Girl In Maths' latest post in her Spotlight On A Website series focused on Philofaxy. In particular she linked to several posts that either I commented on or wrote as a guest poster before Nan asked me to become a regular contributor to the blog. Wow, there was a whole lot of planner angst going on in my comments!
Those were the days before I started this blog, Plannerisms, as a release for my planner angst. Back then, my planner venting took the form of sending detailed emails to my sister going back and forth on which planner I should or shouldn't be using. Seriously, my sister is a saint with extreme patience for putting up with me for so long! She must've wanted to say, "It doesn't MATTER, just choose one!!" But, she never did. She was always very understanding!
I read Philofaxy religiously, hoping to find a solution to my Filofax issues. I had been using my personal Buckingham for several years with varying success. Finally I felt like my Filo was too fat and out of control, so for 2005 I used a bound-book A6 size day per page planner. At the beginning of that year I gave birth to my first child, and moved to Russia two months later.
Before that point in time, my husband and I had traveled the world together, both of us doing cool things. We both worked in Alaska and Hawaii. We were both Peace Corps volunteers in Nepal. We were both professionals in Washington DC.
Then suddenly, I was a new mother, a stay-at-home-mom, in a foreign country where I didn't know anybody. I was all alone with a baby 12 hours per day, while my husband was out doing big diplomatic stuff in Russia.
I had a complete identity crisis.
A year and a half after my daughter was born, her brother was born. Suddenly I had two kids under two years old, and was out of my mind with sleep deprivation and diaper-changing.
Add to all of this the fact that we traveled internationally often. In the 3 years we were in Russia, we made 5 round-trips to the US and back. With babies and toddlers. 30 hours door to door. Anyone who has ever flown with a baby or toddler can image how hellish those journeys were. But at the time it was the only way for the grandparents to see the kids as babies.
And, we traveled to Scotland at least once per year for vacation, as a much-needed escape to the countryside and away from the urban grind.
So my planner needs were off the charts: coping with two babies and the household while at home, and having all of our international, medical, and contacts information with me when we traveled.
You can get a glimpse of my planner insanity in my comments on this Philofaxy post of Nan's. And, my big comment on this post pretty much sums it up. Wow!
But despite my comment, everyone who reads this blog knows that my internal struggle has not ended. It continues even now.
I do think of my planner as a reflection of my personality. I struggle with finding the right planner for my needs, which change all the time. And, I can assume, my needs will continue to change. I just need to find a planner that can keep up!
As an example, let's review my year so far:
At the beginning of January I was living in Scotland, I thought indefinitely. My kids were in school and weekly activities, and we traveled occasionally within Scotland.
Then two weeks later everything was turned on its head as we discovered we would be moving to Indonesia in just 8 weeks. I felt like the floor had dropped out from under me. Suddenly all of my plans and goals were irrelevant. I felt like throwing all of my planners out.
But luckily I didn't because soon the moving preparations geared up, and I needed all the planning power I could get.
We arrived here in Indonesia last month, and it's been non-stop adjustment since then. Househunting, getting the kids into school, meeting new people and capturing loads of information.
Now I'm finally starting to settle in a little bit, and get back into a routine of school, activities, and housework. Add to that job searching (to start work in August when both kids will be in school). And scheming ways to get back to Scotland.
Then if all goes well, we'll be moving back to Scotland again next year! It would be our third international move in three years!
I don't know what planner could possibly adapt to all of these circumstances, while still being small enough to fit in my everyday bag.