Smoothing my hand over the largely blank pages of my new planner, I know the endless time and opportunity they suggest are an illusion. In short order my new work schedule will begin to fill the little blocks. Projects around the house and property will crowd into the weekends and weeknights, jostling museum events for places on the page. Very soon I'll find myself having to search for places to write in visits with friends and will stare at the lists of places to be and wonder where mundane tasks like vacuuming and essentials like making dinner are supposed to fit.
But I am a smart girl, and I learn my experiences. So this year, I'm taking the proactive approach. I've pulled out my lists - Reflections on Summer & Must Not Miss This Fall. I've flipped forward to next summer and written in the things we loved most about this summer so they won't be forgotten or lost in the shuffle – hunting for wild apples and hickory nuts in woods with our neighbors, the Warrior Dash, Sunday afternoons spent with friends at a BBQ or a wine tasting.
I've weighed the weeks this fall, and begun to annotate them with the delights of the season too important to be missed - a trip to the cider mill I've heard so much about, pumpkin spice lattes with a friend, crisp fall hikes with my husband and a wildly happy border collie. Already I've started to draw lines in the sand, precluding the automatic guilt- or habit- induced responses of “sure I can do that” when chances to take on more than I can reasonably do come up in the next few weeks/ months.
Most importantly, I'm building in breathing room. Did you know that it's perfectly acceptable to block out down time in your planner (and your life)? Your health, your life and your relationships are important -make time for them first! Don't run panting and exhausted through the holidays and into next year. Decide right now to give yourself the time and permission to enjoy this fall.
After all, if the Mayans were correct it could be the last fall we have, right? Just kidding... everyone knows they were only counting down to the Hobbit movie! (Thank you for that nugget, Pinterest.)
Joking aside, your time is your own and you are responsible for how you spent it. So grab your bucket list, your phone and you calendar and spend a little time this weekend making sure that the really important things make it onto your schedule this fall!