Monday, March 21, 2011

::my book – please don’t touch it::

I am hyper organized on somethings.  
H Y P E R.  

At all times I am carrying around a 5/7 spiral bound notebook that has every thought from my head written down in it.  It started in 4th grade with making homework list and has evolved into my BOOK. 

What do I put in the BOOK?

Anything – an idea that pops into my head that seems like a good one or that it might be something that I might want to remember.  Sometimes it is a quick not about something Lily said or sometimes it is an idea about the perfect size to make a chicken coop.  My brain runs at 100 miles an hour and in absolutely no order and when ever I have what feels like a good idea I need a way to keep it from being lost in the shuffle.
 I always have a running “nine day plan” laid out in the BOOK.  This shows the next nine days and what things need to happen during those days.  Each day title is underlined and has a few lines about what is scheduled those days.  They are lots of abbreviations used on the page to save space.  The grid is three days across by three days down.  And I ALWAYS lay it out that way.  I cross off each day as it happens and rewrite the list every few days.  The bottom of that “nine day plan” page has a title “T2D:” which stand for Things To Do and is a sublist of the random things that need to be thought about during that time period.  Things like – call dentist, fax FSA, plan Hannah trip.
 Most days off I make a separate list for those days with what exactly is happening that day and in what order.  I try to leave room for life to be flexible, but I struggle with that.
I also put in anything that might be written in list format – put not grocery list.  (Grocery lists are on the fridge.)  Lists like – blog topics, how much I owe the sitter, spring farm repairs, my research on using roundup weed killing, what animal chores need done, my weekly dinner menu.

I also keep a second Mead spiral notebook that is for gardening idea’s and other longer term ideas.  I guess you could say the 5/7 notebook is my shorter term memory and the bigger notebook is my longer term memory.
Very random list about what human kid is going to show which goat
If I feel uncomfortable or anxious I find myself needing to rewrite my lists to make them even better organized.  They bring me a great deal of calm.  I can go to sleep without making my next day list, but I sleep better if it is done.  I don’t find the lists to be an intrusion on my life yet, and I hope to continue to keep them under control.  After Zack died I LOVED making list after crazy list, but as my mental health had started to improve my list making has declined to a more normal-for-me level. 

My crazy list quirks -
My friends used to love to play with me by adding little things to my day lists.  Like “Love Megan” for the PG version or… Well, just imagine the kind of fun they had with writing more X rated things too.  This kind of thing will often make me rewrite my entire list.  I can’t stand anyone elses handwriting to be on my list.   
The paper in the 5/7 notebook has to be thicker than regular notebook paper.  I have to be able to write on both sides and it not bleed through.
I don’t like the kids to touch my NB but sometimes I let them.  I do love the little drawings I find in them, but it hurts me to let them have my BOOK.
If I leave my BOOK at work I can hardly sleep till I know were it is.
I write W-F-D-L across the top of each nine day page.  It stands for workout-feed (animals)-dishes-laundry.  Those are the four things I have to do every day off.
Once something is done it gets crossed off.  Once that entire page is done it gets scribbled through. 
 I used to throw them away once they were done, but through some urging I now keep one every year.  


  1. I love books like this too. I go through periods of using them and with me too it depends on my anxiety levels. I talked to a terapist about it when my doctor sent me there for my anxiety and she said that if this works for me, she would not recommend for me to use any medication. This was three years ago and it is still working.
    I love my books and I don't even like other people to look into mine.
    Thanks for sharing this.

  2. So glad you posted this! Everyone should have the opportunity to know the Brooke Book! Very happy you are keeping one :)

  3. funny brooke moment: calling and FLIPPING out because you left your book at work. seriously herniating. i love your book. my book is: new vocab, to-do lists, calendars, recipes...
    i miss messing with your book. :)

  4. I remember the day Megan is referring to. I was charting and realized that right next to my computer was THE Brooke-Book. I did not dare open it, as I knew it was sacred stuff. I was going to call you, but then it disappeared before I had the chance. Then I figured out that Megan came and got it and put it in a safe place. The End.

  5. One word.... MEDICATION......
    I love you Brookie! Just the way you are!

  6. I love that your friends have vouched for the sacredness of your book. I love the book. It appeals to the overly listy list maker in me. I keep a black & white marbled copybook at home and it's my to-do's, short and long term, menu planning and grocery lists. Not quite as extensive as yours, but the general idea, I get it.

  7. Oh, I totally keep my books. I'm getting better about letting some go, but I love referring to them over the years to see how my days have changed. Plus, I write phone numbers in them often so sometimes I tried to find those numbers. This is really an obsessive compulsive behaviour but I'm ok with it. Your blog post is like a therapy session! Thanks for sharing.

  8. This post was most clicked on at "AP Tuesday!" I will be featuring you during this "Anti-Procrastination Tuesday" Party at New Nostalgia. Thank you for linking up!!



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