Monday Minute: Plan With Me

I've been meaning for a while to add "Plan With Me" posts to my blog for a while, and with January finally drawing to a close, now seemed like a great time to start talking a little about how I keep my life organized. I've done it in small bits here and there along the way - sharing my quarterly goals as well as talking about habit stacking, the Pomodoro technique, and some of my favorite ways to stay sane in my crazy single mom life. In 2016, I even wrote about some of my favorite apps for organization and productivity - and while the list of apps I use on the regular has changed a little, the purpose for most of what I use has stayed the same. (Stay tuned for an updated version of that list, coming sometime in February.)

But I've never actually gone so far as to share my actual schedule and how I really manage my busy life - even though the planner and journaling community is totally one of the places where I feel most at home, and even though I was wild into the digital scrapbooking craze several years ago, and even though I'm madly in love with the whole concept of everything Project Life. (Excuse me while I sip my super-over-large-half-caf-double-whip-extra-lactase-because-I'm-lactose-intolerant-blahdiblah-complicated-mochaccino-on-the-rocks.)

Anyway, here's the coming week, digitally prepared because for various reasons I cannot for the life of me keep up with an actual paper planner ...

I love that quote on the side - "Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations." It's such a great reminder to take a step back and breathe because even when life is so hard and you're pretty sure there's no way you can stand up under the burdens you're carrying ... you can. And you will. And so will I, because life goes on - and while the good times always seem to be so terribly temporary, it's so important not to lose sight of the fact that bad times are equally temporary and this too shall pass. Even a mansion looks like a mess while it's being built, and sometimes I just need to remind myself to hold on for the ride.

And what a ride this week is setting up to be! Today consists of finishing this blog post while the laundry works out its issues in the washing machine, chucking the laundry in the dryer before heading off to therapy, and coming home to haul it upstairs. Josephine will be tasked with sorting it later (while I make dinner) after I pick her up from after-school drama club. And speaking of Joey, I still need to call and reschedule her podiatry appointment. (Hang on.)

Now that that's done, let's look at tomorrow, when I'll be running errands most of the day. I need to check my post office box because there's stuff waiting in it, need to pick up groceries for the week, snacks and drinks for Joey and I to have at the hospital on Wednesday, and easy comfort foods for Eden to have while she's home with me post-surgery, and also need to call her pediatrician with an update about the effects of a recent medication adjustment. I'll also be setting up things for her do while she's home healing for the next week (or two), writing a blog post, and making sure to top off my social media feeds. (I use buffer for post management, but am 100% in charge of what gets posted, and 100% present in the comments sections, in case you were wondering. It's all me, just more dependable and with regular scheduling.) I'm hoping I'll have some time squeezed in there for packing a tote bag for Wednesday, as well. We'll see.

Wednesday is surgery day, which means up early, out the door hungry, and maintaining my cool in front of my kids. We'll ride quietly to the hospital, Eden will likely start nervous-chatting once we get there, and Joey and I will await the magical moment when the Versed kicks in and everything gets a little more funny for a while. Then the doctors will take my munchkin away, I'll pretend I have to pee so I can cry a little in the bathroom without Joey seeing, she'll hug me when I come out because this kid is too observant for her own damned good, and we'll settle in for the wait - probably with snacks because she eats like a trucker and will be utterly starved by this point. The afternoon will be a tossup - we don't know how long the surgery will last, how well it will go, what complications might arise, how long recovery will take, or when we'll get home for the evening. At some point I'll also still be blogging and I also owe my Patrons February's fiction chapter on the first, so ...

Thursday is about rest and recovery for Eden, stress management and LOTS of writing for me, and back to school for Joey. We'll get Jo off to school, then Eden and I will just see where the day takes us. At some point, it'll take me to the laptop, where I'll write until my fingers fall off, or until I have to jump up and run away from it because Eden's barfing or hurting or crying or otherwise needing the skills of Dr. Mom.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday pretty much look the same as Thursday, with the variation that instead of writing new material, I'll be focused on rereading one of my novels in prep to FINALLY FOR THE LOVE OF GOD write the sequel to the aformentioned novel. If I can accomplish this during that downtime, not only will I be able to check it off my first quarterly goals list for 2018, but then I'll be able to get a head start on actually (have I mentioned finally?) writing the book.

After that ... well, after that, I'll take a breath, soldier up, and dive into the next week. Because that's what I do.

Do you keep a planner - and if so, do you prefer digital or paper formats? If you use digital planning, what apps are your favorites, and if you prefer paper, what planner are you currently using? Even if you don't keep a planner, what sorts of things are on your schedule this week? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!

Don't forget, this BLOGuary is a writing partnership! David Elliott from the Single Dad's Guide to Life has been partnering with me this month to balance my single mom perspective with the single dad side of everything from serious things like the impact of blogging and how to raise strong women to more lighthearted topics, such as crock pot foodfitness, and travel. Make sure you check out David's blog for "Week In The Life Of" post too, because seriously you guys. This guy had an INSANELY busy weekend with tons of life stuff going on, and he still managed to kick ass with his very first vlog!

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