Now, this title isn't what it seems - I have no answers for business success, especially in these troubled days.
Many of you know that I have been through two years of treatment for breast cancer and have now been in remission for around eighteen months, at the time of writing. Naturally during treatment, there was a lot to cope with and our business bobbled along as best it could - although I did manage to finally write a book, and two recipe books.
The remission period is something else entirely - there are no rules, no handy leaflets, you cope as best you can. I threw myself back into life on every level, often over-extending myself, periods of manic activity usually accompanied by insomnia where my thought processes were whirring non-stop. I often say to people who find being around me full-on if not downright exhausting - 'it's OK for you, you can go home.' I have to listen to me 24/7.
Lots got left as I leapt from one new project to another I think subconsciously I felt that my time was limited and I couldn't bear to waste a second of it. I couldn't settle on things for any length of time though and as a result often fell short of my own impossible standards. There were family commitments, work and teaching, regular gym work to fit in three times a week, physio on my arm, hospital appointments, WI meetings and planning and all of my hobbies. I am making myself feel tired just writing about it all.
The second anniversary of my mastectomy came around on the Winter Solstice on December, 21st 2019. On the first anniversary I was still directly dealing with the physical effects and it passed me by. This time around it hit me hard and I relived those few dark days and nights, almost minute by minute. I found that I had perfect recall and was constantly thinking 'this time two years ago.' I think that it is pretty clear that, until now I just hadn't dealt with it and this was me processing everything and as a result, I am now sailing in calmer waters. Much more ready to say No to things, evaluating - and respecting - my time and how, and on who, I spend it.
The planning comes into this evaluation. Husband Trev suggested that I produced a Planner for me and other preservers, which I did, which also made me think. I am now using it myself and what a godsend it is turning out to be. I have always used, and still like, a Filofax, and I have always made lists, but this is something else. I have all of my classes and teaching engagements where I can see at a glance what I am doing, which stops me getting over committed, the 'bunching' of bookings which mean I get overtired or even worse, I have to cancel.
I can see the seasons, what I could make, what needs to be prepped for classes, what shop stock I need to plan for, shows I am going to, ideas I have, notes that I know I will need later. It is only the first part of January but already I feel much more on top of things and capable - and above all, positive and professional.
I used to think that Planners were for people who just wanted to spend a lot of time organising what they would do but not actually doing anything. All the coloured pens and stickers, lists and hash tags. I was wrong and I apologise for thinking that.
This is what I meant by my title - by planning I am much more likely to achieve my own personal standards and save myself all of that angst and recrimination which will make the whole of my life so much more enjoyable.
This is my first serious blog since my illness, I just got out of the habit but I have really missed it. Hopefully I can now get back to writing regularly and all of those nocturnal ideas and thoughts will get recorded and maybe even put into action. It's feels good to be back
You can own one too: Planner and Recipe Books