Is a calendar a shackle or tool?

Wrapping up Order Week

Of all my Bliss Habits, the weeks I spend devoted to Order seem to fly by the fastest… there is always SO MUCH more that I could do. I am still whittling the wardrobe down to 40 items. I’m closing in on 60 at the moment and still debating how many t-shirts can justifiably be considered “work out gear” instead of “wardrobe.” My allowable pile of “special occasion wear” may also be hiding a few double duty items so I’m probably closer to 75 if the truth is to be told.   I have a couple of pairs of pants that I wish fit me better but I hesitate still to toss them. Two lawn and leaf bags are headed to Goodwill yet there is still so far to go. Now that my shirt drawers can close properly, my sock and underwear drawers call out for the same… Sunday will be spent seeing how far I can get, so stop by the Facebook page where I will share an “after photo” for the Before I shared here on Monday.

By failing to prepare you are preparing to fail. ~ Benjamin Franklin

This week I also decided to revisit my Mission Control training and make friends with my calendar. In sharing what this might look like, I’ve been a bit perplexed by some of the feed back I’ve been getting so I think I probably haven’t done a very good job of explaining the process. Without exception, I seem to have given the impression that following a calendar is like handcuffing freedom. Somehow I’ve portrayed that knowing how one actually spends time (ex. 30 minutes commuting, 45 getting ready in the morning, three hours on laundry etc.) will somehow suck the joy out of living.  I’ve made “following a calendar” look somehow restrictive and an assault on the randomness many of us enjoy. This is NOT what I intended.

A good calendar is flexible

A calendar agenda isn’t sealed in stone. Once you assign an hour “to grocery shop” you are not required to do it between 4-5pm “at all costs.” So you run into an old friend and decide to get coffee. You talk right through your grocery time, and that is just fine. Grocery shopping will need to happen at some point, so you move it to a different open slot. A good calendar will always allow for a certain amount of fluidity. Things come up. Randomness and serendipity are encouraged!

Now if that same 4-5 hour slot was filled with “meeting with potential book agent” (if writing a novel was one of your goals) upon meeting that old friend you might be tempted to have coffee right then but your calendar now suggests catching up at another time might be better. You look at your calendar and schedule that coffee for another day and time.

The power of knowing how time is spent

What I find powerful about keeping a calendar is I get to see how I actually spend my time. How I spend that time is what gives me the life I have. If I am 100% delighted with my life “as it is” then nothing really has to change. I am, however NOT 100% satisfied with how my life is. Please do not misunderstand, my life is fabulous on many counts. It is just, as I told you earlier this week, my soul is yearning for more. Much more. My calendar shows me that contrary to my supposed commitment to fitness, I have almost no time allocated to exercise. My calendar shows me that civic responsibility, sustainable food practices, and writing a book are not important to me because I currently spend NO TIME on any of them. Stop me for a cup coffee and you might assume I am actively pursuing them all because of how I talk about them but talk is not the measure.

Where we spend our time is the measure of our life. A calendar is not a shackle. It is a tool that helps to understand why our life looks the way it does. If we want our lives to be different we have to do different things. My life isn’t totally off the mark. Spending time with friends and family is a high priority for me and my calendar shows me that I am doing this. I also see that time with my mom is less then I would like it to be so I can schedule a visit.

A calendar that forwards your dreams

One of the other marvelous benefits of keeping a calendar is I can be fully present where ever I am. I don’t have to spend any time worrying “I might forget to schedule that dentist appointment.” because rather then squeezing it in “sometime” I know it is on the calendar for tomorrow at 9:00. If My sweetie wants to linger over coffee tomorrow this item is easily shifted to another slot, but knowing it won’t get lost in the shuffle makes it easy to fully enjoy the time with my husband.

When used in the Mission Control way, I believe a calendar frees one up to enjoy more surprise and freedom not less. If my portrayal led you to believe something different, I apologize. I am not suggesting that a calendar restrict you in any way. Creating a proactive agenda is ideal only when it is moving you toward your dreams. In my case, keeping and following a calendar does this.


Monday Starts CREATIVITY week! Get ready to have some fun!



2 thoughts on “Is a calendar a shackle or tool?

  1. Congrats on paring down your wardrobe as much as you have. I used to be more diligent regarding my calendar. Since I don’t work full time any longer, I tend not to keep one. But I do find that certain things have fallen by the wayside – perhaps I should start one back up. Thanks for extolling the positive aspects of maintaining a calendar. Theresa

  2. Kathy,
    What a great place you have here! Thanks so much for linking my De-Stuffing piece up. It goes perfectly with your theme.

    I can’t wait to see if you can “whittle” your wardrobe down to 40 items. There’s a little inspiration for me.

    Can’t wait to visit again!

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