I've had the habit of keeping my little daily planners for the past several years, instead of throwing them away once January has rolled around. I would never spend more than a dollar on a planner (up until recently) and would end up grabbing the prettiest one I could find in the Target dollar bins and call it a day—filling it up with to-do lists, weekly plans, my work schedule, and the like.
I've always wanted to be a Planner Person, mostly because I always loved how my mom would fill hers up with so many detailed notes and appointments and honey-dos. But it wasn't until I had Eisley that I really started accurately detailing my life, and having my planner become something I looked at several times a day. (Yes, I was one of those moms who would jot down every single thing that happened during my child's first year. It somehow managed to calm me…giving me a sense of order and routine. Some sort of method to the madness, if you will. But I suppose that is a tale for another time.)
While going through the many miscellaneous items tucked into our bedside table last week, I came across my planners from the years 2008, 2009, and 2010. I always find it highly entertaining to go through these sorts of things…planners, journals, random notebooks (of which there are many). For some reason, I can't bring myself to throw them in the trash, even though they don't hold anything too terribly important. Opening the planner from 2008, I took a peek at my running schedule. That year I had started running for the first time in my life, and was keeping track of my workouts and the weight I was losing. My brain melted a little bit when I went through the pages recording my weekly weigh-ins. I can't believe I was ever that in shape. I mean, for the love. (Although, all things considered, it's only fair to mention that I have a much healthier sense of self while in my current size of jeans.)
When I flipped through my 2010 planner to the month of May, I came across my note for the 27th—and oh, how it took me back to that time in my life.
Try not to die from stress.
I remember writing that. Trying to jot down something witty to counteract my growing feelings of insecurity and worry and all of those usual new-job wonderings. Looking back on that time, it's like seeing a completely different me in so many ways. I could write pages and pages on all the things I learned about myself during that time. But, long story short, I feel like it was very important for me to have that experience. To have a job that, many days, felt so out of my comfort zone. To challenge myself in ways I never anticipated being challenged—to struggle and fail and shine and grow, sometimes all within the span of one day.
It was worth it all, if only to walk away with a greater awareness of myself, my strengths, my own definition of success. Especially when it comes to how much of myself I'm willing to give to any job.
But I'm grateful for what it gave me. And I'm grateful that I didn't, in fact, die from stress. (Nor did I actually go to the gym after work that day, most likely driving home in traffic for over an hour, throwing on my pajamas and weeping into a couple glasses of wine and/or my husband's shoulder. Priorities, you know.)
Plus, part of me wants to be all like, "GIRL, PLEASE. You don't even know what stress is until you are walking around Costco the week before Christmas, carrying a fussy infant whose diaper seems to have just exploded, and you haven't had a full night of sleep in over a year."
But I suppose it's all relative. I'm sure when Eisley is sixteen I'll look back at any other point in my life, rolling my eyes at any worries I used to have because my daughter apparently wants to date some guy named Axel who has a very questionable neck tattoo.
A time in my life that may once again require a bit of wine to survive.