The Passion Planner (and other stories)

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Good morning! This is my new diary. It's called a "Passion Planner" which is a dubious name for a fabulous concept. It bills itself as "the one place for all your thoughts," and also "the life coach that fits in your back pack."

The diary is filled with prompts and questions and lists and mind-maps to help you define the life you want and then get there, step by step. The idea is that you can manage your work tasks, your personal tasks, your creative tasks, and all the rest, all in the one place.

This is perfect for me because I'm trying to juggle so many things at once. I write freelance for a number of clients, so I have to keep all their deadlines and meetings and briefings and interviews etc under control. Then there are all the children's appointments, from daycare and music lessons to doctors' visits and vaccinations and play dates and parties. Mr B's work calendar, when it impacts on me because of meetings and missed meals and travel. And of course our own (limited but still it does exist) social life, and some big parties we are planning this year. On top of that, I have this blog and my snail mail and the book I'm illustrating and the books and zines I'm writing and several more dreams in the wings, and I want to keep on top of all of them but also be a little more strategic AND inspired about them. None of those needs and schedules exists in a vacuum, they all impact on one another, so a planner that can hold them all together seems, to me, genius.

I ordered my Passion Planner from here, and got the undated version (because hello May already?), but you can also get proper yearly Passion Planners, and in bigger sizes too if you want to scribble more.

How was your weekend? I know many people think Mother's Day is a commercial construct, but BOY I really enjoyed my day yesterday. Yesterday was like the poster child for everyone who says the Simple Things are the Best Things. Kisses from babies (the big, open-mouthed ones). "Letters" from toddlers. Toasted bagels with cream-cheese for breakfast. Warm salad of pearl couscous, chorizo and roasted vegetables for lunch. Paper-thin crepes rolled up with lemon and sugar for afternoon tea. (Are you beginning to detect a theme here?) Drawing pictures while watching old westerns on TV. Two children racing up and down the hallway, each pushing toy prams, laughing and squealing and yelling "We are going to the Lost City!" And affirmation. So much loving affirmation, from my family.

(Also both children ate all their vegetables and at least some of their tuna for dinner that night, by which time I was pretty much feeling like Mother of the Year.)

We are funny about presents in our house on "days" like this, and on birthdays, and anniversaries. Sometimes we give big, extravagant presents, sometimes we give a card and a kiss, or a meal out. (Sometimes we forget altogether, we are scatty like that). But that's because the love and affirmative words are given freely throughout the year. The gifts are big and extravagant when budgets and time and inspiration allow. They are smaller when budgets or time or lack-of-inspiration dictate. So nobody gets unwanted, pointless presents, only presents that truly mean something, both to the recipient AND the giver. I like it that way.

This year, despite me saying "It's too much," my family bought me not only a voucher for a massage and facial (oh! bliss!) but also a personal lesson from an artist on letterpress type and and line-art plates. And it is too much, really it is, but I've got to be honest, I can't wait to do this class. Do you want some letterpress mail from me? The deal is that if I enjoy it as much as we all THINK I will enjoy it, we will put our money-box savings into buying an antique letterpress at the end of the year. Now that's a generous family, don't you think?

How was your weekend?

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