So Many Calendars; Too Little Time

Trying to become organized has made me more disorganized. It’s been a battle since the birth of my children. I firmly believe the majority of my brain cells were nestled in each of their placentas. Therefore, when they were born, most of my brain cells came out right along with them.

Growing up I always kept a fairly detailed paper calendar for myself. Now that I’m married with two adult children who attend a local college and have part-time jobs, keeping track of my family’s comings and goings, commitments, and invitations has catapulted me, kicking and screaming, into a world that demands organization. Ugh.

Because I don’t like to create spreadsheets, mainly because I really don’t know how, I decided to hang a dry-erase calendar in the kitchen. There are four of us who go in different directions at different times each day which requires careful planning and thought (the worst part) and the use of colorful dry-erase markers (the best part!).

Red denotes the gray Subaru Forester, blue denotes the white Subaru Forester, and black represents Richard’s old BMW. Richard needs a car for work nearly every day. I need a car three days a week to get to my part-time job. Veronica and Lucas share “the third family car” and once or twice a week, when the moon is in the seventh house, and Jupiter aligns with Mars and, if peace will guide the planets, they can share the car successfully. The rest of the week requires a pie chart, graph, and/or an occasional power point presentation.

In addition to the color-coded kitchen calendar, I have four other calendars: One on my iPhone, one on my laptop, and a paper one that has yet to be filled in with the birthdays and anniversaries written in bold red marker that still reside in last year’s paper calendar.

I’ve tried for years to go paperless, but I can’t seem to commit to not having a tangible paper calendar. Somehow, if I don’t see it on paper, it doesn’t exist. It could get swallowed up by The Cloud. It could get lost in cyberspace. It could end up on another Leslie Korengold’s iPhone. Yes, there are at least three of us, though I’ve never met them. I do keep in touch with one of them via Facebook, and talked to her on the phone once.

In a perfect world the calendar on my iPhone would be perfectly synced with the one on my computer. But, that would mean I actually synced them to each other, which I tend to forget to do. This can cause problems.

Let’s say I’ve just had my teeth cleaned and as I’m almost out the door the receptionist says, “Let’s set up your next appointment for six months from now.” I say, “Ok. I’ll put it in my phone.”  She says, “Would you like a reminder card to take with you?” I say “No thanks. I have it in my handy dandy phone calendar.”

Always. Take. The Card.

Why? Now I have the appointment in my phone, right? I forget to sync my phone to the calendar on my computer. So, a month goes by and I enter a different appointment on my computer for the exact same day and time but forget to synch it to my phone. Ok. We’re going to have a conflict in 5 months.

But wait! There’s more! Since I still believe in keeping a written calendar, about four months go by and my friend Liz sends me a text that reads, “Let’s do lunch.” Because, even if it’s been a few months since we last had lunch, we always go to Norton’s Restaurant at noon on any given Tuesday. We just need to confirm which Tuesday works. So, I look at my written calendar that looks wide open on a Tuesday in four weeks at noon.

About a week before my lunch date with Liz I get a reminder card in the mail for my dentist appointment. Then I receive a reminder call for the other appointment and Liz calls to confirm our usual plans; that’s when I realize I have a dentist appointment, a hair color appointment and lunch with Liz all on the same day and all at the same time. Oh, and it’s my parents’ anniversary. And Veronica needs the car for work.

Clearly my current system has a few flaws. All I have to do is write all birthdays and anniversaries in my 2012-2013 paper calendar and add them to either my iPhone or computer and then sync them every day. But I haven’t done it yet. I don’t understand why I am so reluctant to Just Do It.

Well, today is the day. I am going to do it. And, I am also joining the BlogHer NaBloPoMo December Blogroll, accepting the challenge to write a new blog post every day during the month of December. Yes, Mom, I know it’s December 4th, but I have until tomorrow to sign up. And, very much unlike me, I won’t wait until the very last possible minute to accept the challenge. I’m doing it an entire day before the deadline, which for me is a huge step.

The thought of writing something every day that I am comfortable enough to post creeps me out. I usually edit for days. If I don’t think a piece is ready to post I’ll sit on it like an expectant Cuckoo bird.

Obviously my lack of organization will make this challenge even harder, but I think it’s just what I need to get out of my comfort zone, which isn’t all that comfortable. The thought of forcing myself to post something I’m proud of every day is terrifying, but if I don’t write every day, what kind of writer would I be? An unpublished, undiscovered, and unhappy one. I need to throw caution to the wind and not be upset if it gets mangled in a fan and thrown back in my face. Can I do it? I’m going to try.

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