Day planner holds keys to life

No job too small that it doesn't deserve its own space in book of daily reminders

Posted: Sunday, March 16, 2003

Wow! I'm tired!

I've been up for little over an hour and I've checked and responded to e-mails, taken my husband to work, straightened up the kitchen, started laundry and fed the dogs.

I need a break already. A nap sounds great.

Oh wait, now I need to pay the bills, run some errands, go grocery shopping, dust, vacuum, pick up the house oh wait, I have to get this column done.

Wow! I'm really tired!

Is it me or is does everyone have days like this?

Lately, I seem to be having a lot of them. I can't seem to do what's already on my plate in what little time I have each day, yet I find myself adding to it all the time.

I'm anal in the way I sit down each day and make a list in my day planner, and then I put boxes next to each item so I can fill them in for a sense of accomplishment. Funny part is, that takes time, too. And don't even get me going about using colored pens!

I've noticed how much I'm getting to rely on my planner, too. Even my husband, Mark, relies on it.

"Hey, I need to call the doctor about making an appointment next Tuesday. Would you write that down for me?"

Our whole lives are in that book.

I don't know what I would ever do if I lost it, but I suspect men would have to eventually come and take me away in a straightjacket as I mumbled something like "No, no, I can't possibly go, it's not on my list of things to do today."

My friends make fun of me, but I keep trying to tell them how organized it keeps me.

Trouble is, the more I add, the less organized I am.

Something has to give, and unfortunately that something has been my memory. I suppose it's because I know if I do lose my mind, I can quickly gain it back with one glance at my planner.

"Oh yeah, that's who I am. I forgot."

My planner is my crutch -- my vice.

Some people have tobacco, some have alcohol, I have my day planner.

I rely on it for those menial tasks, too, like to take my pills or feed the dogs. I have to. I already have that little problem of going into a room to do one thing then getting sidetracked until I end up doing something completely unrelated. You know what I mean?

Let's say I need a fresh hand towel for the bathroom, so I walk to the hall closet, open the door and the first thing that catches my eye is the broom, so I pull it out and start sweeping the kitchen, but I forgot the dust pan.

Back to the closet.

This time I spy the toilet bowl cleaner, so I grab that, head to the bathroom and then I remember the hand towel.

Back to the closet.

The dust cloth is straight in my vision this time, so I start dusting the living room, working my way around the room to the entertainment center, down to the VCR where there are empty VCR boxes. I turn on the TV and hit "play" to make sure the right videocassette goes into the right box, and two hours later I'm sitting there sobbing over some romantic comedy I've seen a hundred times.

By now I've completely forgotten about the hand towel, that is until I go to the bathroom to get a tissue and wash my face.

Does that ever happen to you?

It's really bad when the lack of memory begins to show up at work.

I start a project, get interrupted and -- talk about sidetracked!

Reporters patiently sit at my desk while I try to make my way back to where they need me. Lately, more often than not, I don't quite make it.

"Uh, so do you need me to do the story or not?" I hear as I fumble through computer files not having a clue as to what I was looking for.

"What story?"

It just isn't pretty. Plus it's pretty difficult to have that authoritative look when you can't think about anything, except that caffeine would be a great thing to possess at that moment.

"Focus, focus, focus!" your brain shouts at you. "Try to look like you know what you're doing ... "

"Never mind. I'll go ask Lori," and the reporter is gone.

Sigh.

Yes, this is normal everyday life for me. So to make sure it becomes a pattern lifestyle, I continually add to the list.

As if working, taking care of the home and dogs weren't enough, I took up dog agility -- where I train my dogs to run an obstacle course. Then, as if that weren't enough, I became so addicted, going to trials on various weekends throughout the year, that I agreed to teach agility classes -- first one, then two, now three.

And if that leaves me time for leftovers, I found something to make sure there is just enough time for me to get between five and six hours of sleep each night: Mark and I have decided we should look for a new house -- you know, something to do in our spare time.

So what was I saying? Oops, just checked my planner and it says I need to get this column done so I can run some errands, pay some bills, go grocery shopping, dust, vacuum, pick up the house, teach my dog class Wow! I'm tired!

Dori Lynn Anderson is the assistant editor of the Peninsula Clarion.



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