Skip to main content


It's Five Minute Friday! Founded by Lisa-Jo, it's a weekly flashmob of bloggers, all writing for five minutes (no stopping, no editing!) on a prompt provided by sweet Kate, then linking up and sharing a little comment love. For more details, more posts, and/or to join in, head here!

I don't remember when I first got a planner. I do know that it was a dark pink one with a little ruler and some stickers in the back and a slightly padded cover that snapped closed, and I was very excited about it because we had to order it from American Girl and then I impatiently stalked the mailman until it came.

As soon as it arrived, and with every subsequent planner, I promptly sat down and filled in the information from the days past (I don't think I've ever managed to get one before it started) and then went in and wrote down the things that happened in a regular and predictable manner (like, church or weekly knitting meetings). If there wasn't something written on every day, then why did I even have a planner? Even if it was a very tenuously made plan, I would still write it down, just to have something to write - so there were a lot of small parenthetical "nvm"s (neverminds) scattered throughout.

After a few years, I noticed something. I was filling all the pages with writing but there was still a sense of emptiness, and by March I would usually fall off the planner wagon because my schedule was so rote that I had it memorized (what of it hadn't been nvm'd). By fall I would have forgotten this and I would excitedly get a new planner. I'd choose a type slightly different than the year before, subconsciously, like the fact that the layout was lined or unlined made some sort of difference. Like having a pretty place to keep track of all of the amazing, fun adventures that I had would somehow make them happen.

The funny thing was, whenever I did do something grand and exciting, I didn't ever need to write anything down. Sometimes the adventures were spontaneous and unplanned, and the ones that weren't were sufficiently memorable that I was able to mentally keep track of them (or I used a complex system of Post-It Notes, instead...)

Now I need a planner again, because I can't keep up with four different people's schedules - my life is filled in a different way. Things don't happen the same way every week, and appointments are planned months in advance (due dates, Army schools, haircuts, pediatrician check ups...) I've also learned to accept the spontaneous adventures, knowing that looking back on a mostly blank planner is probably my best indicator of a life that was gone out and lived, instead of only being dreamed about.

So, are your days actually filled with wonder (be it small or great) or do they just have the illusion of fullness?


Mollie Hardman said…
I have totally done that, gotten a planner after the fact and gone back and written things in. It's like if I didn't write them down they didn't happen. LOL.
I love that though, "the illusion of fullness." That's a lot to think about. And even if our days are filled with activity are they worthwhile pursuits? Great post Sarah!
THIS: I've also learned to accept the spontaneous adventures, knowing that looking back on a mostly blank planner is probably my best indicator of a life that was gone out and lived, instead of only being dreamed about. : is what causes ever planner to fail for me. No room it seems for spontaneity. :)
Holly said…
Love "nvm"--totally using it in my planner now! I also like your comment note that this is a conversation, not a monologue. Happy #FMFparty! :)
Melissa said…
I can totally relate!! I love planners, but sometimes it really does highlight how much each day looks the EXACT same! :)
Tanya Anurag said…
Not much of a planner person but this post makes me want one. nvm- my planner is gonna be empty mostly ;)

Visiting from FMF,

Popular posts from this blog

31 Days of Unraveling Designs

It's that time of year again... the 31 Days writing challenge starts today! Bloggers from all over will be writing every day of the month of October on the topic of their choosing. This will be my fourth year participating - the first year I did 7 for 31, and spent a month going through Jen Hatmaker's book 7. The second year I did 31 Days of Sustainable Dwelling, and wrote about local and fair trade living. Last year I was busy but still wanted to participate, so I went the easy route with 31 Days of Everyday Beautiful.

This year I'm diving into my greatest passion: knitting! I'll spend this month looking at past designs and talking about the inspiration behind them, so there will be plenty of regular life mixed in with the stitching - and there may be discount codes for the patterns that I write about. You'll just have to read and see!

Pattern index:

Pageturner Mitts
Hogwarts House Tie
Urban Artemis
Graffiti for Humanity
Love Out Loud
Strange Jacket


In order to change your knitting, you must first change yourself. I've lost track of how many times I've said that, or how many people I've said it to. Frustrated new knitters wondering why their work is loose or tight or uneven or really anything less than perfect. But something I love about knitting is that it's a record of your inner dialogue. That swatch knit at the yarn store table with a cozy cup of coffee and a helpful (and more experienced) knitter nearby is going to be a lot more relaxed than the sweater begun a week later while sitting next to a hospital bed - just like the knitter.

Unfortunately, this also applies to my own knitting. For years, I was apparently unaffected by the shifts and turmoils in my own life, so I assumed that I was exempt from the rule - when the reality was, in fact, that I wasn't really experiencing any of those on anything deeper than a surface level because everything was deadened by depression. When I finally started to really…


A few years ago, I was introduced to the concept of replacing the traditional list of resolutions with a single word. It appealed to me - I am not a big list person, but I love language and words and meanings and etymology and metaphor and... ahem. Ennyhoo. I liked the idea.
I've never chosen the word. It's always presented itself to me - and last year was no different. Pacific was very insistent, even though I tried to argue with it. Pacific? What does that even mean? What am I supposed to do with that?
But I accepted it, and I'm glad I did. I learned about depth and calm, about storm and nurture, about faith and adventure - and about the unstoppable ocean of God's grace, that overwhelms to fill and cleanse and bring blessings unasked.
So I'm bidding pacific a very fond farewell, and welcoming spark and whatever lessons it would like to bring. I invited it in with a copper wire punctuated with tiny lights and wrapped around my mood board, and I've got an empt…