"Why don't you just use your phone?"
"Are you really going to write that down?"
"What do you need that for?"
I'll admit that the same thought always flashes through my mind, right before the resentment at their presumptive rudeness latches onto the emotional center of my brain. "Does she have so little in her mind that she does not need to write it down?"
I know! I am just as rude and judgmental as the well-meaner, right? Still, it's truth. It might be truth born of resentment or self-defense. But it's real and it's honest. (Now seems a good time to say that I am ashamed and appropriately sorry. I don't mean to be petty and snarky and at least I didn't say it outloud.) (I blogged about it, but that is TOTALLY DIFFERENT. Totally.)
Writing it down is my coping mechanism. It's my cafe' au lait, my blackberry wine, my slow dance. Someone who lacks that understanding is as foreign to me as a human being who does not need oxygen. I've had periods in my life when I did not use a planner. For a while, I used a Palm Pilot. I owned a blackberry and a laptop and Outlook. I still own an Android phone, which serves as a useful coupon source, alarm, and address book. But when I reflect back at the darkest, most stressful parts of my life, they happened when I tried to rely only on technology. It sounds exaggerated and insane, but there it is. The truth. I need paper.
The moment something occurs to me, I can open my planner and jot it on the capture page.
I can manage my obligations (and my stress level) by making sure my appointments are not too numerous and demanding. One glance at my monthly calendar and I know that I haven't had a playdate (translation: appetizers and wine with my very best girlfriends) in way too long.
If I need to think something out, I have a place to do so. I never lose those thoughts. I do not have to rethink them or, more likely, dwell.
Things that have to get done? They happen. Or I make a conscious decision not to do them. But I ultimately have the power to decide what goes on the weekly pages - my task list. When the tasks are done, I can play. I can sip pina coladas on the beach, holding my husband's hand, knowing things won't fall apart. That kind of calm is inspiring.
Maybe, next time I hear the criticisms, I'll just sip my coffee and smile. Cheers.