My life stories · The stories we share

I Have a Plan(ner)

Do you like starting the year with a fresh, blank planner? I do. There’s nothing like a new year, new goals, and a fun way to track and tackle those goals.

As this year winds down, I debated over what planner to use for 2017. I debated over whether or not I should even get a planner or notebook. After all, I’ll have a newborn very soon, and our fourth child at that. My toddler got a hold of my notebook recently and gave me a nice visual on what children can do to your plans:


I could not stop laughing when I found this.

This transient nature of this notebook is kind of funny, too. I finished my other notebook a few weeks back, and, not wanting to start a brand new book when the year is almost spent, was pleased to stumble upon an old spiral-bound from high school half full of notes on Jane Eyre. Can’t waste paper! And it’s Jane Eyre…so, in between chapter notes and character sketches, I’ve been carving out temporary weekly lists for now.

(Side note: the other day, still battling a cold, fatigue, and the shallows of despair, I scribbled “malaise and soul-search” into my planner. Check! Take that, despair, I can find something to do…haha!)

Back to the new year dilemma. It’s a challenge for me in the postpartum stretch to find that balance between rest and recovery, and doing the next small thing even though it will be interrupted (think, taking all day to empty the dishwasher after 6+ attempts. Or even just the top rack of the dishwasher. Moms, you know what I mean.). I love my babies but the frustration is also real. Often in the past, I’d look at my empty planner, or my simple to do list on that planner (with no check marks!) and feel the paralysis sink in.

So, in the spirit of finding beauty in the mundane and repetitive, I pulled out a notebook and an illustrated calendar from the Target dollar spot, wielded my scissors, and slapped on some glue to make a cute, albeit very handmade planner for next year:

It’s my planner, baby, I can customize this thing! Instead of days laid out crisply and uniformly on the page, where I might hate those blank spaces, I can take a week at a time to jot family milestones, or record something uplifting, or write “take meal out of freezer”.  Oh yes, I will find a way to get a little of that productivity high. 😉

I won’t be writing much for a while in 2017. I won’t be cleaning much. Meals will probably constitute largely of the (frozen) tears of our forefathers for several weeks. But this notebook is a little gesture that helps me to value the slowness and smallness of new beginnings, and a reminder to myself that my value never lies in what I accomplish, but in the Author of my days. My days will change, but His love for me stays the same.

Here’s an early toast to the new year, friends, whether you’ll be pounding out your next best-seller (cheers!), practicing a new genre, or balancing life’s unexpected ups and downs. Personally, I’ll be cheering you on, no matter how much of the year is spent in the writing sidelines. And before I know it, I’ll be rejoining the writing race, too.




4 thoughts on “I Have a Plan(ner)

  1. I love the planner! And you’re right. Don’t feel defined by or that your worth comes from what you do. I know that four kids is a lot of pressure, but you’re a great mom and you’re still accomplishing much. Some of those things just can’t be checked off in a notebook. 🙂

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