September 22, 2012It’s 7:49 on a Saturday night. I’ve cleaned, rearranged and organized my office, bedroom and kitchen. They sparkle, look impressive and would be met with abject shock by my mother, father and sister.
Being organized and tidy for me is work. Only a nominally enjoyed effort I would much rather put to better use cleaning out the chicken coop, or pulling weeds in the garden. But it has to be done. And I’ve been taught by the best, my mother. Everything in her house has a place and it’s to be kept in that place on fear of …well…on fear of.
Though I’ve been steered in the direction of tidiness and organization throughout my childhood, teenhood, motherhood, and middleagehood by this wonderful woman, I struggle. It doesn’t come naturally.
Five years ago when I went back to university to finish my psychology degree I bought myself a dayplanner. I needed to remember assignments and exam dates so I carefully recorded them in my ‘month at a glance’. It was effective. It sat on my desk and got looked at maybe once a week. Rarely did I add anything else to it.
After a few years I began adding appointments, important dates, social events and the odd grocery list. They didn’t always fit on the small squares of the ‘month at a glance’ so I purchased a ‘week at a glance’. Some days were chalk full, others empty. At times there were runs on entries and weeks that went by blank.
I relied on it. Found I didn’t have to work my brain as hard remembering dates. As long as I had the dayplanner with me, I could always just look.
For two years now I’ve purchased a Moleskin ‘day at a glance’. Leather bound, soft paper, lots of lines and plenty of space. They are the high fashion of dayplanner. Even coming with a ribbon to wrap around the edges, keeping it from falling open.
Every page is full. Some even have extra Postits covering the pages. Shopping lists are a small part of what is written on the pages. My life is. I don’t just list what I need to do, I record what I’ve done, seen, and experienced. It’s become a diary, record, proof, phone book, and project manager.
When I can’t remember what I did two days ago, I can check my dayplanner. Need a phone number? It’s in the dayplanner. When did I say I’d have that project done? I’ll check my dayplanner.
It is a record of my life and this year it was full of accomplishments, successes, experiences and ideas.
And I can’t find the bloody thing. September 21 it went missing. From the office to home and only one stop, it disappeared and I am reminded why I always resisted relying on one. You become dependent on it, getting mentally lazy and using an external entity to organize your thoughts instead of internal methods.
Now I’m hooped. A year’s worth of ideas, notes, and memories gone. And dam I know I had a dentist appointment sometime…and what dentist was it with anyways?