Last week, while bustling through the city from one appointment to the next, I reached into my purse only to discover the lid to my water bottle was not securely fastened, and everything inside was soaked. My wallet was soggy; my computer was wet; and the appointments, plans, and notes carefully inked in my trusty day planner had become nearly unrecognizeable smears.
While most of the world long ago tossed their paper planners aside, choosing instead to capture their to-do's and appointments in smartphones and virtual calendars, I am an old fashioned girl resistant to breaking with tradition. There is something grounding for me in seeing the week's commitments, projects, and deadlines all lined up neatly on one page - and something cathartic about crossing off my completed tasks with an enthusiastic flourish. So rather than seeing this mishap as a sign that it is time to make the (likely inevitable) transition, I instead purchased a new planner and am now filling in the pages based on memory and what I can salvage from my waterlogged journal.
When I first opened the new book and smoothed the clean pages, I was seized with a desire to protect white space and preserve margin. I long to retain at least some of the spaciousness I was blessed to enjoy this summer. Before re-entering an appointment, reminder, or task, I am asking myself whether it is necessary, consistent with my priorities, and a valuable use of time. With these criteria in mind, I am identifying opportunities to streamline my obligations and create windows for the people and activities that bring me joy.
We shouldn't need a water bottle mishap to take control of our calendars - and our lives! Can you take a moment this week to audit how you spend your time and energy? Are these precious resources being invested well - or are you trapped in habits and routines that consume your calendar without feeding your soul? Where can you make the changes - small and large - to create a more full and fulfilling life?