2009: The year of the dreamer.

The best thing about heading into a new year is getting a new planner. A fresh planner, full of blank days and months and weeks just waiting patiently to be filled. White lined pages. Calendars. Ah, bliss.

Last year I searched and searched for the perfect planner, and finally purchased this beauty from ArtClub. It had everything I was looking for--week at a glance spreads with plenty of room to jot appointments, shopping lists, to-do lists, a pocket for accumulation of various paper debris, monthly calendars, coloring pages to stave off boredom, and lists to fill out to satisfy even the most professional procrastinator. My favorite feature of 2009: The Year of the Dreamer, however, was the Uberlist. The Uberlist, according its creators, is "your master plan for 2009." How does one compose an uberlist, you might ask?

"Compile a list of 109 (because it's '09) little goals to zazz up the coming year. Unlike traditional, puritanical Resolutions, (dour, harrowing and grotesque), the Uberlist should contain mostly wee and pleasant tasks you can accomplish with haste."

In true Rachel "Shewhoiscontinuallystartingprojectsonlytoabandonthembeforecompletion" form, I began compiling my Uberlist last year, but never finished it (even though one of the tasks I listed was to "finish compiling my Uberlist"). But it was fun, and it did lead me to accomplish several small goals and try new things that I had always wanted to try but never gotten around to. Of the 70 tasks I listed for myself, I have completed 41.

Some of these tasks were things I'd never done before but always wanted to, like get a pedicure, see Tori Amos in concert, drink a cosmopolitan. Done, done, and done! :)

Others came under the category of things I wanted to do, but was hesitant about for one reason or another: find my brother's grave, donate books to Sigma Tau Delta, drive to Chicago by myself! Again, done, done, and done!

Some of the tasks were experiences that have become tradition, that I wanted to make sure I repeated this year, like watch fireworks on the Fourth of July and visit a pumpkin patch in the fall.

Still others were activities I had taken part in before, but not since I was a kid. This year (maybe since I was turning 30) I wanted to recapture some of that childhood magic: ride a ferris wheel, go miniature golfing, go skating, go bowling, fly a kite, pick apples, complete a jigsaw puzzle.

All of the items on my list were things I WANTED to do, not things I thought I should do. I tried to make it not about obligation, but about growth and personal discovery.

I will admit, I cheated.

I added more than one item to the list only after I had already accomplished it. At that point, the list became a record of what I've done this year--things I never imagined myself doing, or perhaps didn't even know I wanted to do until I was there, in the moment. A few of my after-the-fact additions included meeting Heather Armstrong of Dooce, attending Renegade Craft Fair, eating Indian food (ohmyfreakingyummy!).

My Uberlist has also been an exercise in letting go. Some of the things I listed, I will probably never do or have. And that's alright. Where I was last year at this time, what I thought I wanted, what I thought I needed...well, 2009 reshaped a lot of that for me.

I just went online and purchased ArtClub's 2010 planner. I'm looking forward to filling in a new Uberlist this year. Who knows, maybe in 2010 I'll actually make a quilt or get a new remote for the garage door opener. Maybe I'll plant a garden and finish reading The Brothers Karamazov.

Then again...
At least I'm quite sure I'll drink a few more cosmos and get another pedicure. ;)


helena said...

love the sound of the planner - getting the new planner is one of my winter treats - love conemplating all the empty pages

nancy said...

I am a big fan of adding things to a list AFTER you've done them--just so you can cross them off.

Fun Mama - Deanna said...

That sounds like a really cool planner. I like the idea of the uberlist. And I see no problem with adding things to your list after you do them - at least you know they got done that way! I wish I was a planner sort of person, but my track record is not good with them.