My Mother, the Planner

Everyone knows one. That person who just always has an answer for everything, whether you asked for it or not. If you don't know that person, well, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but it's probably you. This person for me, for the past twenty seven years, has been my mother. She begins sentences with,
"The secret of [insert problamatic activity here] is..."
"What you need to do is..."

Of course, my personal favorite,
"Let me tell you something..."

Truly, I have got an earful of "something" my whole life.

Often "what I need to do" is get organized. Get a planner. The dayplanner is the bane of my existence. When I see them, artfully displayed at the local Walmart, I sigh. Usually I don't even know why I'm in that aisle, but I find myself staring longingly at their pretty canvas or leather covers, noticing the clever little squares waiting to be filled with to-do lists. I hear my mother's well meaning voice in my head. Why don't I just get a planner? It would make my life so much easier, to be organized. This little notebook full of little squares gives me a lot of guilt.

This is my equivalent of the dayplanner: Throughout the week, if I think of something important that I must remember, I write it on a scrap of paper. This scrap of paper is then stuffed into my pocket. When I go to bed I empty my pockets onto my dresser. After a few days, this pile of paper calls out to me, so I open the little scraps to discover worlds of information. Phone numbers. Plans for two weekends from now. Something interesting I saw on the Today show. Things that I need to buy the next time I'm at Walmart.

If my mother knew about this system, I would surely get a sigh, and a lecture. Mom has four calendars: one on the fridge, one in her studio upstairs, one at the office, and one in her purse. She uses them all. I buy calendars for the pictures and I very rarely write in them. Maybe I just don't care that much about organization. Let me tell you something about planners; I will be twenty eight this year and I still write notes on my arm.


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