Here’s One Small Pleasure for Every Day of the Week

Make Habits, Too, of Rest and Joy

Sophie Lucido Johnson

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I love my planner. I am one of those. I use the Passion Planner (which was developed by Angelia Trinidad, who turns out to be a really nice person on top of building a business around an object that I would go out of my way to save in a fire), and I tried over a dozen planners before landing on this one.

I learned in a professional development session, that was otherwise bad and featured a lot of memes from “The Office,” that in order to use a planner well, you need to set aside at least a solid hour a week just for planning in your planner. The person leading the seminar called this “going to the mountain.” I don’t remember why. But I liked the massiveness of “mountain,” so I still call it that. “I need two hours to go to the mountain,” I say to no one. I’m here to tell you about two lessons I’ve learned by painstakingly prioritizing trips to the mountain, which are: (1) it’s hard to get things done when you’re using the word “maybe”; and (2) the thing that Dale Cooper said on “Twin Peaks” about how you should “every day, once a day, give yourself a present” is good advice. But it helps to regulate it.

MAYBE.

The word “maybe” is tricky. It SEEMS like it would be a good word. It acts like it’s filled with imagination. MAYBE you’ll join a band! MAYBE you’ll learn to make pots! Your life is a blank canvas! What a glorious thing, to be ensconced in the possibility of possibility. “Maybe” turns up in my morning journal pages often. I will write the definite plan for the morning, and then I’ll write some maybes. “Maybe I’ll go for a run” is a big one that I write fairly often. Ten years of morning pages later, I am here to tell you that for the roughly 391 times I’ve written, “maybe I’ll go for a run,” the number of times I have ever actually gone for a run on those days is ZERO.

“Maybe” leaves the door open for too long. It lets in a draft. “Maybe” is hoping someone else will come to the party, so you never really listen to the people who are already there. It’s fun to have a wild imagination; it’s NOT fun to reach the end of the workday and realize that you spent it all daydreaming (unless daydreaming was the thing you’d decided you wanted to do). Having a plan is so grounding…

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