Friday, January 1, 2016

File Cabinets and Calendars

It's the first day of the new year. So, yeah, I'm all fresh and ready for calendars, filing systems and organizationing plans. I've found free printable downloads of clever to-do lists, workout trackers and blog editorial calendars.

Wait, I have a system of to-doing, working out and blogging. It's all about the Fourth Part. Yeah, that's right. I organize myself daily to help me achieve what I need to do now. In the today. In the moment. I know what and when I will cook for dinner/ I know what bills to pay. I know what TV shows to watch or DVR. I know the cleaning process (uh, housekeeper) and I know our laundry system (when baskets are overflowing with dirty clothes, it is time to wash). I have my system in place so I can have a fourth part most every day. Talk about a goal.

Yet, why am I so tempted by another fruit -- some other blogger's idea of how to keep track of household goings ons or some Pinterest post with the best daily journals. I know why -- I'm a perfectionist who is always looking for something that is just right. Instead of looking for what works for now.

Because for now, I do have a two-drawer file cabinet that is not full. It has only warranties, guarantees and how to manuals for appliances and technology we own. It has a stack of old Martha Stewart Kid and Baby magazines that I just really like and cannot give away. And, it has an expand-a-file that is not over expanded, with insurance, shot records and other important papers that don't get to go to the safe deposit box but are worth keeping safe.

And, that filing system works. Is it color coded with beautifully decorated file folders? Nah. Are there labels? Nope. It's two drawers that aren't full with the right stuff for right now.

Can I get a celebratory cheer for two drawers not full? And, drawers that do not contain oil change papers from a car we no longer own? (I spent the day after Christmas going through those papers).

I also have an empty box, cube ottoman thing that now just rolls from corner to corner in the art center that is now again a study/office! I'm typing on mhy laptop in the office chair, on the office desk in the office. I'm not typing while sitting on a bar stool with a laptop on the kitchen counter. 

Insert a second celebratory cheer.

Does my paper system make sense to anyone else in this house? Probably not. And, do I want to replace some of my beat-up file folders for something more lovely. Sure, if I see some on sale (like in the $1 bin at Target). But it works.

Something else that works and has worked for around 10 years now is my Mom's Calendar. It comes with stickers and reminder sort of do-dads, but I toss those. It has vertical columns for everyone in the house and horizontal rows for the dates.

It's a Christmas gift I can count on from G Adams. And, it's in place today. I even have some January events and appointments already written down.

(When I was cleaning out my files, I found all the past years of Mom's Calendar. I didn't throw them away. I like to look back. Life before the twins. Life before Chris was in high school. Life before he was in college. Life at our old house. And, recent life -- first grade and freshman year in college.)

Maybe don't give out a celebratory cheer for hanging on to those. Maybe ponder wistfully upon your past years and reflect on those events you scheduled and attended.

I like my calendar. There was one year when G bought me another version and I struggled. It didn't have the same lay-out. The months were in order and yes, dates were listed accurately, but it didn't work.

I prefer the familiarity of my calendar even though the times change, the events differ and the activities fill in and out.

So, for this year, I'm hoping for familiarity with the ability to adapt to change. I'm resolving to ask questions out of concern and care, to listen, to read my Bible and pray every day. And, because I plan and organize and calendar, I'm going to notice and heed my appetite for joy. I'm going to trust that my appetite is in cahoots with some greater good. (Thanks Pilar Gerasimo and Experience Life).

I can do all that with a calendar, with a slim filing system and with many a fourth parts.

Oh, and, by the way, when I was cleaning out the day after Christmas, I found my read the Bible in a year print-out from 2009. I'm only about half-way done according to the check marks. I think I started when the girls were first born. I recommitted to that practice of reading my Bible every day and earnestly praying at 7:08 a.m. this New Year's Day morning.

I think that practice will truly heed my appetite for joy. It will be my joy. It will make my fourth part the real part of every day.

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