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First off, I want to say thanks to everyone who wrote in nice things about yesterday’s post. I know I’ve had some heavier entries lately: what can I say, March was not the greatest month for me. But as of today, it is April, and I am taking a deep breath and moving on. Today is the first day of the rest of your life! Step Forward! And all that.

Today is also April Fool’s Day, which I hate, because I am officially the most gullible person on the planet. First thing when I woke up today I thought, “Remember: doubt people today.” Which is not a positive way to begin the first day of the rest of your life, but it IS necessary, as I always fall for every stupid April Fool’s joke. Not today! I am ready. Or as ready as I can be. To be honest, all I want is just to have a good weekend. Peaceful, no worries or drama. Oh, and if Carolina could win on Saturday night too, that would be just swell. I will keep my fingers crossed.

Last night, before bed, I found myself flipping though one of my calendars (yes, I have multiple calendars, I’m a little OCD, what’s your point?). At the very end, past the part where they have time zones and room for telephone numbers, there were a few pages with various advice for students (this is my academic calendar). My favorite was entitled TIME MANAGEMENT: THE KEY TO COLLEGE SUCCESS. I thought, hey, I’m having a kind of hard time. I need success. Let me read on.

The first step, according to the calendar, is FIRST KNOW YOURSELF. Good advice. How do you do this, you ask? Well, according to the makers of this calendar, you should: Keep a time inventory/log for a few days. Use an alarm set at 15 to 30 minute intervals. Every time the alarm goes off, write down everything you’ve been doing. Rate each activity according to its importance: “A” for vital, “B” for important, and “C” for marginally useful. This might help some people. But for me, I know my entire list would be like this:

8:15: What am I doing? Freaking out waiting for the alarm to go off. Now, I will relax.
8:30: Dammit! Okay, now I’m going to get productive.
8:45: Wait! Has it been fifteen minutes already?
9:00: I’m turning off this clock.

The next step is WORKING YOUR PLAN. This is my very favorite part, so great I am going to quote the first two steps verbatim:

Plan 60% of your day, leaving 20% for buffers and unanticipated developments and 20% for spontaneity.

Be flexible.

Good luck with that, right? Plan your entire day down to increments, but try to be loose about it. I was about to have a breakdown just reading this, much less trying to do it. As I read all this stuff, though, I had a total Oprah lightbulb moment in which I realized: I need to relax. Take that deep breath. Things will get done. Books will get written. It’s all okay, really. It’s going to be just fine. No matter how much you try to hypercontrol the world, you just can’t, and you’ll need a lot more than 20% of your time to handle the unexpected that life throws at you. Every once in awhile, you have to take your sticky little hands off the controls (as Anne Lamott would say) and try to enjoy the ride.

This is the plan that I want to work, starting today. The plan that is, really no plan, other than just doing the best I can. Here we go. Step forward.

have a great day, everyone!