via Kat van Loon  Flickr Creative Commons

via Kat van Loon
Flickr Creative Commons

My Passion Planner came in the mail yesterday. Finally!

They’ve been having a lot of shipping issues, and I was doing my best to be patient, but I could not have lasted much longer with only a few pieces of computer paper as my planner. I have too much to do!

And boy, is that true.

Copying all my work and appointments from said January sheet of paper into my actual planner, it’s a lot. And February isn’t going to be much better. There’s a festival I get to cover for press which I’m excited about and some conferences for work. I may not even be able to schedule all the cleaning appointments I normally would. Yikes!

When it feels hard to do everything I want to do, I have to remind myself that I’m doing a lot. It’s hard to work three jobs and be good at any of them, let alone what I’m trying to do outside of work.

I work 25-30 hours a week at the bookstore, clean houses once or twice a week, and write two columns a week. I run a monthly open mic. I co-host a monthly social group. I keep up with this blog. I try to write performance and book reviews when I can. I’m working toward scheduling a performance workshop for this spring. I also have an intimate partner, a handful of friends or acquaintences I am trying to become friends with, and the need for alone time each week because I’m an introvert. Add in cooking, chores, taking care of my cat…. it’s a lot.

There are also a lot of festivals and conferences and events in Austin I’d like to be able to be more a part of. I want to travel to visit old friends or even to just see places I’ve never been before. I’m hoping at some point to travel for work and get to mix in some pleasure with the work. But I’m not there yet.

The point of the passion planner is to take your abstract goals, set a due date, and work backward, filling in all the steps necessary to get from A-Z. I know how to do that. That’s how I survived college and graduate school.

But in adult world, our goals don’t necessarily have timelines or due dates.

Unless we give them one.

That’s how I keep from putting things off. That’s how I actually achieve things. Decide when I will do it by, and break it down into steps so I can work toward the goal five minutes at a time.

And of course life gets in the way, and things don’t go as planned. But if you don’t have a plan, nothing will even get started.

This week I came down with a cold or a severe case of allergies. I spent the today not doing anything I didn’t feel like doing. I think I needed that. I made a pot roast, caught up on some event promotion on social media, and got in touch with some people about future appointments. Even now, there’s several hours before bed and I’m almost done with just sitting around. Almost. But hey, I’m writing this, right?

So it’s not like I haven’t even done nothing today. But I need more days where I don’t have to do anything if I don’t want to. The problem with not working the 9-5 is not having weekends. It’s too easy to fill days “off” with stuff when there’s so much going on.

It’s entirely possible that feeling sick was my body’s way of telling me to slow down for a minute. Like “Take that, bitch! Try to work when you can’t breathe.” I slept for 10+ hours two days this week, and then didn’t get out of bed for an hour after I got up. I must have needed it.

I’m hoping this planner will help me figure out how to not have to do some things, and how to be able to do other things instead. There’s a hiring issue at work that needs to be resolved first, but I want to buy a plane ticket this spring and go somewhere. I haven’t had a real vacation for over a year.

I work a lot. I want to get better at cultivating balance, or even just taking a break when I’m tired. It’s too easy to over-schedule myself. I think I’m getting into a rhythmn of sorts, and hopefully it stays that way.

But it’s time to turn some of those things I want to do someday into things I’m going to do by X day. Which may mean some other things go on the back burner for now. But I want to escape the treadmill of work, eat, sleep, repeat at least a little bit if I can.

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