Time Management, and other hopeful joys

We are one week today into 2013 (just in case you didn’t know). So far so good on this end. I’m still excited about the new year. Everything I desire still seems possible. I am imprinting this mindset in order to get back to it weeks from now when the world has spun me around and set me loose.

This morning I sat at my desk with the intent of organizing myself on my planner. I still buy one of those paper ones, and I like a plain thin one from Dollar General, on which I can write with my blue ink pen. Let me just say that I am already proficient at using paper and pen, they can be cheaply  and quickly replaced when they don’t work, can be used without electricity, and also for doodling when thinking. I’ll use them ’til I die.

In order to plan, though, I had to dig myself out. I have not seen the top of my desk in over six months. I solved that problem by sweeping everything into a plastic basket to deal with at a later date. Or never. I also found that I no longer needed things like the heavy Oxford Dictionary that has been on my desk for 20 years. Nor did I need to keep the plastic pen holder that I have never liked, just because my mother gave it to me. I brought in a blue pottery vase that delights my eyes. And I left the wind-up monkey, not only for the grands, but for me.

I had quite a number of bits of paper scattered on my desk on which I scribble things I don’t want to forget. I have to look at each of these as I drop them into the pile in the basket. On one bit of paper is the list of Nanny McPhee‘s medals; one each for courage, kindness, resolve, imagination, enthusiasm, and leaps of faith. Where shall I keep that list?

photoThen there is the paragraph of wisdom from Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I looked it up one day early last year (I know this because it was on the bottom of the pile.) and scribbled it on yellow foolscap. I’ve probably shared it here before, but it bears repeating.

If one sets aside time for a business appointment, a trip to the hairdresser, a social engagement, or a shopping expedition, that time is accepted as inviolable. But if one says: ‘I cannot come because that is my hour to be alone,’ one is considered rude, egotistical or strange. What a commentary on our civilization, when being alone is considered suspect; when one has to apologize for it, make excuses, hide the fact that one practices it–like a secret vice! ~Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea.

I have set as my Word(s) for the Year: Seek Joy. By managing my time, I can save myself from two thieves of joy: hurry and indecision. I’ve finally come to the clear acceptance that when I say yes to doing one thing, I must say no to many other things. Let me choose those things that contribute to my joy.

Here is my desk now. It contributes to my joy:


I put the list of Nanny McPhee’s medals back on the desk. Maybe I’ll make myself some.

“…the joy of the Lord is your strength.” ~Nehemiah 8:10