Organize My Days

It took me fifteen minutes to pick between a red faux alligator print or the silver. Both were similar in style. What was inside certainly was the same; 52 weeks, 365 days. Blank spaces waiting to be planned. Kind of like life, in a way. A blank slate, waiting for life to happen.

January 2, 2009. Dinner and drinks with Kevin and Katie.

I remember that night. I had sushi for dinner with my old coworkers, one of whom an old fling. Other guests included young girls, teenagers practically, who had taken over my old job. I felt old. I had way too much to drink. We went bar hopping. I let a man probably in his early 50’s buy me a drink and chatted with him way too long. I stumbled home and threw up sushi into my kitchen sink. Seaweed doesn’t digest very well. I don’t remember much of the night. I woke up the next morning terribly hung over, my father laughing at me when he arrived to help set up my new furniture.

I pondered the size of it. Did I want something small and compact, that I could easily carry around with me? Or did I want something that could hold more? More plans, more things to do. I fingered the soft leather of one, but liked the metallic colors better. I checked and re-checked prices.

February 27, 2009. Meeting in AC. Cubicle Shuffle.

I used to joke that I worked in the coat closet. My cubicle was located right off of the kitchen, in a sliver of space that also housed the coat closet. I would see everyone come in, I would see everyone leave. I could see my boss come in and out of his office. It made me the perfect target for playing secretary. I hated it. We were supposed to go to this big pep meeting in our other office. It was supposed to help raise our spirits during the tough economy. Instead we changed the cubicles around and I got a nicer, larger cubicle. One that I would rarely use. Barely 7 days later we found out our pay was being slashed, three people were laid off and suddenly I was playing front desk receptionist.

In the end I went with the silver, the same model as last years only a different color. I worried that maybe I had gotten the wrong one. I’m funny like that with my daily planners. It’s silly, really. To worry that your planner is perfect. It probably sat on my dresser for three days before I took off the packaging.

March 22, 2009. Amazing Race @ Jen’s-6:30. *Ice & Dessert*

My coworkers Steph, Jen and I discovered one day that we all loved Amazing Race. We decided that every week, we would take turns hosting a dinner party at our respective apartments to watch the show together. This was the first one. I can’t even remember the dessert I brought. I think it was No Pudge Fudge brownies, with frosting on top to totally cancel out the fact that it was supposed to be healthier. I had gotten into making that around that time of year. We had our favorite teams and it was a highlight of an incredibly depressing spring.

Last year’s was purple. I picked it up from Borders, the same place I got mine this year. It was on sale for three dollars and I couldn’t resist. It wasn’t my favorite but everything had been picked through. I immediately started filling in the plans. All the dinner and drink plans. All the dates. I can’t even remember who they were, what they looked like. If I liked them or not. They have names like Jack, or Blaine or Dave. I dated a lot of guys while I lived in NYC. My 2008 planner had even more dates, more drinks with random men. But I don’t remember them.

June 10, 2009. Shakespeare in the Park. DUD.

My coworker Jen was laid off the Thursday before. I sat in the receptionist desk right outside the conference room while her and David got let go. They didn’t shut the door so I wouldn’t hear, they didnt lower their voices. Even when David asked if it was OK that I was privy to this. They didn’t care. I remember Jen’s face when I went back to her cubicle afterwards. She had the biggest smile on her face as she loaded up her box. This is the happiest day of my life. We made plans for 8am to meet on line. We arrived way too late for Shakespeare in the Park so we sat on the grass in the park and ate the picnic we prepared for ourselves in the sun. We talked about LEED, about what Jen was going to do. I had just broke the news to them earlier in the week about my quitting so we talked about that for a while. We walked south through the park and split up at the base. I bought a book at Strand’s small shop along 5th Avenue.

I write down the silliest things in my planner. Gym schedules. Reminding myself to take a run through the park. Get eyeliner! Lost season finale :(. Do your laundry already. Grocery lists for Trader Joe’s. Make your big meal for the week. QUIT YOUR JOB! Send Conor a birthday card. (I never did). Don’t forget to pack your iPod and camera charger. Phone charger too! Go yell at Verizon. My new camera arrives! I BOUGHT MY PLANE TICKET TO GERMANY!! I wonder if I thought I’d look over it later and actually listen to myself.

August 3, 2009. Lobster Dinner @ Monika’s!

I officially moved out of my apartment on July 27th. That left me hopping around, apartment to apartment. First I stayed with my bestie, Lauren in midtown. She had a cute little puppy chihuahua, Paisley, and we spent friday in our pajamas watching old episodes of The O.C. I then went to stay in Williamsburg for a week with Monika, my beautiful polish friend from F.I.T. and her cat Puka, which means Fluffy in Polish. The cat hates me. But I liked tormenting her a little bit too. Hiss. One night we decided we were going to make lobster. My friend Pearl sent me YouTube videos of how cruel it is to kill lobsters by boiling them. We were boiling them anyway. We took pictures with our lobsters.

I love to look back through the pages at what I had done, at what I had accomplished. Most things were just small, like drinks with friends, a dinner here, a brunch there. August through November were filled with big things. The thursday before I flew to Europe, I wrote in big letters: DDAY and underlined it. Then there was my trip. Plane to Munich! Overnight train to Berlin. Ferry to Norway. Flight to Scotland. Ferry to Amsterdam. Bought my plane ticket to Morocco! Overnight bus to Paris. HOME 😦 😦 😦 December is depressingly blank.

Another year has come and another planner with it. It’s blank now but will soon be filled with plans for the big move across the country, plans with friends in Colorado. Interviews for jobs (hopefully). A trip to Vegas. To Wyoming. To New York. Countless dinners and drinks. Parties and events. It always makes me feel important to pull out my planner and “check plans.” To look like my life is actually organized. That my days have structure.

Right now, my days consist of staying in my pajamas all day and watching episodes of HGTV’s House Hunters. Not quite exciting fodder for my planner. I have high hopes, though.

35 Responses

  1. HAHA. I would never need to write Quit Your Job in a planner.

    Because I imagine when that day comes, I wont know the week before or even the morning before- I’ll just walk in, think about quitting and quit.

  2. I had a proper diary but then decided I would be better off with a filofax because i could just replace the pages – so now I have a lovely red filofax that i think my life revolves around lol.

    I also have a pink shiny journal that my friend decorated for me which is a journal/diary thingy rather than a day to day diary ness

    • I always thought about getting the refillable ones but I like having something new every year. I had a hardtime buying the same one in a different color this year!!

  3. I’m obsessed with House Hunters. Especially the International ones!

    I always go back through my old planners before tossing them to. I have lists of books to read and those that I’ve read. Reminders to pick up prescriptions & call people. It’s always interesting to look back but so exciting to have a blank slate for the new year!

  4. I really liked this post, I’m getting a planner, I’ve always kept my dates and appointments in the calendar on my phone. I like the idea of writing things down, it will mean more when I look back through it.

  5. I always keep my old planners because I love looking back through them, and sometimes it’s very helpful to check on when something happened. Can’t wait til you’re in my planner and vice versa!

  6. did i read trips to new york somewhere in that post!?

  7. As wonderful the big adventures are, it’s the small things are just as meaningful. A smile. A dinner with a friend. Drinks with a stranger. An evening walk. All special. Sometimes we forget about them, but it doesn’t mean that it didn’t contribute to a great year.

  8. I love looking back at old planners. Sometimes I come across an old college one I’ve forgotten to throw away and flip through it wondering how I managed to get everything done and relish in memories of certain nights 🙂

  9. i always buy a planner, fill it out for a few weeks, then forget it exists. if i had fun things like QUIT YOUR JOB and GO TO GERMANY written in there, i might be better at keeping up!

  10. I love planners and I completely understand your agonizing over which to pick. I do the same thing and I decided I don’t like my planner right now 😦

    My planner is July-July (I guess for school purposes?) so I didn’t need to get a new one yet.

  11. I love looking through my planners, seeing what was…very bittersweet and nostalgic.

  12. LOVE this! I spend a ridiculous amount of time choosing a planner. I’ll end up replacing it six months into a new year. It’s just what I do. But I love the organization and looking back on what I’ve accomplished (or didn’t).

  13. I never use a planner. I probably should, because i frequently double book myself or get cancelled on (usually by a friend who DOES Use a planner yet forgot to put me in it. The irony…)

    I loved this post!

  14. I’m that way with planners too.

    Still can’t believe the bit about the lobsters.

  15. wait, so which one did you pick?! red alligator?!

  16. aw i love this. and i always look back on my planners before i toss them out so nice to remember the year that way.

  17. I only hope I have as much of an experience as you did when I leave the States next year.

  18. Its always fun to look back and remember. I write silly little things in my planner too along with the usual things. It makes me happy when I look back over the year too.

  19. Kind of sounds like my days, only throw in a six year old 4 afternoons a week and change the TV show from HGTV (because I don’t have cable) to InuYasha on Hulu.

  20. But sometimes, I’d say it’s nice to have wide open days with no plans. Take a breather for a bit, though you might already be over it, ha.

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