Reflection: My relationship with calendars has changed over time; and it’s more than just a shift from paper to digital. Maybe the way YOU relate to your calendar is changing, too.
In my childhood, the calendar was my parents’ domain. In those days, businesses gifted customers with calendars in December, in hopes that theirs would be the one that hung in your kitchen all year round. Mom and Dad recorded meetings and special events, but the calendar also served as a record of life on the farm with notes about temperatures, rainfall, start and end dates for seeding, haying, and harvest.
As a teenager – in high school and then university – my own calendar was all about class schedules and exams, extracurricular activities, and part time work.
When I became a working parent, our family calendar served as control central keeping us on track and alerting us to potential conflicts between our travel schedules and children’s’ activities.
In the early days of my business, I looked at the calendar as an indicator of success. If it was filled with workshops and speaking engagements, that signaled more money in the bank. Too much white space left me anxious and triggered a flurry of promotion, marketing, and program development.
As the business grew, I noticed patterns in the way things booked up and started to embrace that ebb and flow. I learned to treat those open weeks as opportunities to regroup, relax, and renew. I trusted that the business would survive and so would I!
At this stage in my life, with my children grown and launched, my husband fully retired from paid work, and our grandchildren still eager to enjoy our company, I find that the worlds of family, art and travel are calling.
Unlike in earlier days, I am no longer preoccupied with establishing my reputation and growing my business to dizzying heights. I DO choose to continue to serve through my speaking, writing, and art. I just prefer to do that in ways that involve much less striving and significantly less stress.
I now actively welcome open spaces in my calendar. That white space no longer reads as a sign of failure but rather a sign of freedom and flexibility.
Here’s how I look at those open days now: It’s not so much about doing ‘nothing’ as it is about being open to ‘everything’ instead of being locked into ‘something’.
As we start this new year of 2018, each of us is at a different age and stage of life. Wherever you are along that continuum, give some thought to your relationship with time – both what it is and what you would like it to be.
How will you choose to fill – or not fill – your calendar and the days that stretch ahead?
Quotes Of The Week: One day we’re going to wake up and there won’t be any time left to do the things we’ve always wanted to do. – Paul Coelho
We’ll never regret doing more of what puts the light on in our eyes – we’ll only regret not doing it sooner. – Sam Horn
Editor’s Note Re Pause Ezine: Those of you who have been long time subscribers to Pause ezine know that in recent years, I’ve experimented with different formats – a standard version, video versions, poster versions and more. I’ve also experimented with varied publishing schedules.
I’ve been thinking about how I want to approach this 18th year of Pause. In the interests of freedom and flexibility, I’m committing to a minimum of twelve editions this year (at least one a month). I may publish more often – as the spirit and impulse move me – but definitely no more than once a week, which is how things were from the beginning.
That means you’ll hear from me somewhere between 12 and 52 times this year. And, I hope to hear from you as you share your reactions to these messages, and news about what’s unfolding in your worlds.
Happy New Year one and all!
PS – If any of you are interested in a peek at our 2017 Katz Family Photo Montage, this link will take you there.