Oyé. Here we ago. Here is yet another one of those topics that makes me want to pull my hair out by the handful. This ought to be interesting.
In my Ideal Life I am a person who:
- goes with the flow
- manages what she can and trusts others to do their part
- doesn’t arrive too early
- doesn’t stress out about other people’s organization
- plans meals in advance
- makes appointments promptly instead of dragging out the inevitable
- doesn’t have to bother people to know what the plan is
- reacts unemotionally to being late
- is faithful about writing down her engagements on the calendar
Where are you coming from?
Well, this year I tried everything. Okay, maybe not everything, but almost. We tried an app to help us with our family schedule and meal planning. This never worked for us.
We tried a little magnetic white board weekly planner on the refrigerator, but the boys kept taking it to play with it.
We tried a weekly paper version of the same thing which we kept on the refrigerator, next to a monthly calendar. This worked fairly well, but we didn’t really ever consult it except to write it out, and it couldn’t send us reminders (I need reminders.) What we did do with it was make notes of the little things we needed to add to the grocery list that were likely to get forgotten (detergent, toothpaste etc) when we did our meal planning and grocery list.
I decided to give a whirl to using the calendar on my iPad and sharing it with my indulgent husband. This has the benefit of being able to send us both reminders at pre-planned intervals. The only problem is that, for some reason, either he can’t or doesn’t know how to add things to the shared calendar. Which brings us back to the one thing I hate the most about this Idea Life Theme: I abhor being the keeper of the calendar. It’s one of those invisible loads of motherhood that sufficiently weighs on my sensibilities as to suffocate me.
The one truly beneficial system I was able to put in place for myself was my brilliant sister Poppy’s agenda, which you can see and download here:
It’s brilliant, you see. You have little spaces for your appointments, then the two columns at the bottom are for goal tracking (on mine I track how much water I drank and number of steps I completed.) Then, because I am Lily Fields and am obsessed with Mise en Place, I left the heading for this because I want you to try it, and then, finally, a column for meal planning.
The only problem with this thing is that it doesn’t fit anywhere. I keep mine on a clipboard, like back in my event planning days, which is fine for when I am at home. But it doesn’t fit nicely in my bag or anything.
It doesn’t matter how brilliant the organizing system is, though, it only works if you use it, and vacations are the worst offenders when it comes to actually using the methods I put in place. The methods require routine–for filling in, for consulting, for actually doing the things–like meal planning or Mise en Place. These just fall by the wayside when my men are around.
What I can say is that this year, I tried. And, believe it or not, I just started crying when I wrote those two little words. So apparently, this counts for something.
Where are you going
In 2022 I want to keep trying. I have a very strong doubt that this will ever turn into something that I love, but it would be really nice if my earnest efforts at improving my satisfaction and living my Ideal Life in this area didn’t bring me to tears.
I had a split-second thought that went something like this:
In my Ideal Life, I don’t have to manage anyone else’s calendar.
For someone whose modus operandi is to give her active, enthusiastic consent to the life she currently has, this sure sounds a heckuva lot like backsliding. I’m going to need to re-up my consent to the current circumstances and configuration of my life. There will be tears.
What would be nice, if I can allow myself to dream, here, would be to have something on the calendar that I am looking forward to. Something that I am not dreading, that would be a little reward for doing all this other crap (did I say crap? I mean stuff). I have several ideas in mind, none of which are very wholesome, but, then, desperate times sometimes call for desperate measures.
In my Ideal Life, I am a person who doesn’t burst into tears when talking about the calendar.