I was cleaning out a cabinet the other day and found a binder that I made several years ago titled, “Good Things Everyone Should Know.” It’s filled with all sorts of Martha Stewart-y ideas. Good Things for entertaining, for holidays, for decorating, for gardening. All Good.
I made that binder years ago with the intention that it would all come in handy one day. I took great care in the binder’s creation, pages and pages that had been ripped out of magazines had been collecting and needed a home. Each page was carefully placed inside a protective cover before being filed away under the correct tab inside of the binder. I used to be really good at ripping things out of magazines. Really Good.
As any good planner knows, you plan for both the now and for the later. Most of the pages that I ripped out in my 20’s were planning for the later. For when I was married. For when I had kids. For when we purchased our first home. Our second home. And finally our “forever” home. There were lots of things in that binder I knew I wouldn’t be using for quite a while. But by damn, when I finally was ready it would be waiting for me in that binder.
Now I’m in my 40’s with a teenager, a pre-teen and in that “forever” house that I had planned for. (And by forever I am referring to until my kids are done with college and we can move to the beach.) Nevertheless, this is our BIG house. The house that I was always waiting on. The house itself is far from perfect but the people I love who live inside come pretty damn close.
I started to flip through the binder and quickly realized that the life that I had planned on never arrived. This binder that I created to come in handy one day never has. According to these pages, I was supposed to be doing a lot of gardening and baking and entertaining and other things that just have never come to pass. So many of these pages for when “we had more money” or “the kids were older” or “we have a bigger house.” Truth is, we don’t entertain in a manner that required monogrammed napkins that need to be dry cleaned. I don’t really like to garden and large table decorations for each holiday are more trouble than they’re worth. All of the baking ideas are only making me fat and the kid craft ideas were always too much damn prep and effort for two boys who really don’t care about crafting. This binder is for someone else’s life, not mine.
So I started to empty the binder. Some of the ideas were worth keeping and were put into other binders. (Yes, there are other binders.) But the majority of the pages went directly into the recycling bin. This isn’t the life that I had planned for when I put this binder together. If I had that life I would be completely exhausted. Truth is, this binder was very high maintenance. This binder would require multiple wives and a shit ton of money to create.
I have neither.