I don’t know about you but the New Year 2014 came upon me like an Avalanche. It’s not that I did so much over the holidays, but I can’t believe it’s already here. Feels like just weeks ago I was flipping through my Cooking Light Magazine for yet another turkey dinner recipe to make my kids say “Yuk!”
I guess the moon smashed into mercury retrograde or as my friend Tracy pointed out Thanksgiving was late this year and there were 5 fewer days between the major holidays than usual. Either way I am sitting at my desk after cleaning my office thinking about this New Year as I try not to spaz out over the pressure.
Today I want to talk about technology and though I run a technology company, I have to preach today about the importance of pen and paper. I have tried every planner, gizmo, software and paperless product on the planet over the past 15 years. Here’s what it comes down to:
I bought a pretty paper planner for my personal life. I bought a serious leather bound planner for my work life. I bought one of those goofball mommy manager calendars for my kids, family, dad and custody schedule. And a fresh pack of pens.
I could almost cry when I write this because last year I created these electronic calendars and everyone had a color. You could toggle back and forth or blow them all into one chaotic schedule. The chaotic schedule is what pushed me over the edge. Seeing all that I am responsible for between radio, company, kids, elderly dad, magazine, and somewhere my fitness, mental health and finances was just overwhelming. MY EYES! MY EYES!!! It didn’t help me at all and it didn’t do anything but send my blood pressure through the roof.
Now fast forward to today. I pulled out my kid/family planner and noted practices, lessons and assignments due for science club. I put in my dad’s doctors appointments. I pulled out my work planner and wrote “Jerk!!!!” next to my new client’s name from our call today – try doing that in a satisfying way electronically. Finally, I took out my “San” Calendar with the pretty blue butterfly that makes me think of my mom. I noted what I needed to note. I also doodled some hearts and flowers while I planned.
Yes, it’s a lot to manage. I take out all three planners and look over my week. I call friends to help with my kids. I arrange work around what I need to arrange. Having a master planner drove me nuts. When I put things in electronically it was so fast I forgot them. I read somewhere that it takes thousand more neuron strikes in your brain to write by hand vs. type into a little system. That’s the reason I forget things that are not written down. Uh-huh…
It’s archaic. It flies in the face of technology that my company supports. It kills tress. But at the end of the day I can put a “Good job” sticker on my paper planner for the day. Did I award it to myself? Yes. Am I over the age of 5? Yes. Has planning out my chaotic, hectic, crazy life become a pleasant experience with colored pens, pretty planners and goofy stickers. Yes!
Like Marilyn Monroe- whatever blows your skirt up, right? The use of color and stickers and handwritten doodles has put some art back into the management of chaos and you know what? That feels pretty good and my blood pressure is back down to normal.
My Best Parenting Advice: The Art Of Managing Chaos by Sandra Beck