Thursday, January 22, 2015

Calendaring - My First Love

This post is a long time coming. I love calendaring - but I'm pretty sure that's not even the right word for it. In a nutshell, I love using calendars to write down things AFTER they've happened. Sure, I write down what's going to happen, like appointments and such, but what I really love doing is writing down what has already happened. I can tell you with 90% accuracy every restaurant I've eaten at in the last 3 years because I write it down. (and who wouldn't want that information!?)

Let's backup. It started in high school. I've always been the organized, type-A pre-teen/teenager and I have notebooks to prove it. ;-) I would buy these ordinary planners from Office Max and decorate the front of them with magazine cutouts. Then use packing tape to "laminate" the cover.
Kind of embarrassing to see Paul Walker (RIP) taped onto the front of my planner, but it is what it is.
I brought my planner to school with me every day and filled in the blanks when I got bored in class. Apparently I got really bored in class because I also colored and added quotes, etc. Check out 16 year old Emily's life:

I know this isn't a substitute for old-fashioned journaling about your feelings, etc. but this is even better, in some ways. This gives me a peek into the life of 16-year-old Emily. I can see how often she worked (I had 3 jobs at one point), who she studied with, who she baked cookies for (who the heck was Shane!?), when she accidentally skipped class, etc. All of these little facts help paint the picture of what my life was like at this time. This is like a mini time capsule and I LOVE it.

I continued this method through college and once I got married and had kids, I started doing the same things, but with wall calendars:

I've got 2010 - 2014 all together in a nearby drawer. You know what's a fun game? Getting all of them out then ask, what were we doing on this day last year? And the year before that? And the year before that? Ok, only fun for nerds like me.

For 2015, I'm heading back to my high school days with this spiral-bound planner. I realized when the calendar is hanging on the wall it's less convenient to write what's going on, so, duh, why not use a desk planner.

At the end of the year, you can know, with pretty good accuracy how many dates you went on, how many times your kids got sick, your favorite restaurants (based on frequency), what movies you saw in the theaters, how often you visited your dentist, how many days you went to the gym, etc. I love knowing this stuff! Is that weird? If it's wrong, I won't want to be right. ;-)

What do you guys think? Do you use your calendar to record what happens?

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Hop On It!

January feels so good, doesn't it? So much possibility. So much potential. It's obviously psychological since there's no real difference between December 29 and January 3, but it just feels good to feel like this year can be different. This year I can be better, do better.

Last week I was telling my husband about my new philosophy on dealing with little things that bother me. I told him that when a light bulb goes out, I'm going to replace it immediately. When something has been on the garage floor that needs to go up on a big shelf, I'm just going to do it. No waiting for things to magically happen all the while cursing whatever that thing is. I explained my new philosophy in way too many words, and Jeremy said, "Yeah, hop on it." And I'm like YES- HOP ON IT! And my 2015 motto was born. I chipped my front tooth (minorly) and instead of waiting weeks and complaining about it, I called the dentist and got it fixed the next day. I was sick of seeing my master bathroom unpainted, so I painted it! Get my drift? Make it happen. Fix the things that drive you crazy including unsubscribing from every email list that takes you away from things you really want to be doing. Hop on it. It's already working magic in my life and maybe it will in yours, too.