Saturday, December 13, 2008

A look back

Amazing. I thought I had gone silent long enough to lose anyone who reads the blog, yet a throwaway piece on the merits of an expensive face-scraper draws 5 comments in 48 hours. Weird.

Here's something else interesting. I have a new DayTimer for 2009 (by now my sister probably has three). It's a DayRunner pro refill with 2 pages per week and 2 pages per month on tabs... perfect for the time-management nerd looking to get organized after a time in the doldrums. (For anybody who cares, I'm still using my old classic-size nylon-cover daytimer 7-ring binder; I have a bigger leather one, but it's currently on hiatus.)

Anyway, the biggest problem with buying a new 2009 calendar with 2 weeks left in 2008 is that I want to use my new toy, but there are no pages. This, as old Bush 41 said to Saddam Hussein, "can not stand." Luckily, I have just a couple of blank undated weekly pages that will allow me to bridge the gap. The thing is, some of those same pages were used for the exact same purpose LAST year when I got the old "new" DayTimer. So I get a good look at my to-do list for the last week of December 2007.

On the list: the expected year-end stuff like "take down tree" (check!), "Christmas stuff to attic" (check!), "clean up desk/files" (a favorite part of the new year routine for uber-nerd--check!), "catch up Bible reading" (check!), plus some mundane items like "laundry" (check!) and "bills" (check).

Then there are a few fun ones--"lazer tag date with Tommy" (enthusiastic check!), "lunch with Alyne (who flew in from Arkansas--check!). There's also one that gives a special satisfaction: "send prayer ministry note to church" (check!). This is cool because back then, I had just been put in charge of getting a new prayer ministry off of the ground. That item has shown up and gotten checked off a dozen times since, and the ministry is now a pretty-well-functioning routine at our church. Yes, it's a little ironic that the guy who admits to having a shabby personal prayer life is the deacon in charge of the prayer ministry. I may have a hard time with the spiritual side, but man, can I use a spreadsheet!

Then there are the failures--most notably, "put up trampoline enclosure" (no check... little arrow pointing to the right, which means, "pushed forward to be done later"). That NEVER got done. The trampoline is now just about worn out, and the enclosure pieces are STILL in the shed, awaiting my attention. And finally, on the 28th of last year, a single item, "Ankle surgery" (check). That was farewell to my long-time companion, Arthur the ugly cyst. Then, every single item from that point on gets no check.. just the little "X" which means, "dropped from goals, never gonna happen." Little did I know that this "minor" surgery would put me in bed for 3 days and on crutches for 10, and would pretty much tank the rest of Christmas vacation.

All things considered, it's fun to look back and see a snapshot of what my world looked like a year ago. I haven't saved every single DayTimer refill from the past 20 years... most of them get filed in the trash can after a year (although I DO have my pocket refill from August of '90, including my wedding, honeymoon, and first week of grad school--maybe that's a fun post for later). A to-do list isn't quite a diary (and I have failed many times at my attempts to "journal"--maybe this year I'll try again... maybe even here on this blog. We'll see.


Lori Fitzgerald said...

You are WRONG, my friend. I have four.

Pete said...

Larry, do you keep a journal of your life to pass on the lessons to your kids? it may seem weird, but if my dad had kept a daily planner of what he was to do, I might actually enjoy looking through it.

just a thought.

Coach Sal said...

I don't journal (except this blog). And most of my to-do lists are pretty mundane (today's includes "take out trash," since the truck comes on Tuesdays). I usually keep last year's pages in a storage binder, the same way I keep the previous year's bills and bank statements. But the next year, they get cleaned out. Maybe I should do better with that... or at least do something to save the blog posts. I read lots of biographies, and the best ones are always from the people who had diaries and lots of saved letters.

Lori Fitzgerald said...

I stand corrected. I counted last night and actually have 14 (!) that will take me through the end of 2009. Hello, my name is Lori, and I'm an addict.

Sadly...I'm still not happy...and I'm looking for newer and better planners as we speak.