Samantha Jones

Sam's Notebook

Samantha Jones is associate editor for Carroll County Newspapers. Her email address is Citizen.Editor.Eureka@gmail.com.


Itís a plan

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Last week, I received a quarterly lifestyle subscription box. This box has blessed me with high-end skincare products, nice jewelry and loads of hair care in the past.

Unfortunately, I wasnít so blessed this time around.

Pretty much everything in the box was useless or obviously cheap, like a cup in the shape of a cactus that Gideon inexplicably loves.

At least it wasnít a total bust. At the very bottom of the package, I spotted a brightly colored daily planner. Most people know Iím serious about organization, from the way we stack hand towels at home to all the appointments I have to keep up with at work. Still, somehow, I never owned a daily planner. Not in high school when I was taking way too many AP classes. Not in college when I was juggling a full-time course load and two part-time jobs.†

I never thought I needed it, to be honest. I keep pretty good track of everything in my head and only write things down every once in a while. Despite what I do for a living, I find it difficult to keep up with daily journaling of any kind. Iíve tried bullet journaling. Iíve tried writing in an ongoing Google doc. It always ends the same way, with one or two entries and then a whole lot of nothing.

So when I opened this colorful planner, I instinctively threw it to the side. I didnít even open it to check it out.

ďJust another disappointing item,Ē I thought to myself. Heck, I was so disappointed I probably said it aloud.

A while later, curiosity got the better of me. I cracked it open and realized that it wasnít a super regimented planner. You donít have to update it every day and you can check off all your goals as you accomplish them. Even better, thereís a section where you can write what you are thankful for.

Expressing thankfulness is a big deal for me. Iíve got a lot of racket going on in my head and sometimes obsess over the most minuscule things, like accidentally double paying the electric bill or a scratch on my car. The best way to quiet those intrusive thoughts is to replace them with different thoughts. Making a point to express thankfulness has given me a more positive outlook on life, and it makes a major difference in my day-to-day mental state.

With more pros than cons, the planner won me over. I decided to start using it and, to my surprise, even used it during my days off. I took a few days off to spend with Gideon over spring break and he looked at me like I was the biggest weirdo in the world when I started writing down our goals for the week, which basically boiled down to ďhave fun.Ē

ďWho is this person?Ē I can only imagine he was thinking.

Now itís a new week and Iím still using it. I can hardly believe it myself. Here I am, filling in a to-do list for the fifth consecutive day. Iím sure Iíll stop in the near future, but Iím pretty proud of myself for making it this long. Whatís that thing they say about best-laid plans?

I guess Iím about to figure it out.