Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Spontaneity, sort of...

As long as I can remember, I've been an obsessive list-maker. I like to plan. I like columns and bullets and color-coded systems. I take notes, I organize them, I alphabetize things. I line things up and check things off.

I'm Franklin Covey's dream girl.

When I first started my current profession, these qualities are probably what made me successful. They are certainly what kept me up at all hours and what extended my day by several hours.

Now, I'm starting to notice a new trend, and though it sort of frightens me, it also very much excites me. A new kind a freedom looms on the horizon.

Let me explain.

It all starts with the planner. I've had about two dozen planners in my life. They come in all sorts of configurations...for example, the fancy kind with dividers and special slots and folders so everything has its place. I love these. More than using them, I love setting them up: labeling, filling out information cards, organizing, etc. They end up being too complicated and way too expensive to refill. And then there's the simple, thin monthly calendar or the desk calendar...useful, provides the big picture, but doesn't allow for mess-ups (you can't just rip out a page and start over without re-doing the whole month) which is necessary for me, since I don't like things to look messy. I've been known to rip out a page of a planner and re-write the entire thing just because it didn't look neat enough.

Another type is the student planner...casual, spiral-bound, provides monthly and weekly layouts. Nice. It's my currently preferred choice.

Interestingly enough, however, I lost my planner about a week ago. Now, in the past, such a thing would have been cause for hyperventilation, a panic attack, and a stiff drink to calm me down...and then a valium prescription This time around, no such reaction. In fact, I didn't even miss it. Okay, for half a second I worried about an upcoming appointment...wondered what date and what time. But, then, I figured I'd just call and check.

Now that I've found my planner, I find that I am NOT using it. The days have remained blank. The upcoming months, blissfully void.



Not making lists daily.


Not obsessing about the dozens of things that "need" to be done.


Not setting myself up for failure...knowing that my overly ambitious planning usually ends in 20 minutes of re-planning in order to carry over whatever I couldn't achieve today into tomorrow's list (which often ended in tearing out a page so I could re-write it).

Wow. Not at all like me.

But nice.

I think I'll keep it up. I think I'll downsize to a pocket-sized month-by-month calendar and see how it goes.

This could be the beginning of a much less hectic schedule.

Now the focus will simply be pressing appointments, fires that need to be put out right now, things I remember to do, and...yep...that's enough.

Crazy. I started thinking about "being" this way several years ago. I tried. Just couldn't relax my death-grip hold on my precious planner. Now, it seems to have just happened. The planner has released ME. Bust off the zipper, rip out the pages, scribble all over it! I'm free!

Well, rather than over-thinking it, I'm just going to enjoy it. I've escaped one more responsibility, and I've earned myself a little more time.

If I were still keeping up the planner, I'd check something off right now...and then pencil in the word "sleep", so I could check that off tomorrow morning. Feels weird to just do something without crossing it off.

Blog written - check.

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