“First Day of the Rest of Your Life”

I’ve heard that saying for so many years.  It’s really kind of cliched now, but I can’t help loving it.  Today.  Right now.  It’s the first day of the rest of your life.  It may be your last too!  Who knows.  But so many of us have a thing about the new– fresh.  We like new calendars, new notebooks, new planners, new hobbies, new books, dolls, and cars (for the scent don’tcha know).

So, with a new outlook ahead of us, why not embrace it?

Well, right now, it feels as if my life has changed– forever.  And that’s ok.  However, if it’s going to be very different, why not embrace that and live it purposefully?  Ok, look, I do that a lot anyway.  I mean, there are a lot of things I do simply because I want to look back on my life 40 years from now, and have no regrets– at least on the past 40 years!  So, for some time now, I’ve been careful about what I do and when.  However, in planning for these changes, I decided to– well– plan!

Throughout my life, I’ve gone through times when a schedule would have broken me and other times when it rescued me from myself.  I’m now in the latter times… so to speak.

I made a schedule– just for me.  On it, I included time slots for things like

  • Showering
  • Eating
  • Cleaning (specific rooms/areas on specific days)
  • Educating the children
  • Shopping (ugh)
  • Exercise (double ugh)
  • Computer work (plans, computer clean up, lists, etc)
  • Hobbies
  • Blogging
  • Home projects (maybe things like Roman Shades will get done, eh?)
  • Writing
  • Writing
  • and more Writing
  • Christmas Presents (yep… scheduled work on ’em separate from hobbies.  Gee, I feel brilliant)

There’s more, but you get the gist.  I got specific.  Things like Housework have specific things to do on each day.  Reminders to go inspect everyone’s sheets (I’m makin’ those for them too) and so forth.  I have special segments for “pleasure writing” (working on whatever I want) “project writing” (the current primary book), “750 words writing”  exactly what it says… that changes from more on pleasure to a journal of sorts and even to different projects for the fun of it.  I have sections for working on blog design, book covers, and articles for CanAm Author Services.  Yes… more work.  I love it.

That’s what I learned about myself in this process.  I really do love work.  I am a very lazy person by nature.  I am.  I know it.  But I also love work when I know what I need to do and I want to get it done.  So, I scheduled my life to take ALL of that into consideration.

I wrote my schedule into Excel.  Each type of  work is given a specific color so that I can look at it and see all the “green” and have proof for myself that I did do active things that day.  I can look at yellow and be reminded that my kids were educated.  I can look at pink and see the huge chunks of time that food procurement, preparation, and partaking of really takes.  I can flip to another sheet and see the week’s menus (complete with suggestions for desserts.  I don’t make those desserts every day, but the ideas are there in case I feel like we might want a treat but my brain is too dead to think of one.  WOOT.)   Look, does it mean I’m going to follow the “script” perfectly every day?  Not hardly.  However, particularly on days when I am exhausted, I have something to tell me what to do and when.  It works.

I’ve been using it for two weeks now.  Have I done a full day exactly as I need to?  Nope.  But I’ve done a lot more on days that I would have done nothing.  That’s cool.

I have a lot to do and not much time to do it.  I have a lot on my plate and the plate got bigger recently.  This might help me eat that plate of elephants one bit at a time.

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