Friday, April 7, 2017

When Good Planners Go Bad

Were you aware that there was a 'dark side' in the planning world? Me neither!!! Until recently that is.

First, some background. I began using a Franklin Planner when I was 18. No, I am not kidding. Since then I have used them all, tried them all, and must admit, it is my 2nd favorite of all time. The 1st was my Believer's Life System from Moody Publishers (you can not get this anymore, anywhere, and yes, I have called Moody directly).

Last year I branched out, seeking a more laid-back, creative side to my planning. The Happy Planner was were I landed. This year I've switched about 5 times, and it is only April. I went from Happy to Recollections, to Heidi Swapp, to Carpe Diem, and now you and I are caught up.

Now is also where I discovered the seedy underworld of planners. It really does exist, I swear!!! It all begins when we attempt to locate what is referred to as 'planner peace'. This means we find a system, style, and whatever else, that makes us feel peaceful and organized. This elusive 'planner peace', rarely finds any of us!

Then of course you have a slew of decorations, stickers, stamps, and accessories do decorate, record, sort, organize and beautify our calendars. Plus, systems such as bullet journaling, schedules, dated, un-dated, etc....

Some planners have beautiful layouts and spreads, but few actual to-do lists. Some of us have to-do's so big, we couldn't decorate because there is no space for pretty!

Where does the 'underworld' exist then? Social Media!!!! It is referred to by a nicer name - 'Enabler Alert'. Planner addicts (yes, this is a real thing. No, we feel no shame - we're too busy planning!), post pictures of the newest finds, washi tape, pens, binders, stickers, and everything in between!!!

This leads to an entire group of women, who simply want to create an organized, well-planned life, rushing get to the nearest Hobby Lobby, or Michael's so all the good stuff doesn't disappear before they get there!!!

Confession time - I have gone running to HL or Michael's for the elusive roll of washi tape!!! I couldn't help it - it had coffee cups on it! And there were coffee cup shaped paper clips that matched! And they were 50% off!!! I may also have gone there for a few other when Carpe Diem and The Reset Girl hit Hobby Lobby finally!!! 30 minutes standing in front of a wall of beauty!

Years ago, a brilliant author coined the phrase 'Bad Girls of the Bible' and wrote a book about them. I will now be coining a term myself - "Planner Girls Gone Wild"! This is us!! True addiction in all it's forms converging in the aisle of a craft store, salivating over the new, grinning from ear to ear, and trying to get others to understand this obsession. Welcome to the 'dark side'.

While most of this post is written tongue-in-cheek, there is a certain truth in it all. We strive to find the 'thing' that will help us 'feel' organized. It shouldn't look boring or bare or like our life looks. It should look fun, energetic, and make us feel good about what we spend our time doing. It should also ensure that we don't forget what we're supposed to be doing.

All along the way, we tell each other and ourselves, that we really don't need one more new pen or that roll of washi, all the while, deep down, we know we MUST have it! I think that is why many of us never quite realize 'planner peace' or 'planner bliss'. There really is no good way to take a crazy, messy, chaotic life and world, and neatly fit them into any size binder, regardless of the extension packs offered.

Ladies, there is no perfect planner, just a planner that fits where you are today, in this moment. Maybe tomorrow you will be someplace else, and need something different. Pens and washi will come and go, and we will always chase the elusive planner peace!

By the way - I am in serious happiness mode over my newest planner, a robin egg blue Carpe Diem, with Reset Girl Faith inserts, and some Illustrated Faith sticky notes, and some Happy Planner Faith Planner Stickers. Sigh......

Monday, April 3, 2017

Mommy Needs A Time Out

I remember the day clearly!! I was overwhelmed. My daughter was still fairly young, and had been having what I'll refer to as a 'rough' day.

So rough in fact, that I was quickly losing all patience, reasoning ability, and was going to blow my top! I realized that my precious daughter was in some real danger of having me blow my top in her direction, possibly all over her.

In this moment, mostly to protect her, I looked right at her and said in a measured, quite serious tone, "Mommy needs a time out. I am going to my room now. Do NOT come speak to me, knock on my door, ask me a question, or otherwise bother me unless the house is burning down."

My daughter was stunned, and silently watched as I marched myself up to my bedroom, closed (I wanted to slam, but there was a rule about that, so I followed the rule) the door, and sat on my bed staring at the ceiling, trying to calm myself. I remember saying out loud to the Lord, 'God, help'.

This was also the day I realized that maybe, just maybe, God had shown far greater wisdom than I, by not allowing any more little ones in my world. Surprisingly, this was a comforting thought that day.

Stay-at-home moms are often overlooked when it comes to 'challenging, rewarding career options'. Let me say loudly and clearly - IT IS THE HARDEST, MOST WONDERFUL CAREER EVER! Some days we forget this amidst runny noses, milk shared with fish, toys everywhere, and the sock consuming dryer!

(Can I just take a minute and suggest that the next time you need a break, you send your hubs and littles on a mission? See if they can find the elusive sock monster that lives in the dryer!! Maybe call it something different, but see if they can find it. The hubs can use tools, and the kiddos will clean up all the mess in the laundry room looking!)

Years have passed since the day I took a time out. I have probably only done it four or five times in total during the last 18 years. Most of them around the ages of 7, 13, and possibly I threatened once around 15. My daughter hates it, because she realizes that the depth of my emotion is so great, that she is in super deep trouble.

I wish I could tell you that is was solely because I needed to learn to control my temper, or that the thing(s) she did were so over the top they make great stories now. Nope. It was a culmination of many different factors. The perfect storm if you will.

Now, eighteen years later, I wonder to myself how often God wants to take a time out? Wisdom, which often does come with the years if you allow it, has shown me that I'm sure there are days where His heart is breaking, or His anger is fierce. I have also come to realize that He is God. He loves perfectly. I'm sure His emotional state is much more passionate than mine will ever be!

We can know for certain that God doesn't take timeouts. The bible says He is always near to us, if WE call on His name. That means that any timeouts are coming from our OWN hands, not His. I am so thankful, that even when I've been super naughty, or having an emotional breakdown, God doesn't send Himself to time out!! What joy to know that I can always run to Him, and how thankful am I that He has SO much more patience than I!

Stuffed Mushrooms

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