Planning to Plan

Blog No. 111

The number of this post is a palindrome and I love it. I’m writing this on New Years eve. I have a load of laundry going in the other room, collected from my trip to Toronto for my buddy’s wedding. It was amazing by the way. I am still feeling the effects, but the event was spectacular and I helped make it happen. He (my friend) and his new wife are on a beach some where in Jamaica celebrating. I’m writing a blog post, sending them good wishes, and trying to sort out my impending year.

I’ve always liked the idea of office supplies. I have no idea where it came from, but I was excited every school year (not for the school of course) but for all the new accessories I would get. Each year I would have a new idea about how I would plan my notes, binders, reminders, and books. It was a system that inevitably fell apart in the first couple of weeks. The problem was always the same – I was a lazy kid who hated all things school. My parents spent many late nights forcing me to do my assignments, checking my work, and helping me study, but my heart wasn’t in it.

Being the blameless victim, I was certain the problem wasn’t me though. The system was flawed, so the next year a new one was devised and all new supplies were bought. Like clockwork though, the system fell apart and I had no idea what was going on around me at any given time. I’m surprised I made it to university. Some time (I think grade nine) I decided that my lack of planning and inability to stick to my plans was because I didn’t have a day planner. The answer was obvious and the solution readily available any my nearest store. I went out and found one I liked (with a robust exterior and reformat-able interior). In the following days I sorted the planner out, added my own pages, and filled in my first few weeks of assignments and activities. The next day I forgot it in my locker and I don’t remember what happened to it after that.

I graduated high school with a miserable average and went to a community college so I could get a job. I could have probably managed to get into a university, but I had decided by then that I wanted to write (even though I did very little of it at the time). I figured a good paying job would give me a comfy way to make a living and write on the side. I took electrical engineering and almost dropped out. I still hadn’t figured out how to make my systems or those day planners to work and I left with a low average and a year to go. I switched over to Journalism (because it’s the same as writing – even thought it really isn’t) and started fresh again. I’m not sure what was different that time (maybe it was the look on my parents faces when I told them I wanted to stop going to electrical engineering and start journalism instead) but things started to work out. I got my first string of ‘A’s ever, and other than a hiccup in my third semester (which I blame on having a girl friend for the first time) the planning started to work and my marks improved.

For the first time, I was doing the work and following a schedule. I didn’t end up getting a job in Journalism, but I carried the new abilities into university. It fell to pieces when I didn’t find a job again and ended up working a minimum wage job at the mall. I couldn’t be bothered to out in the effort. Then I got another job, and another, and the planner became a necessity again. I bought a new one (I was taken by moleskine and the time and it’s the kind I still use). I filled it up with my scheduling and as I started to write, that made its way in too. Now I’m back to one job (with three locations) and my planner is as much writing (and other related things) as it is work. I’ve gotten into the habit of taking a day, some time within the week of the new year, to sit with my old planner and new one, filling in all the things I can. It’s a cathartic experience. The old mess of a planner gets put in a drawer and the new fresh planner is marked with dark, clean lines.

That’s what I did today. I made sure to add in my first few months worth of writing. Christian and I have a lot planned this year. We made a big leap in 2014 and we want to do it again for 2015. Hopefully you have some great planned too (and they include Adventure Worlds). Happy New Year.

One thought on “Planning to Plan

  1. Nicely Said my friend. I cannot wait to see all the things you have planned come to life, I completely understand how you feel about getting into a routine and trying to live a more structured life, here’s hoping I can reach the same level you have. Never give up, Never give in my friend. JC

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