I started to pay bills on December 30, but remembered to hold off for a couple of days. Why? Because if I write a handful of checks on January 1, it will jumpstart my mind into 2016 mode and writing 2016 (versus 2015) on everything. Well, until it’s time to do my tax return and I have to revert back to all things 2015.
This Christmas, I thought I did an extra good job of curbing spending. Unfortunately, my car noticed this and ran up repair bills just shy of a grand. Happy post-holiday to me! So much for entering 2016 in the black. But red really does make a statement. In my case, it’s “Why me?!”
I really shouldn’t have begun that sentence with the word “so,” as it’s the first of the words Lake Superior State University had on its recently published list of words that should be banished from the English language. While it’s okay to continue to use “so” as in “for the Bible tells me so,” the word needs to cease being used as an empty lead to a sentence.
Keeping track of such things, including the annoyingly overused words I plan to send in for consideration on next year’s banished word list, got swallowed up during December amidst all the musical, medical, employment, family and community happenings that came at me fast and furious. So fast, in fact, I had to stick up a butterfly net to catch the tail end of the month. That was tough, as I was already booking ahead into 2016 as far back as August.
Problem was, I had no date book or planner for 2016, so I mostly just wrote on my hands any upcoming appointments I needed to calendar, followed by making a mental note not to wash them until I had transferred the details to a more permanent location. It’s not the kind of system I would recommend, but you have to work with what you’ve got.
Clearly, I needed a planner, but not just any planner. Historically, I have messed up big-time by rushing out and buying the first one I saw just so I could check off “obtain planner” on my to-do list. Allowing my employer to pick one out for me was an equally bad office-kind-of arranged marriage. I should know. I suffered all last year trying to fit 10-daily appointments in boxes approximately the size of a head of a pin. Even repeatedly reminding myself that 2015 planner was free did not lessen my annoyance with it.
While I have in the past ordered planners online and through mail-order catalogs, I’m too persnickety about them to trust that process. I like to personally feel the pages between my fingers, mentally transfer daily data entries onto its lined spaces and see if it will physically fit into my purse and/or camera bag.
Relying on both objective and subjective criteria, I ventured in to Barnes & Noble last week to check out datebooks and planners. They had the usual nature-scened offerings, others featuring the works of prominent artists, and still others with photos of either dogs, cats or quotes adorning the covers and pages. Unfortunately, some of the ones I liked stylistically, did not address the practical functions I desire.
Call me concrete in my thinking, but I like to see full-month calendar pages throughout my datebook/planner. I need that visual more than I need cutesy day of the week divisions that defy my sense of time and offend my sense of space. I need days and dates to fall in a linear order, left to right, even more than cool graphic design.
I spent nearly an hour sorting through all Barnes & Noble calendars before settling upon a gold-colored Gallery Leather 2016 Weekly Professional Planner. It was originally priced at $19.95, but was 50% the day I purchased it. In addition to the full-page monthly calendars and anal user linear date listings, it sported approximately 30 lined pages at the back for note-taking. To someone who forgets what is not written down (and much of what is!), that became its selling point.
New planner in hand, I officially decree 2016 open for business.