Calendars are NOT corny

“A calendar? Is that really necessary?” I squirmed uncomfortably in my seat.

I was talking with my ADHD coach, the infinitely patient Carolyn D’Argenio. The best part about working with Carolyn is she understands the way I work: I am a solution objector. I dismiss it, give all the reasons it won’t work, and discount it. She hears me out, doesn’t take offense, and then tells me to do what she said.

Calendars were like station wagons in my mind, or a frumpy soccer mom in sweatpants. I had spent a long time crafting an self-image in my mind as a free-spirited, vivacious bohemian. Bohemians go where they want when they please. Bohemians emote their way to appointments, and if they miss them, oh well. They DON’T do calendars. Calendars = Corny.

“So how are you going to get places,” asked Carolyn. I really thought about that. The answer? I wasn’t getting places.

I had doctor’s appointments I was missing, meetings I wanted to go to, and family events I had forgotten. I was spinning my wheels. See, when you don’t know where you are going, you just may end up going nowhere, literally.

This was going to require a major paradigm shift.

I hated paper calendars because I either lost them, forgot to write in them or couldn’t find a pen, then when I had a pen I couldn’t remember what I needed to write down.

I hated the electronic calendar on my phone because inevitably I would forget to look at it, and what the hell good does it do you to have a record of appointments you forget as soon as you use them?

See, that’s the quandary a lot of us ADHD people find ourselves in. I hated calendars because they made me feel broken. It is hard enough to forget and lose everything, and try to convince the world that you are managing. It is another thing to admit that you can’t use a basic tool to help you remember where you are supposed to be, and that you feel hopeless because of it. Calendars were never corny, calendars made me feel stupid and I didn’t want to deal with one more thing that made me feel ashamed of myself.

So I got myself an app ( it’s called Alarmed –you can find it at http://yoctoville.com). I put in the appointment, what time, and any other notes that are necessary. My favorite part? The “nag me” feature. It sets a notification with an alarm to go off at intervals of my choosing in order to keep me from forgetting/getting distracted. My favorite nag setting is relentless because it goes off every minute until it is done!

I have gone from living in fear of time, to knowing I’ll be able to make it to where I’m supposed to be. Do I mess up sometimes still? Sure, but now it’s not a regular occurrence. Now I don’t say I’m free on a night when my kid has a Parent/Teacher night, or commit myself to being in five different places on the same day.

What do YOU need in a calendar? Do you need the alarmed reminders? Does writing it down help you to remember? Does writing in a pretty notebook make it more fun? Do you get flustered looking for a pen and forget what you were writing? All of these things have to be taken into consideration. Maybe you need a hybrid of both – whatever it is, go for it. Don’t be afraid to experiment, any system is better than no system. Calendars are NOT corny.
Until Next Time,

René

P. S. For those of you who do paper calendars, you HAVE to go to http://personal-planner.com – My cousin Tierra has the most AMAZING planner she completely personalized there. She even added coloring book pages! When she isn’t busy being her fabulous self, she is co-hosting a weekly podcast for the Onyx Truth, discussing current events, social topics and how they affect the black community. Tune in, but know that this is a no holds barred discussion on race, and some may find the opinions too strong.

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