Magazine article Online

Talkin' 'Bout a Resolution

Magazine article Online

Talkin' 'Bout a Resolution

Article excerpt

Ever since I graduated from college and became an official grownup with a life of my own, I've managed said life with the aid of a Sierra Club engagement calendar, my low-tech, trailing-edge personal assistant. Every fall, I pluck my fresh, neatly-boxed companion-to-be from the stacks of calendars in the bookstore, anticipating the event-full year ahead. The transition from my worn, inked-up datebook to the pristine new one is a familiar and comforting ritual: First I transfer the birthdays and anniversaries, then the standing first-quarter obligations (estimated quarterlies, property taxes) and well-in-advance commitments that I'd crowded onto the tiny 12-months-at-a-glance calendar in the back of this year's book. Next come the supplementary listings--addresses, what-to-save-first-in-case-of-an-earthquake notes, and the rolling perpetual project list. Finally, before packing Old Man datebook off to the archives and slipping Baby New Book into place, I look back through the year, savoring or shuddering at the inky echoes of business trips and weekend getaways, deadlines and dinner parties, movie dates, houseguests, phonecalls, and chores.

Friends think it odd that I, the poster child for obsessive detail disorder (let me write it down so I can cross it off the list), never joined the uber-organized Filofax/ Franklin/Day-Timer/Day Runner pack. I don't do "systems"; I prefer the organic approach. My scrawled and cryptic notations, free-form circles, arrows and asterisks, punctuated by occasional Post-Its, attest--I tell myself--to my wild, creative, left-brained side. That ink smears, sticky notes, and clipped-on addenda often obscure the lovely wilderness photographs--I barely glance at them as I turn the page on Sunday nights to confront the following week's packed agenda--is a low-level, but constant, reproach.

Nor do I lust, much, for a Palm Pilot or any of its digital siblings. My friend Bob serves as a cautionary example. As we schmooze, he clicks away on his PDA--inspired by Star Trek, he calls it his tricorder--entering all mentions of upcoming celebrations and get-togethers, art exhibits, community meetings, and books and videos to check out. Bob is a walking database interface. His tricorder beeps as he walks in my door, reminding him that it's time to Be Here Now. Would that it were so.

But were I to win one of those cool e-devices in, say, an ONLINE WORLD business-card drawing, I wouldn't donate it to charity. …

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