Wednesday, 5 September 2012
I used to have a FiloFax
So I know this has pretty much turned out to be a food blog, but the truth is I didn't actually mean it to be that way! I originally intended to chat about the various ways Mr E and I try to keep our life together simple... especially when at times it can feel anything but. I did plan to include recipes for dishes that I find simple and easy to fit into our schedule, but only as one of a few aspects of what I write about. I guess my love of cooking took over. I really do want to share some of my other thoughts with you though- I just hope those of you who are only here for the food don't mind!
The reason I'm bringing this up now, is that a few people (mainly people who know us well) have asked how we fit in all this cooking when we have... well, lets just say one or two other things on our plate! If I'm honest, juggling it all can be a bit of a struggle, so I wanted to share with you one of the ways we keep everything in the air.
Let me tell you a story. I used to have a Filofax- it was so pretty, with its turquoise cover, white fastener and mini Post-its dotted throughout. I loved my Filofax, and my Filofax loved me- we were very close.
Then I got married. My poor little Filofax did its very best to keep up, but it was already fit to burst with my work schedule, church events, youth group events, band practices, trips to visit my family, date nights with my new husband, girls’ nights, visitors coming to stay, (occasional) trips to the gym, meal plans and so on and so forth. When I asked it to squeeze in my husband’s work schedule (including various evening commitments), football games, leadership team meetings and Kidz Klub… well, my poor little Filofax exploded in a magnificent display of multicoloured Post-it confetti.
OK, it didn’t- but I just couldn’t fit everything in. The other problem was that my Filofax lived in my bag, which lives with me… so if my husband wanted to add something into our already manic diary there was a good chance he'd hit upon a slot that was already occupied by something else (like a diary version of Battleships- remember that game?!). If we didn't want that to happen, we were forever saying “Let me get back to you when I’ve checked the diary?” which kind of sucked. So I (tearfully) bid farewell to my Filofax, and went in search of solution.
The answer? Let me introduce you to… (fanfare please)… Google Calendar!
Not only does it have room for every single last one of our commitments, it’s accessible anywhere (thanks to web enabled phones) and it satisfies that girly side of me that misses the pretty colour coded-ness of my dear Filofax. I’m sure you can see the key on the left hand side, but basically it allows us to share as many different calendars with each other as we need, each one having its own assigned colour to make it easier to read. For example, if Mr E adds a work meeting it'll show up in my diary as purple, so I'll know not to add any green appointments (which are things we're both doing/ attending) but I know I can squeeze in a pink appointment (which is my personal calendar).
Using Google Calendar also means no more updating the birthday/ anniversary calendar at the beginning of each year, as repeat items can be linked in a series, and no more meltdowns when we find ourselves in a manic spell that affords us no precious down time together- we have a birds’ eye view, and this gifts us the ability to look ahead and carve out time. If you find yourself juggling many multicoloured balls of commitments and priorities, I couldn’t recommend using Google Calendar highly enough. It’s as calming as a cup of tea.
Now to decide what colour I will assign to the Baby Ellwoods when they come along…!