Friday, December 28, 2012

Lifehacks for 2013: Organizing My Life

My late writing partner, Max.
A former colleague of mine had the following bit of wisdom posted on her filing cabinet:

Your lack of preparation does not constitute an emergency on my part.
I absolutely loved it.

Have you ever known people for whom every task/event/whatever developed into an epic struggle in which everyone of their acquaintance was forced to abandoned his or her own well-considered plans to belay the impending disaster?

is more than
and sticky
Due to heroic team effort, the catastrophe is averted, the Frantic Friend is effusively grateful, and the Helpful Acquaintances are madly scrambling to realign their own well-considered plans which have gone awry while they were helping the frantic friend, who has, conveniently, ambled down to the building canteen for a self-congratulatory snack.

Well, I've been both Frantic Friend and Helpful Acquaintance.  Hopefully, I've been more of the latter than the former, but, lately, I've felt more like Frantic Friend.  I do not like that feeling.  I am not the adrenaline junkie who enjoys the rush of impending doom.  I like calm.  I like to reason things out before I jump into them.  Even when it appears I've made a snap decision, it's not snap because, in all likelihood, I have considered the various possibilities previously and knew what my choice would be in a particular situation.

One stop on the fall craft fair schedule.
Except for this past year, when I had failed to account for the cumulative effect of work, blogging, the fall craft show schedule, a musician's usual Christmas madness, an annual fundraiser for which I only had limited responsibilities (and still managed to need help), co-ordinating a 5-session workshop, and having two unexpected work weekends.  Upon retrospect, I think I would have managed had I not lost the two weekends.  But, during that time, I became the Frantic Friend and I'm still playing catch-up.

I am tired of working at DefCon Red or whatever you might call it.  I'm rewording my friend's motto to assign the blame where it truly lies:

My lack of preparation should not constitute an emergency on any else's part.

It will take more than a red crate
to organize my life!
That's more like it.  The important part of the axiom hits me in the face:  my lack of preparation.  There are a number of old saws which say the same thing but one stands out:

Failure to plan is planning to fail.
So, it's time to map out the year, consider the possibilities, and line up contingencies for a schedule that looks like the Tri-D Chess board from Star Trek.  That means I may be away from the keyboard for a week or so, but I'll soon be back, and with a plan.

This is an extension of my plan outlined over on my garden blog Savory Le Jardin.  It will be a busy time, but the fact that I know a) who Bethenny Frankel is, and b) that she is divorcing her husband Jason Hoppy tells me I have time which I've underutilized.

What I've not mentioned that will be integral to the plan is the quiet time that I so desperately need:  reading, listening to the clock tick, watching for the afternoon hawk to come hunting, and writing.

Sunrises are magical
here on the farm!
So much of my life if high-volume input, and high-energy output, that I must have substantial processing time.  And I must plan for that, too.  Domains of my life must be prioritized so that activities within the domains can be integrated according to priority determined by importance or deadline (yes, I went to business school).

How will I record this master plan?  Paper planner?  Evernote?  Google calendar?  All of the above?

It makes my head hurt just thinking about it.  I think some chocolate is required for relief!

So, off I go to organize my life for 2013.  At least, that's the plan.

How are you living your Savory life?


Thursday, December 13, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Thoughts on Happiness Under the Frosty Moon

Thanksgiving Moonrise
Thanksgiving weekend brought beautiful days, but even more beautiful nights.  The moon, always so prominent this time of year, first appeared in the sky at mid-afternoon, but, on this evening, gleamed bright in the blue sky long before dark.

This lovely view capped a long, lovely day outside:  perfect sunshine, perfect temperature.  It reminded my exactly why I moved to the country.

Sometimes, it's hard to remember why I moved.  Our house in town was nicely sized, in a good neighborhood, and in a nice town.  But, it was in town--with other houses within twenty feet of mine.  It just felt so close when I knew I had property with a lot of empty space.

Road to Somewhere?
So, we built, and moved.  And we drive.  Back and forth to our jobs in town, we drive.  Every day, we drive.  Leaving in the dark and returning in the dark, we drive.  For days on end, home is shrouded in darkness.

Except this week.  The moon is bright and full, and the ice crystals hanging in the dark night sky give the night's light its traditional name:  the Frost Moon.  A bright halo seems to illuminate the entire sky, and the hoarfrost sparkles on the landscape.

It's breathtaking, spread out before me like a Currier & Ives print.

I would not see this in the city.  I would not see this if I were not moving at this hour.  There's a special quiet in the moments before dawn.  Night-time animals are returning to their beds; the deer are feeding before the light reveals them.

Frosty moon through the trees
To everything there is a season . . .

This is my season on the road, driving until the day I do not need to drive anymore.  It will be worth it; anything worth having, is worth working for.

What about you?