0061. [ 2021 planning ]

Last week, I found myself very excited for a very dorky reason. 

February 2021 perfectly lines up for a Monday start calendar! A perfect rectangle to track my habits, easy weeks when I'm trying to figure out what the actual date is...

For most of 2020 my wall calendar sat on March. Two sandhill cranes suspended in a moment, kind of like us - birds relentlessly coasting the space-time continuum. In August, when I moved said calendar from one apartment wall to an adjacent one, I finally flipped it to the correct month. It felt weird but nice. August, pandemic or no, is always a wonderful month. 

September found me stuck again, blame this striking belted kingfisher and a soothing color scheme. In November I switched him her out for a chickadee, coincidentally noticing, tiny real live ones were using the shrub outside my studio window as a home. 

To my memory, I've never purchased a (new) wall calendar. They seemed too restrictive and not portable - what was the purpose? At some point, AB started gifting me a panda calendar and I grew to love them. The cheery images never disappointing and our plans laid out before our eyes. The year I kindly asked him to stop this sweet tradition, a fun one unexpectedly began...

The past three Decembers my future MIL has handed me a fun little bundle - her reject calendars, freebies from various organizations they donate to. She would never consider them a gift but I take the bundle with excitement, exactly my kind of gift. The ones I don't love head to the Reuse and I keep a couple. One to track and plan my work days and one or two with the best cutest photos to grace my walls as inspiration. When I found these wooden clip hangers at my Reuse I imagined them working just so. 

In March, when everything but spring and AB's birthday were cancelled, I didn't just stop turning pages. I also stopped making monthlies and testing ideas for a 2020 planner. It felt unnecessary, a waste of perfectly sized paper - the leftovers from my beloved 2019 book. A yearly joy reduced to a harsh reminder: the reality of a world under lockdown. When mid-April rolled around and it felt less scary to work again I poured my energy into weeklies. An easy way to use up the absurd amount of looseleaf I've acquired - noncommittal, not special, but just right. Practical, familiar, and roomy enough for an income log, work somehow increasing while millions lost jobs.  

That (03) still sits on my desk, but with a new month, a new year and a promising light at the end of the tunnel, I'm excited to be back at it. Last week, after a wet, snowy walk I proclaimed my love for February. Two of my siblings have birthdays and it's the shortest - the best for committing to a habit. As a teacher, it was a time to enjoy a week off and get away. I'm still not going anywhere but a girl can dream and reminisce. Indulge in the creativity and pleasure that planning has always brought me. Put my rainbow highlighters, pens and markers to delightful use: commemorating life, birthdays, fake and real anniversaries, moon rocks and cycles. 

There is something so invigorating about this month, winter my ritualistic time to pursue my inner creative - mostly through organizing and calendars. As I reworked my studio and pondered my 'ed cal' I realized - paper! My sketchbook released from older plans and updated with post plans, a few ideas hiding in there, waiting to be re-found. On my walls a baby rhino and a polar bear make me smile every time I see them and just this weekend a spacious desk calendar came my way. Another passed on freebie, this time from a kind stranger. Never not grateful for my circular community and the wonders that have come my way.

While a structured planner will no doubt return, I am loving this looseness. The tiny calendar, scrawled on the remnants of an old prototype, sits on my desk. The rumply, scattered pages (unceremoniously) pop into a binder as the months pass, documenting a world still turning, tabs and dividers growing along with dreams still in the works. As I flipped through filled in pages I felt compelled to re-share this design that I love and look forward to using again soon - ideas if you find yourself wanting (or needing) to dream and plan. 


Are you a planner? How do you keep track of the days? 


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