How many times do you get to a Sunday evening, as the sun sets on the weekend, and you wonder where the weekend disappeared to? And moreso, what did you do during the “rest days”. Has yet another weekend been squandered?
This is something very much at the forefront of my thoughts, in the “carpe diem” mood which characterises the very specific increment of time “between checks in a hopefully post treatment phase”. I feel almost a sense almost of urgency. Of “carpe that diem”. Because you just don’t know what’s ahead. And if I were to tumble from this very precarious path that is NED, (which I am not exactly firmly upon if I am to be honest with myself) I want to have no regrets that I have squandered away good health time and not maintained a sensible work life balance. A great deal of time is dedicated to my amazing but highly demanding day job, so the weekend is particularly precious.
A few weeks ago, with a weekend looming and the compulsion to make the most of it ever present, I pulled out some of my cute fluorescent sticky post-it notes to jot down a few reminders of things I wanted to do over the weekend. To avoid that very “where did the weekend go and what on earth did I actually do?” pang on the Sunday evening.
I scrawled “toe nails” on the first sticky and “finish reading my book” on another. The fact that Book Club was meeting on the Monday was not in the slightest coincidental!
I know that the number 3 is much more auspicious than 2, so cycle and/or swim quickly appeared on another sticky. I was on a roll. I knew I wanted to commit a blog post to the world’s wide web and so the commitment to work on a subject in my mind and publish it, appeared on a fourth sticky. Another less auspicious number was balanced by the need to be disciplined and work on my electronic clutter of creativity. Sticky 5 instructed me to work for a couple of hours at least on organising my writing files.
I loved this. A 5-sticky Plan to shape my weekend, with a mix of doable, enjoyable and necessary things to do. Not too many and not too few either.
Then I realised something else. Perhaps by coincidence, or perhaps guided subconsciously the 5 things to do sat very sweetly and comfortably within the scope of my three words for the year. The organising task was part of my need to “focus”, the wellbeing tasks (pedicure and swim/cycle) a reminder of “treasure” and the prompt to read my book and write a blog post is captured by the creative “design”. A simple planning and implementation system with a built in monitoring framework had been born for my three words!!
Now I know that this must come across as somewhat nerdy, and more than a little cheesy. But it makes absolute sense to me, and more importantly – it works. Four weeks later, I approach my weekends with 5 sticky post-it notes. I have even had some fun putting together some thoughts and ideas just in case inspiration fails me any time as a weekend draws near.
Who knows, this may not last. But for now, I like it. and it gives me an excuse to loiter in stationery shops and stock on emergency stocks of cute sticky post-it notes.
And this weekend? Well it is late on Sunday afternoon, and I wrote this (longhand) as I was enjoying a foot massage which of course was one of the 5 sticky tasks. Yesterday, I had fun sorting a heap of photographs, and I visited 2 galleries with friends. I have finished my Book Club book and have a list of ideas for future blog posts.
I am ready for the week ahead, feeling refreshed and satisfied with my weekend. And I am looking forward to the following weekend and trying not to commit to my 5 stickies too early as the ideas flow.