12 Nov Getting Organized for Next Year: Your Datebook
Organization is part of our spiritual practice: raise clarity first, so abundance has somewhere to go. (The Universe is an abundant place. If your corner of it’s not, something you don’t want is abundantly in the way.)
I first learned about datebooks when I lived in Paris in my twenties. Their ubiquity surprised me: I had never seen people really use them in southern California. I joined, investing in my first agenda from La Librairie des femmes, a feminist publisher and bookstore on the Left Bank: soft spring green leather (cruelty-full, from calves) with gilt corners. Gorgeous.
Back in the US, for years I sent a $20 to the Paris publisher of my next-favorite agenda. My datebook is an event. Now I buy them from Paperblanks.
What about your datebook? I write “datebook” because I don’t like electronic personal organizers. But if you do: have you thought about what you want in yours this year, and what you want out? What features did you use last year? What features did you really miss? You are in charge. Did you notice? Let your device serve your life.
For those of us whose idea of “handheld” means a smallish bound thing we write in with one hand and hold with the other (that is not much bigger than an e-thing), I will share some important news. This year, I went from a spiral-bound fine-art calendar that kept falling apart by the end of the year to the kind pictured at the top of this post.
It was world-changing: no more fine art, just sensual beauty outside–like old leather but cruelty-free, from paper cows–and inside welcoming me to my own personal mystery: an entire spacious, unrevealed year at my fingertips, week by exquisitely organized week. Delicious.
Some features this datebook has that I need second only to beauty: displays of a week at a time; charts of what holiday it is around the world; a detachable address book for the people in my three lives (personal, professional, parental); a little pouch for the address book and the paper with the Fatiha on it I am memorizing in Arabic; blank pages for inspiring quotes I write or find; and placemarker ribbons in two different colors.
Did I mention beauty? We become what we see. Be the beauty you want to see in the world; see the beauty you want to be in the world. (Related to this, I loved Seth Godin’s ever-brief post, “Association.” It’s well worth your click.)
Whatever means you choose, bless your choice, learn from it, and use it! to carve space for all you love. Now is a good time to begin putting in all the “apps”–your people’s phone numbers and birthdates, dates with yourself, goals, reminders of things daily life grinds out of memory (I calendar backing up my hard drive and blog posts)–even dreaming-breaks or times you Refuse to Do Anything. “If you build it, it will come.” If it’s on your calendar, and you change the date, it’s still on your calendar. (Unless you move it too much, rich self-observation.) But if it’s not on your calendar…
What would you like next year to include?
That’s really the question. Comment here. You never know how you might help another person remember what’s important. I would love to read what’s precious to you to build into your next year.