Tuesday, 19 July 2016

"Organised chaos"?

Over on the "Awfully Big Blog Adventure" Linda Strachan has a post about being organised when you are busy - I'll describe it that way for simplicity's sake.
It reminded me of something and someone I hadn't thought of for a while. It reminded me of my main doctoral supervisor. He would sometimes run in from his home in North London, a distance of several miles. When he arrived he would sit down at his desk, grab the pad that always sat there and a pen and he would write a list of the things he wanted to do that day. It always started with the same two words. When he had finished writing the list he would cross the first item off. It was of course "make list".  He used to laugh at himself for doing it and tell people "at least I know I have achieved one thing today". 
I don't often write lists but I do make a lot of them - in my head. I plan the way I am going to do things when I am out and about - so that I don't need to backtrack. I do put things in a diary.
And we have a wall calendar. Every year in around about November I start to draw up another wall calendar. I do them on what I think is called "A2" size light cardboard. I stick the days of the week across the top and the months down the side after I have ruled all the necessary lines in. Then I fill in all the dates. I put in various birthdays and anything which is done on a regular basis. If there are any appointments already there for next year I add those.
All this is largely for the benefit of the Senior Cat. My mother made these calendars before I did. Hers looked infinitely more professional with her beautiful "infant school" printing that we could all read with ease. I typed the days and months up and they are in a computer file. I just print of a copy, cut it up and stick it on. The dates I do write in. They are just legible. The Senior Cat offered to do them once - and once only. I ended up finishing the job for him. He hates writing anything. 
At the beginning of the year the calendar looks a little bare. By the end of the year it is full of all sorts of things. We can look backwards and forwards. We can see the entire year at once. Are we free on that date? When does the Senior Cat see the doctor? Who is coming on the 8th or the 22nd or whatever other date. When is that bill due? 
I wonder whether I will make a calendar like that when it is just me? Will I sit down and write "make calendar" and then cross it off? Will it allow me to live in organised chaos?

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