Planners, notebooks, and calendars have always been a huge part of my life. As a mom, I use a planner to keep tabs on kids’ school schedules, activities, to plan meals, and most importantly to note when it’s my turn to bring snack at preschool. As a business owner, I live by my planner to help coordinate client meetings, note new marketing ideas, and keep my life moving forward.

Finding What Works for Me

I’ve always been a little obsessed with organization and planning. It’s part of how I’ve managed to find a sense of control in the midst of this chaotic life.

Planners and notebooks have been an obsession of mine since the sixth grade. They keep me excited about what’s next. As a kid, I used to count down the days until the back to school sale, when new notebooks would arrive in stores. As an adult, I’m pretty keen on Moleskine notebooks for their variety and versatility. They are so versatile. Even as a mom, every December I start getting excited about new goals, and obviously new planners. One year I splurged on the Day Designer by Whitney English. It was divine! Almost too amazing for me. I found I didn’t really need all the sections, so this year here I am with my new Erin Condren planner. I only committed to Erin Condren because I heard a rumor she’s opening a store here in Austin, but can you blame me? Imagine an entire store of planners notebooks pens and stickers. Can I live there?

Refocusing and Thinking Ahead

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking over the past week. It’s been along time since I’ve seriously thought about my life or year in terms of a grand plan or timeline.

Well, I take that back. This year I had a grand plan to embark on a happiness project. After I had my daughter, I spent the first year of her life literally stumbling over my own purpose. I had no direction outside of her. I woke up each day to serve her. It was exhausting and I almost broke. So when the end of this year finally rolled around, it was important for me to regain my sense of self and sanity. My husband agreed.

My happiness project worked for the first half of the year, but looking back, I’ve still been stumbling.  Last week I was let go from my full-time job. The one I’d mentally worked myself up to love and embrace for the last eight weeks. Now I feel I am again floundering, but in a good way. This is meant to happen.

You have to look for those little signs in life. Maybe I’m not meant to work full-time right now. (I miss my kids’ messy faces too much throughout the day anyway.)  Maybe after 10 years, I’m not meant to work in marketing. Maybe maybe it’s finally time to switch directions and explore something new. Something that feels authentic and makes me feel alive.

Let’s Get Real 

The problem is, you can’t always know what’s going to make you feel alive again. You can’t always have a perfect plan, and there isn’t always a to do list to help you find the path you’re searching for. There is no list. There is no perfect plan. It’s taken years for me, the one obsessed with agendas and lists, to learn this.

When I look back at all the amazing things that have happened in my life, the best things sort of fell into my lap. No plan. No list. No agenda.

I have a theory: If you put something out there into the universe, write it down, and find a way to make it happen, something positive will come of your efforts. Always. That’s why it’s called fate, and I’m a big believer in fate being rooted in intention. When your intention is clear, the fates align and help make it so.

I’ll be honest—while I’m waiting for life to do its thing, you better believe I’ve purchased a brand new notebook and a planner. The notebook for daily reflection, and the planner to help keep my head from exploding or forgetting a preschool snack. I just need to be open to a more flexible plan in the future.