I maintain three calendars. I have a rotary president calendar for this year, I have a on line calendar that on a good day syncs with my phone and I have a hard copy calendar because I’m old enough to think that I better have a hard copy calendar just in case the other it doesn’t effectively synch with my phone that I consistently second guess.
I wonder why we put our days into boxes? Why are we so compelled to fill in every line, eliminate every blank space with the title of an important activity? blank spaces in our calendars are undesirable, and to be avoided. In the sales world a calendar missing appointments is called snow blindness. Nothing on the books means nothing to do. Snow blindness is a bad, bad, lamentable condition, so much so that we often fill in the calendar with anything and everything else to avoid looking at that dreaded blank spaces.
So I write in, grocery store, tweet, update blog, call mom. I write in the meetings and socials for the thirteen organizations I joined during a chamber of commerce event because I had no sales calls for that week and was feeling depressed about the lack of activity those calendar pages reflected.
This is how we become crazy busy. This is how we double book. This is not necessarily the best way to live.
As frightening a condition as snow blindness is, I am beginning to see it differently. On a rare day when nothing is written into the calendar, any calendar I see it now as an opportunity, a delight. A blank day is one that is open for random acts, slower contemplation, a time to begin a longer project or finish up all those small ones.
I know, I know, what about the money? What about making sure clients are contacted at the right time? What about commitments? What about soccer, piano lessons, picking up from school, scheduling supervised visits? What about all that?
Consider why it’s all down in those squares? Important or security? Consider why we are joining projects, creating more challenges and commitments in our life.
Try opening up one day and devote it to nothing.
Not easy, maybe even impossible. But I liked considering it: a whole day empty.
I’ll let you know if one ever opens up for me.