Planning in Pencil

I’m a recovering planner junkie. I love planners and pretty quotes and stickers and felt tipped pens in 50 colors and a week that’s planned out by color coordinated topics oooo and washi tape, yes! But I had to start planning less to actually be productive and maintain some sanity. Not everything has to be an art project. I use Google calendar and some online tools but I function better with a book. So I had to invest in pencils.

Not just any pencil would do. The way a writing instrument glides on a paper is huge to me. Some can make me want to clench my teeth like the feel of nails on a chalk board. Based on that and the need for a lack of creativity in some areas of my life, the wooden No. 2, Ticonderoga, yellow pencils won and are my new BFF. No matter how well we do the planning, plans change and life happens and that should be okay.

One thing I struggle with is planning our school year. This has never been something I’ve done well. This year I tried to be very realistic. We need time off regularly but I don’t always know when that time will be. After considering lots of options I decided we would do 3 weeks on 1 week off to give us some breathing room and a place for catchup if life happened. And as is typical, life happened, on day one!

The day before school rolled around and a special request came in – for the kids to spend the night away for a birthday. I could have said no. After all, I spent hours planning out our year! But the truth is, this is a huge reason we homeschool. The last minutes. The memories we can make. The relationships we build. The freedom to say ‘yes’ to the moments that matter most.

Planning in pencil makes that a little easier. If I really want to, I can erase and readjust without having to watch a perfect planned, planner page be mutilated. I honestly will just rewrite the days of the week this time.

I haven’t missed the stickers as much as I thought I would over the last few months. And I’ve gotten quite a bit more diligent about erasing the things that are unproductive. Flexibility is so important and it’s something I want to teach our kids to emulate. As a rule, we have to be diligent in our responsibilities, but we also must be diligent to live a life full of cherished memories and love others well. Cue the No. 2.

Published by Anna Marcella

Wife, mom, teacher, creator.

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