I bought a new planner at the beginning of this month. And though the first day listed didn’t arrive until this week, I’ve been carrying it around since its purchase. It shouldn’t be surprising that I’m excited–I’m a planner, myself. I’ve dutifully filled out its pages, adding my contact information and plotting out weekends months from now. I’ve stroked its cover hundreds of times, admiring the tiny notebook that even tucks neatly into my purse. But you know what I’m most excited about?
The teeny space provided for each day.
My tendency to overschedule spiraled out of control this year. I justified it during the summer; my friends and I labeled our silly evenings “college nights” (because that’s where it felt like we were!) and took advantage of our remaining time with a buddy by marking the 40 Days and 40 Nights of Brett. It was summer, and things were allowed to be a little busy.
But as fall arrived and wore on, I booked almost every night with activity. Thursdays were typically overscheduled with two or three events demanding my presence. At one point Jamie pointed out that I felt obligated–I wasn’t attending things because I wanted to, but because I felt that I ought. She was right.
And because I packed my calendar full, I often missed out on spontaneous gatherings with people I really care about. Weeks of vegetables would pile up because I was never home. Once I even went several weeks without finishing a book!
I’ve thought a lot about slowing down, only commiting myself to events I really want to attend, prioritizing quiet time with friends or myself. A time or two I’ve even asked a friend to keep me mindful of these things.
And yes, I realize that it’s a bit silly to expect a 3×5 notebook to do the same. But I’m hopeful. I hope that these tiny pages will at least be a visual reminder that I don’t have all the time in the world.
My optimism never dies. Happy 2009.