Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Seasonal Planner Just Got 100% Better

One feedback I have received on the new Seasonal Beehive Planner came while standing in a hallway chatting with a local friend. Her critique, concern, and suggestions created an addition for the SPRING edition which is making it 100% better (watch for a January order date). It includes reminders of dates beyond the normal holidays; dates such as Hairstylist Day and Grandparents Day and Cinco de Mayo and Thank Your Pastor know, all those fun life-extras that we forget about until the day after;-)...along with small ideas to commemorate the date (only if you want to) to make yourself feel you're "in-the-know" or at least ahead of the game---even when you're not ;-)---or, if nothing else, just for the random FUN-ness of it all.

This hallway critique was ironic because I found the hardest part of this planner was creating the "planner" part. I am very Charlotte Mason-y minded (see the reviews recently posted: First Reviews: These ladies "get it!" and embrace it). This little planner was to be a gleaning away from the regular boxed-in planner. Possibly for those of us who have found a planner doesn't work properly in our hands. For those of us who survive in the now more than on next year's plans which might, or might, not happen.
I wanted this creation to be thoughtful and compact. I added lists that I thought were worth your time-of-day. I didn't want anything stressful. Remember, for some of us "boxes" create stress because we feel the need to fill-in those "boxes".  Now, lists? Ah, yes, that's where it's at. Those of us who don't do well inside of boxes still love our list-making. The lists seem to work better than the boxes. I've always found the boxes in planners are much too small for my creativity and regular duties. Lists, on the other hand, can expand and flow and breathe. So there are lots of lists in the WINTER edition of the Seasonal Beehive Planner.
I simply couldn't wrap the "planner" part around my brain and fit it into this "box". The thought of creating a box scared me. And I felt guilty selling a planner that wasn't a planner. And so I fudged and tried to call it anything but a planner. But the one word people understood was "planner"...except for the postal lady that is (very nice lady) who finally looked at me and said, "Oh, you mean like an organizer!?!"
Yeah, like that.

Only the mission of The Seasonal Beehive Planner isn't to organize your life. There are multitudes of organizers already out there for you to tediously do so. There is no "goal" behind the Beehive because it's a "mission" meant to calm your life.
So I set it up with seasonal prompts and activities and a focus and a devotional and LISTS....lots of LISTS...and avoided those boxes like one would avoid a hornet nest. :-)

But I was listening to the humming and buzzing of others. I could tell from the questioning and input of others that some want (or perhaps have a need for) those little spaces in which to cultivate daily plans. In a very real way, that calms them. I want to be able to offer them that calm. And so I worked late one night coming up with "a plan" for the SPRING edition.
And the "planner" part, which was the hardest part for me, once embraced and accepted, became the simplest thing ever. One of the FUNNER things, actually. Such a strange twist...
I had avoided the "boxed in" planner in creating the WINTER edition but, after realizing there is a deep-rooted need, a much-watered desire for such, I looked at those boxes as "focused pauses" in one's day.

I believe, perhaps, this is why we cling to and strive to "box" in our days. Part of it is a control issue...which I skirt around because I've seen nothing but tension and resistance come with people holding tight to their "boxes" and trying to control their day...but I'm learning (always learning) to see that what people really need is not control but a centering (which many Church Fathers have talked about and written about). We need a focus and a coming back to self and a reminder that fits in with the cycling of the seasons which follows the cycling of our lives. It's a natural process and there's nothing wrong with it whatsoever. We need "focused pauses". We need that balance. With that concept, the planner part (available in the SPRING edition) creates a balance and fulfillment that is lacking in the WINTER edition.

"Boxes" can add support and create structure. And that's a very good, very necessary thing. I'm beginning to understand that now.

Slow learner, me? Nah!

The WINTER edition is pretty nice and special in its own way, so the Reviews seem to say, but since it was the very first edition of this endeavor, I'm fixing myself a fresh cup of coffee, embracing the pause, grateful for the focus, and moving on.

Have I mentioned the SPRING edition is going to be 100% better. :-)
{Special grateful THANK YOU to the talented, Anna Cantrell, who has created the cover design and art work for The Seasonal Beehive Planner! }

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