Going Old School?
Today’s quandary – digital or old school?
Back in the early 90s when Franklin planners were all the rage, everyone at Newport-Mesa where Chip was a pastor got them. They even did the training on how to maximize productivity with their new leather-bound, zippered, git-‘er-done companions. Chip gave it the old college try, but it just wasn’t his thing. Lucky me! I inherited his like-new beautiful Franklin planner -- a huge step up from the dime store stapled calendar booklets I’d always used. From then on, whenever I would buy my pages for the new year, I would write in the front, “If lost, please call (my phone number) for a $25 reward.” Had I lost that planner, I would have been clueless as to which appointment or practice or party or school function any of the kids would have needed to be at on any given day of the week.
At some point, I switched to Julie Morgenstern’s planner. Then when I started working full time, I discovered that I didn’t need a planner. Monday through Friday – work. Soccer two nights a week. Weekends – laundry, clean house, church, soccer, groceries. Not much to plan there. My phone calendar, Notes, and the multiple magnetic notepads given so generously by neighborhood realtors were about all the tools I needed to keep all the balls in the air.
Things have changed.
Lately I’ve been toying with the idea of going back to a paper planner. Those who know me well would translate that to say — lately I’ve been obsessing and endlessly researching every planner ever created. I’ve read that writing things down in a journal or planner actually helps you remember them better. I could certainly use that. But there’s something else nudging me in this direction. Something I don’t even fully understand myself. I’m sure it has something to do with losing Chandler. Everything does.
I want to move beyond just typing sterile “to-do” items on my phone and viewing appointments as fixed, lifeless blocks on a digital calendar. Processing and planning electronically feels too cold and impersonal right now. Too confined.
I want my fingers putting pen-to-paper – filling in the blanks with intention, each day and week and month. As new goals take shape, I want to see them in my own (really bad) handwriting, broken down into action steps (like Step 1—take handwriting lessons). I want to be creative with stickers and washi tape and brightly colored gel pens. I want to integrate into one quaint space my daily gratitudes, my priorities, my activities, my affirmations, my meal plans, and my reflections. I want to appreciate the simplicity of slowing down enough to write…with…a….pencil.
Maybe the pull in this direction is because I know that intention, reflection, simplicity, and creativity will be particularly essential for me in the coming weeks and months. I know that if I’m not mindful, I will set goals that are peripheral to what I really want. I will fill chunks of time with activities that don’t leave space for my non-negotiables, those things that I need to fill my soul and keep me centered—good food, quiet time, moving my body, learning, and spending time with family and friends.
I don’t pretend to know all that God is up to. I do know my part is to remain open, listening, and available.
For that….I’m going old school.