The lovely Emma at The Stationery Geekette has asked a few of us to contribute to her new series, ‘Confessions on a Plannerholic’. It will be a weekly post featuring a number of planner related stories, tips, q&a, planner uses and other creative subjects.
This first post is a free-flow chat. Choose anything we want. I was going to talk about my various planners I’ve collected over time but I’ve decided to save that for later. This post will be a slightly more open post but one I wanted to share.
With this post I want to talk about an area of the planning world that I love, it’s not always the one that springs to mind. By this I mean, when people ask me about planning, what it’s about, I usually tell them exactly that. It’s a way to creatively organise your life. However I rarely say it’s about community.
Before I found the planning world, I was a full-time working Mum. I was a Dog Groomer and my Son attended nursery four days a week. I had Tuesday’s off but because of the way the company weeks ran, some weeks I barely saw him or my other half. Payroll ran from Friday to Thursday, not Monday to Sunday. As it was a rota system over seven days, some Monday-Sunday’s you would work six days (although it would be classed as five because of the Payroll system). It’s confusing I know, try working it!
This meant that I felt like I worked all the time. I hardly saw my family and I had no social life what so ever.
When I went onto Maternity leave after having Scarlett, I found Mum’s would invite me out for coffee. Although it was nice to be invited and everyone was lovely, I found it really difficult. It still didn’t feel like it was something for me. I was also still in contact with work, in fact I would pop in all the time. I hadn’t switched off.
I was desperate to find an escape and something that would give my mind a break from the craziness that can be my life.
I tried a bit of Direct Selling. It wasn’t for me, it didn’t last long but I did make some money. This is where I found the idea of time-management with a planner. I bought a Passion Planner and for a while I enjoyed it. Then I saw a planner that another DM seller (and now friend) referred to as ‘the epic planner’. It was an Erin Condren and it was the most beautiful inanimate object I had ever seen! I had to have one.
As it goes, it was coming up to June and the new 2015 releases were coming out. This was the beginning of my planner obsession.
I started to join a few Facebook planner groups. These started off being US based groups but after some time I started to find UK groups. I started to learn more and more about planning. The different types of planners and how you can creatively use them.
I was hooked and it felt like my head had exploded! I couldn’t believe this world had been sat right under me and I never knew. I then started to realise I could really relate to a lot of the people in the groups. Although we all have different styles, the root of our interests is similar to each other.
The more we got talking, the more I realised there were unrelated planning subjects we had in common. I finally felt like I’d found somewhere that made sense to me. I had gone from someone who had a small network of friends, barely any outside of work, to a huge network of people all online.
I now talk to many people most days and I feel like I’ve known them forever. We make the effort to meet up when we can or we organise events. I’m probably more social than I’ve ever been but I can do it in a way that works for me.
I don’t have a lot of time to physically be social, I can’t go for drinks at night with friends (without lot’s of pre-planning), this is the same for days out, cinema, basically anything without the children. When I do meet up with other planners (which isn’t a lot), if I can, I get childcare or I take Scarlett with me (it’s usually a day when George is in nursery, he now goes 3 days a week).
I feel genuinely blessed as without the planning world, I never would have met these people. I love being a Mum and adore my children but sometimes you need an outlet. Before I was very socially awkward, I struggled with the company of other people. I was so tired that half the time it was hard to engage in a group conversation.
I don’t feel awkward meeting up with other planners because we have so much in common. Chances are we’ve already spoken to each other in groups as well.
This community has changed me. I never would have opened a shop, started blogging or have a YouTube channel if it wasn’t for the planner world. I’d still be floating along, doing my job, being a Mum but nothing else. I want to be happy and complete.
I’m going through some big changes in my working life at the moment and I’ve come to a lot of realisations. I would never have been brave enough without the planner community.
For the other links to this series check out:
Thank you for stopping by,