Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Date Book Change - Another Whole Life Challenge Parable

Last month I changed my schedule book. I’ve never been able to use my phone or google calendar for scheduling – I need to write things down and see them in my own handwriting in order to know where I need to be and when.

I’ve been using the same Filofax system since maybe 1990. It’s in a brown leather case and the page spread shows an entire week at a time. (I need to see the whole week at once!) But, the pages are not that big, and as a result, the days themselves don’t have much room. And Saturday and Sunday are jammed together to occupy the same space that Monday through Friday each get on their own.

In July, once I started working more regularly, I needed more room to write things in (and I work on the weekends, so that minuscule amount of space just wasn’t cutting it). So I went to Staples, a store that, to me, holds the same kind of life-changing promise that other women find in a shoe store, and I found a scheduling calendar that seemed perfect. More space on each day, and Sat and Sun are treated like every other day of the week. Plus it’s light and attractive, and it started in June. An 18-month calendar that runs from June to the following December. This was huge – I could start my transition immediately.

It was a lot of work to transcribe the initial few weeks of meetings from my Filofax into my new planner, and as I did, I noticed something: Wednesday was not in the same place visually as it had been before. It used to sit on the bottom left, now it was on the top right. I suspected this was going to screw with my head, and it did. I couldn’t keep track of what was Wednesday and Thursday at a glance, so after trying the new book for two weeks, I went back to my old, familiar, too-small, inadequate planner. The one that I’d outgrown and that no longer served me at all.

I thought maybe it would somehow rise to the occasion, but it didn’t.

So in September, I tried the new book again. I still don’t like that it has Wednesday in an unfamiliar spot. And when I say I don’t like it, I mean I really cannot get used to it. But everything else about it rocks. Every single day I notice how much better my life is just from this crazy little calendar. And for now, I’m just writing WEDNESDAY in red to remind myself where it is -- I’m pretty sure after a few more weeks I’ll forget I was ever vexed by it.

Or I won’t. But I’ve committed to the new system…and this I know: it’s not going to get any better simply because I’m focusing on how much I don’t like where Wednesday is.

I know this new calendar is not perfect, but it’s so much better for me than my Filofax (sorry, Baby…we had a good run), so I'm going to figure out a way to make it work.

If this seems like another Whole Life Challenge metaphor, that’s because it is.