Countdown – 18 Days to Go

December 13, 2006 | Uncategorized

The Christmas shopping is in full swing and Friday, a friend and I are going to do one of my favorite things. Go to a large mall, grab a cup of Starbucks, eat something I really shouldn’t and people watch. I find it relaxing and sadistic to observe people at this time of year. Parents running around, shopping bags filled, kids freaking out, crying, some smiling at all the fantastic decorations. Customers checking their lists and then throwing it away because there is no way in hell they’re gonna carry on those bags without making a trip to the car. Note: If you do a lot of shopping, and you take your goodies out to the car, place them in the trunk – NOT THE BACK SEAT!! Then move your car to another crowded location at the mall. Thieves just love to sit in their warm cars, riding around the parking lots and wait for you to do this so they can empty your car when you go back inside to shop some more. Yes, my Christmas shopping is just about done. Unless I think of something else to buy JGirl and JMan. Hubby gets gift cards for the local golf shop and a few cool, warm sweaters. Oh yeah, we’re all going to see Blue Man Group and have a family dinner, at which I’ll drink because JMan and JGirl will try to start sibling rivalry.

Anyway, the mall thing is kinda cool because as I said you watch people dynamics, and as writers we’re all about observing people. I can even make up scenarios. Men usually find the comfy chairs and stare out into space while their wives shop. I started this evil habit a few years ago when I was Christmas shopping and got very tired, and sat down. A mother was yelling at her daughter, because she’d somehow gotten bubble gum in her hair and it wouldn’t come out. Then another mother came by dragging two HUGE bags, telling her kids to keep up with her as they dragged their feet, twenty steps behind. Next was a young couple, evidently in love, holding hands. Well they were holding hands until she stopped to look at engagement rings and gave him a ‘knowing’ smile. I try to figure out what’s going on in the shoppers minds, besides counting off the days until Christmas Eve. I feel for the clerks, trying to spray everyone who passes by with perfume and look friendly standing on their feet for nine hours, as people dodge them without even saying hello. I say “Hello, just don’t spray me.”

I’m still working on my goals for 2007. I’ve got the usual. Get an agent, find a publisher and be published. Oh yeah, finish the book and the next two in the series. But my first step is to clean my office. You know erase the clutter before New Year. This I take very seriously, even if the space looks like it did pre-2007 three days later. I know I need to be better organized and I’ve purchased my tools already. I developed my system in 2006 and I believe if you’re going to be accountable, you should like what you use, then you’re more likely to actually use it. I debated between Day Times, Levenger and Franklin Covey, Franklin won out. I purchased the two page a day format, entitled The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Each month is wire bound and every day there is an encouraging quote at the top of each page. I chose a two page a day format, because I use the second page to write down everything I do that day. It’s 8 1/2 by 11 and lined. Boy has it got a lot of lines. The first page has appointment schedule, and a prioritized daily task list. Cool. The calendar fits very neatly inside the purple folio, Molly, gave me for Christmas.

But I went even further, I have a 2007 Far Side desk calendar. So why you may ask did I buy a second calendar? Well, in this one I write a more detailed description of what I work on every day. And only writing. I put what page or chapter I started working on and where I finished. This way I can pick up the next day where I left off or make a note about some research or web work I need to do. I also clip a copy of my weekly goals to it to chart my progress. Guilt kicks in if I look and see I haven’t done any work for a couple of days. The cartoons are great. Then there’s one more calendar. Ya sick of me yet? This is a pretty flower design desk calendar, August to July. I keep it on my desk and every appointment, family, personal and writing is on it. I can see my entire month laid out and what to do if I have too many appointments ijammed up in a small period of time. I try to schedule JMan’s tennis matches, any doctors’ appointments, spreading them out so I know I have at least four to five hours to work every day. Yes, I even put our family weekend movie dates on it. I could tell you I use different color ink for each subject, but by now you probably figured out I did.

We won’t talk about the Blackberry, at least I can check emails, surf the web and it’s got games on it.

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  1. I hate malls, but I remember sitting around and people watching when I would still go to them. It’s been almost a year since I set foot in a mall–Christmas Eve last year, only because we HAD to go to Best Buy (only BB had what we needed) to get wireless cards so my nephew could hook up our DSL.

    Glad you’re putting your purple folio to good use. I have my Dayrunner–I switched to one page per day last year and like it much better. I just bought my Flavia refills for 2007. I like her pretty colors and her inspirational sayings. My entire life is in my Dayrunner. One of these days, I’m going to find a PURPLE LEATHER one, and I shall be a happy woman.

    I love lists.

    Excellet topic.


  2. Keep looking and so will I, in case I find it (2 of course first). I’ve done so much shopping on the Internet, UPS and FedEx know me by name. The lights were so bright and the foot traffic so heavy when I went to the mall, I almost left. But I’m looking forward to Friday.


  3. Sounds like fun, Yasmine, and I have a calendar too. I don’t know what I’d do without it for appointments. I don’t use a day book but I probably should. Maybe I’ll give it a try. I’m gonna have to start carrying a steamer trunk every place I go, like Sloane Taylor does, if I want to take it everywhere I go, and of course I should. Okay, that’s my New Year’s Resolution. Keep a Day Book. I’m tired just thinking about it. 😉 Hotclue


  4. Day Timer (http://day-planner.daytimer.com/Covers/leather/Add-Flex-Time-to-Your-Life-with-Malibu!/F0FC665FB69D49F2BD158C6BBFFE2341/False/4447) has a purple leather organizer, but it doesn’t zip. So does, I believe, She Works (http://www.she-works.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=she-works&Product_Code=P-639), but it’s the wrong size. She Works has GORGEOUS stuff.


  5. MizM, I didn’t mean to send you on a shopping spree today. Get back to writing. Use your purple pen! Now I’m going to check out She Works


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