Saturday, January 19, 2013

useful won.

I am sitting here in my pj's browsing recipes on the internet for meal planning inspiration with the Pioneer Woman on in the background.

Ian is hanging out in his room listening to music. Seth is in his room playing music. And Chris is out in the garage working.

The sun is shining and my cold is lifting. Life is good, no?

So anyway, I'm sitting here planning this week's meals on a calendar page I printed out, filling in the days responsibilities on a separate monthly calendar and looking at the list of the bills needing to be paid on yet another list when I came to a realization: I need to keep ALL of this info in one place.

I decided the "one place" is going to be the monthly calendar.

Now I'm just gonna throw this out there...I looked for weeks for a cute, pretty, easy on the eye monthly calendar. I wanted one that opened like a journal, not one to hang on a wall or fridge. I wanted squares big enough to actually write things in. And I didn't want it to cost a fortune.

Well...the cute, pretty journal-like ones were weekly calendars. And I don't know what it is about me, but I want to see the whole month. Not just a week at a time. I suppose if I planned my days hour by hour a weekly calendar would be good for me. But I don't. And won't. Ever.

To make a short story long, I never found what I was looking for. So I thought about making the calendar of my dreams. I searched the internet for inspiration and calendar page print-outs. I looked online for small binders and dividers that I could personalize...a divider for the calendar, one for meal plans, one for bills and such. And can I just say that it was more overwhelming than it was inspiring?

So after wasting a lot of time, here I sat with nothing.

Then one day I was shopping at the dollar store. I strolled down the office supply aisle (my favorite) and what did I find? A Mead monthly calendar that opened like a journal with squares big enough to actually write in. Was it cute? Not really. Unless you consider plain lime green 'cute'. Which I don't. But it was what I was looking for.  And affordable. Ahem. ;)

I bought it. And it works. But I only used it for appointments and commitments. And I would slip the bill papers and the meal plan papers inside that particular month so it was all in one place. But it was also loose and sloppy.

So today I'm sitting here, filling in calendar days and paying bills and planning meals and shuffling papers and I realize something:  that I need to put it ALL on this cheap little calendar. Meal plans, birthdays, commitments, bills due can all go in one place!

Why didn't I think of this sooner? Sometimes I can make life so hard on myself...

(And now that I am  looking at it a little closer I am realizing that the calendar has a plastic cover that it can slip in and out of. So if I really want to, I can personalize it! Sweet!)

Now there is nothing wrong with a pretty planner. I love them, actually. And when I see them on Pinterest or on artists web sites I think "I should do that."

But sometimes trying to make everything beautiful can be overwhelming. Realistically, I don't have time to make everything beautiful. I barely have time to get the laundry done. Sometimes I just need something to be useful and to make my life a bit easier...less overwhelming.

And that's what this calendar is...useful. And there's nothing wrong with that. If it helps me get the job done, then it's all good in my book. Even if it is lime green.


Beegirl said...

Works for me! I covered a dollar store wonder with vintage paper under the plastic cover. I MUST use a month in a mind can't process it any other way..which is a shame with all the computerized stuff. Good job!

Denise said...

I struggle with finding just the right daytimer/calendar too. I actually prefer the week by week and then I like referring to the month on another page. I am using a tiny moleskin calendar that I bought for Tallie for Christmas - she didn't like it and I couldn't justify buying another one :)

Kelly said...

I struggle with finding the right calendar/to do list/meal planner/etc too! I like tech gadgets and the ease of entering repetitive items in computer based programs and apps-and the ability to share said info has been a huge benefit, but I also am drawn to the pretty lists and calendars.

Sometimes I wonder if my inability to choose and stick with one thing is just an excuse for not getting every thing done?

teekaroo said...

Was it a year ago, or two, that I was going through the very same thing. I realized I'm quite particular in what I want in a planner. I like to see a week at a time, but i also like a blank page to write notes and lists and addresses and books to find at the library. I never did find one I liked, and I ended up making my own, which took a long time. It's ugly, but it works.