Library Book for Bear by Bonny Becker

The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud

Otto the Book Bear By Katie Cleminson

Don’t Worry Bear by Greg Foley

The Winter Visitors by Karel Hayes

Mr. Brown’s Fantastic Hat by Ayano Imai

Hugless Dougless by David Melling

Wonder Bear by Tao Nyeu

Three Bears in a Boat by David Soman

Stuck again. Maybe I never left.

I’m tired of being thankful. I’m tired of feeling like I’m stuck in the belly of the whale. I’m tired, and angry, and frustrated, and I want to quit. I want to quit it all. I want to retreat to a safe warm hole and curl up and wait until the winter of my own personal discontent passes or at least thaws. I envy bears.

I’m tired of the fact that I’ve taken all these classes to learn how to be compassionate to other people and they don’t seem to have taken the same time or effort to learn how to be compassionate towards me. Pastoral care, two series of Dialogues in Diversity, The Circle Process, and then Remo Health Rhythms drum circle facilitator – all of these are about peacemaking. All of them are about learning how to help people communicate in different ways. Even my tutoring that I do feeds into this. Yet nobody seems to take the time to learn how to communicate with me.

I feel betrayed by my job, which then leads me to remembering that I was betrayed by my church and my social group I was in, and my friends from high school. There have been too many changes in the past few years. Too many new things. Too many new rules that don’t make sense. Too many people trained and gone. Too much to keep up with. And now there is a new manager that has a communication and leadership style that I don’t know how to deal with. I can’t make sense of it. I feel lost.

My last performance review said that I was the reason the department held together for the year that we didn’t have a manager. A year, without a manager, and we were better organized than branches that had a manager. I’ve been there for 14 years, and I’ve got a pretty good idea of what we need to have done day by day to keep the place going well. I care about my job. I care, in part, because I’m there all the time it seems. This is my home in a way. I’m awake there more often than I am at my real home. I spend more time with these people than I do with the person I chose.

And that is part of the problem. I didn’t choose these people, and they didn’t choose me. We are a misfit family. We didn’t decide to be together. We learned how to work together. We learned how to adapt. And then it all changed. People moved, got transferred, died. People left, and I’m the only person in my department who was there from the very beginning. Even the upper administration is new. Everything that I knew to be true is up in the air now. Even basic rules – rules that formed the backbone of how we do our jobs – even those are up for grabs now.

I feel lost. I feel alone. I feel powerless. I feel unappreciated. I’m angry and sad and tired.

Perhaps I’ve been there too long. Perhaps I’ve grown out of it. Perhaps it is time to quit. But part of being at a place for a long time is that I’ve built up a lot of vacation time and sick time. If I start over at another place I start over at the bottom. I’ve built up a pension here. But the idea of staying another 13 years until I can retire makes me feel ill.

And after all that happened yesterday, I came home and that was the day that my hoarder husband decided to start cleaning out his room. Piles of stuff were all over the house. The mess that is my house got even worse. It was like a tornado had come to town and destroyed my job and my home.

In a way, I’ve hit rock bottom. In a way, I’ve killed myself. I asked Jesus into it, as far as I knew how. I said I can’t do this, and I need you to take over. I did this last night, trying to use the information one person has about “walk-ins”. I’m pretty sure she is talking about multiple personality disorder or possession, but I’m thinking that Jesus is a better guide than some random person from the ether like she means. I’d forgotten about this by the morning, and then both of the readings I did were about death and rebirth. So far I’ve remembered to say the prayers for everything I’m supposed to. So far I’m getting back into the groove of all the things that I can control, that make things work well. The worst thing I can do is try to deal with an unstable environment without my routine in the morning. It is the framework for my day, and thus my life.

I don’t know what to do – whether to stay or to go. I don’t know what my duties are at work anymore. So I’m waiting, and I’m open, and I’m listening. Perhaps stay in the system, but doing a different job? Perhaps stay where I am, but do more programs? I need to feel useful, that I’m not wasting my life and my skills. I need to feel that I matter, and I’m helping. I don’t just want to collect a paycheck, but make a living, a life. I’m very mindful of how short life is, and I don’t want to spend most of it doing something mindless and insignificant.

I’m tired of living this double life, where I take classes and create art, music, and writing on my own. It is like I have a second job that I don’t get paid for. It is as if I have to supplement my diet on my own because I’m not getting enough nutrition. If I was “fed” properly at my job, then I could actually enjoy my time away from it, rather than scrambling to make meaning in my off time.

Sobriety sucks sometimes.