secretary wears black leather
By Joey Hislop
December 1, 2006 | Don't tell my wife,
but she has competition. You see, for more than a few
years now there has been another. Another that I share
my thoughts with, another that tells me what to do,
another that helps me keep my checkbook balanced and
last, but certainly not least, another that I can't
live without. That's right. But wait! It's not what
you think. I'm talking about my planner.
Yes, my planner. She doesn't exactly
have a name. In fact, I don't even know why I called
it "she." But if I were to have a mistress, it would
be her. Ooops, I mean it. Anyhow, the funny thing about
me comparing my planner to a mistress is that my planner
would be the first to tell you that I have zero time
for more than one woman.
My planner is now my personal secretary.
I, along with many countless others, have become so
completely dependent upon my planner for what to do
during the day that I find myself unable to remember
even the most automatic of tasks. I don't know how many
times I've had to remind myself to clip my fingernails.
Becoming dependent upon a planner
is a lot like becoming dependent upon a drug. You get
to the point that you can't live without it. From everyday
to-do lists to this year's Christmas lists for family
and friends -- if I didn't write it down, I wouldn't
remember it. Come to think of it, it's a good thing
my name is on the identification page. I've become so
dependent upon my planner that I would probably forget
It's not all bad, though. As much
as my planner has limited my ability to think for myself,
it has also saved me in very critical situations. For
example, I never miss a doctor's appointment, job interview,
birthday, or better yet, an anniversary. How's that
for irony -- a mistress that helps me remember my anniversary.
My planner can also double as my
therapist. If I ever need to think things out, I just
put down on paper what's in my head and pretty soon
it's problem solved. Perhaps my planner could help me
figure out what I would do if I ever lost it and had
to go without its guidance.
There are several activities in life
that I love doing, but keeping a planner is about the
only one I can really call a hobby. There's more to
it than just having a calendar, you know. The possibilities
for accessorizing are numerous. From custom designed
pages (which I don't do) to pens and binders, your planner
is your personal office in a book and you can decorate
however you wish.
People often ask me, "Why don't you
get a Palm Pilot?" Well, I've tried that before and
it wasn't my cup of tea. I guess I just prefer to write
something out with pen and paper than to wave a three-inch
plastic wand around a tiny little screen.
In addition to this, I think of my
planner as being a supplement to my journal, so keeping
it around (which I do with the help neat little planner
storage binders) is a good idea for the future. I'm
old enough to have witnessed first-hand the obsolesence
of several computerized gadgets that everybody thought
would never go extinct. A palm pilot would make a pretty
lousy journal 10 years from now when it no longer formats
with my computer.
As I mentioned before, I have become
completely dependent upon my planner. However, there
are no 12-step programs to guide me or planner-holics
anonymous groups to offer support. All I can do is plunge
myself deeper into the problem by becoming more and
more reliant upon it. Perhaps I'll end up stapling the
damned thing to me before I finally hit rock-bottom.
Any way it pans out, I'll be able to go back later and
track my addiction with the help of the record I've
created on its pages.
I'll be able to watch how I went
from writing things like "Grocery list: bread, milk,
eggs, hamburger," to reminders like "Things to do today
-- get dressed, eat food, breathe..." Hopefully, I won't
have to consult my planner to remember my name when
I stand up and say "Hi. I'm Joey and I'm addicted to