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My 2012 Dilemma – Add or Subtract a Calendar? YIKES!

“Organization is not an option, it is a fundamental survival skill and distinct competitive advantage.” Pam N. Woods

I stumbled upon this quote and knew I had to blog about it.  Finally some relief, someone out there who understands me.  I recently wrote a blog about my extensive collection of daily calendars and “obsessive” list taking tendencies.  Since that last post, I have discontinued the blackberry calendar, which I never really used because the technology is dated….  I do have an iPhone & iPad with me constantly.  Anyone reading this would say, “she is minus one calendar…..”

I did however replace it with a 3 x 2 pocket-sized calendar that I carry with me in my clutch.  I take it with me everywhere and write tiny notes that aren’t quite rich enough to support an actual entry into one of my compartmentalizing tools.  For example, earlier today I had a dr.’s appointment.  I had my Wellness calendar, iPad and iPhone with me.  I noticed a new patient guideline posted on the glass in the waiting room informing patients they no longer wrote Vicodin and Soma prescriptions, which I found interesting.  Why would a general practioner write for either?  I wanted to research this further so I needed to take a few notes but which trusty calendar to use? This wasn’t regarding my health, nor did I think I should plug this info into either Apple product… Nope, this was a perfect time to pull out my little 3 X 2 pocket-sized friend.  I wrote a few notes on the date and put it away.

So I guess I still have the same number of calendars huh?

What’s wrong with having six calenders?

Seriously, I would really like to know. Anyone? Anyone? Anyone besides my therapist please…?

Yes, I have six calenders that I utilize and carry with me at all times. One lives within my iPhone so technically that shouldn’t count, unfortunatly others tend to strongly disagree. So what if I like to keep everything super organized? I pay my bills before due dates. I meet all my project deadlines, including my volunteer commitments. I track my workout progress and eating habits… My daughter’s college applications and deadlines are being met in a timely manner. I really don’t see what the problem is…

Ok so I do understand that being diagnosed with adult ADHD and my ongoing battle with OCD perfectionism are most likely the culprits here, but is it so bad to be uber organized and date sensitive? Although it sounds rather ironic, OCD perfectionism and adult ADHD go hand-in-hand. The internal dialog I constantly struggle with is similar to having my own Laverne and Shirley sitcom, Sunday through Saturday…

Shirley Feeney: Laverne! The only kinda parties we’ve ever been to are bring your own!

Laverne De Fazio: I like bringin’ my own…then I know what I’m gettin’.

Calendar Update Time

Good morning! Grande skinny vanilla latte please.

I am not sure how many times I have spoken those words over the past four years.  Not sure I really want to know either, but in order to better understand my personal financial habits or addictions, I see no other choice.

Let’s see… There are 26 pay periods in a year.  Two weeks makes 10 business days, totaling 260 work days in one year (give or take vacations and PTO).  Now add to the equation, several weekends and travel hours… Very rough guesstimate, about 1500 times. Which also means, I have spent about $6000 in 4 years on those 4 little words…

GRANDE SKINNY VANILLA LATTE

Why the sudden interests in my financial situation, you ask?  Well this summer we started looking at colleges for our daughter and let’s just say, we are still suffering from sticker shock.  One Saturday morning while at Starbucks, I wandered into Barnes & Noble. I usually head towards the magazines but not this morning.  I somehow ended up in Business & Money. Started reading over the book titles and before I knew it, I had six books in hand.  I sat down and started reading.  I only bought one of course, The Frugalista Files: How One Woman Got Out of Debt Without Giving Up the Fabulous Life by Natalie McNeal.  GREAT READ!  I felt inspired and knew what needed to be done.

I decided it was time to start treating my household like a business.  I am responsible for determining and managing an annual marketing budget and continue to find ways to maximize every dollar.  So why can’t I do the same at home?  Why didn’t I think about this four years ago?  Don’t look back Karen.  What’s done is done…

As of August 1, I Karen, WILL NOT…for 31 days, do the following:

  • Buy Starbucks = savings $124
  • Use my credit cards = savings $500
  • Buy a meal on the go = savings $200
At the end August I will take the savings and pay down my debt instead of a little here and there… My goal is to pay off my credit card debt and personal loans by December 1, 2011. Very doable.  I know it sounds like I can do more but I am setting obtainable goals by modifying my spending habits.  No reason to get über obsessive.
Let the games begin…

It’s Battle Royal, Traffic Style.

“Each year it seems to take less time to fly across the ocean and longer to drive to work.” Author Unknown

A typical weekday for this workaholic starts usually the same… Early morning workout, coffee and KHOU while getting dressed, tidy up the house, kiss sweet Ky and wish her a great day.   Now off to face the dreaded one hour commute on 1-45 South, a.k.a the Gulf Freeway. 17 miles of sheer craziness awaits me…

I’d like to say that I am up against an organized Roman legion lead by a superior military commander, but instead it’s more like a scene out of Shaun of the Dead. Hordes of Zombie-like drivers that look normal but lack conscious experience due to one of many distractions which I have personally witnessed. Distractions such as, putting on makeup, taking rollers out of hair, shaving, eating behind the wheel (um what if you choked?), reading (that’s what audio books are for..), the dreaded phone talker, texting, petting your animal (dog, cat, bird, rabbit, lizard or pot belly pig….this is Texas), watching a movie, and my personal favorite…making out. It’s freaking rush hour traffic people!

My ultimate goal is to get to my destination safely and on time.  I turn on NPR, settle into my seat, and hit the road with my EI (emotional intelligence) hat on.  I barely make it to the entrance of the freeway when I am quickly cut off by a young woman driver with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth and on her cell phone. She didn’t even see me but when she looks back slams on her brakes causing a brake reaction behind her… I said to myself, “self, it’s going to be one Hell of a commute.” I merge on and settle into the middle lane preparing for the worst but hoping for the best.

While in transit I safely pass several zombies, deflect a couple of demons (speed) and skip around a few slammers.  I’m feeling pretty good until I reach the freeway entrance before the 610 split.  There is usually an accident around this section of the commute. Distracted drivers are everywhere.  They usually realize where they are before they recklessly cross several lanes of traffic to exit 610 or cut off another car or 18-wheeler because the lane doesn’t continue onto 45.  It is imperative that I remain focused and keep my eye on the goal, even in the midst of battle.

At times, I too feel myself turning into a zombie.  My right hand cramps up, while my left grips the wheel… My shoulders start to raise up toward my ears… The phone is ringing and I can’t control the urge to answer but I remember that one slip up, one careless distraction, and it’s all over…!

When I finally see the that big green Downtown Destinations sign, I know I am almost there. It wasn’t that bad this morning.  Just a couple more minutes until I am safe in my parking garage and greeted by my coworkers with a heartfelt, “good morning!”

“Good morning indeed!”