Monday, 2 January 2012

Dear diary

Do you ever feel as though you might be stuck in a rut? That the days are toppling like dominoes, each shaped so much like the one before, and what is going to change? WHAT IS EVER GOING TO CHANGE?

No, nor me. Absolutely not. Shut off the alarm clock because today is a brand new adventure and I can't wait to climb back on the thrill ride! I'm not even going to wear my seatbelt! Will I have blueberries on my porridge? Or will it be raspberries? My god, I have never felt more alive!

And yet. When I bought my 2012 diary several months ago – naturally, I needed to buy early, the sooner to fill in my hectic new-year timetable of risks that needed taking, rulebooks I would be tearing up and cutting edges I was scheduled to live on, as well as book group, of course – it occurred to me that maybe, just maybe, the rut had me after all.

Never mind my innate sloth and failure to apply myself. It was clearly my diary, with its ongoing sequels, that was dragging me down.

Year after year, I've realised, I am living with the Police Academy of personal organisers. But it doesn't make the noise of a helicopter when I open it.

I am trying to tell myself, of course, that the latest diary is not totally identical to the others. For one thing, it is a quite different colour, but only because it has yet to acquire a grimy coating of eyeliner, burst banana and other, unindentified handbag excretia. It is only January 2, after all.

But I love the space it gives me. Space is so important in a relationship, don't you think? Just the right amount that my modest number of social engagements doesn't look like a modest number of social engagements. And observe, below, the blank right-hand page, whose lines are just the right distance apart to make your handwriting look far tidier than it really is, on which you can list all your tasks to accomplish during the week ahead.

Then, on Sunday, when you have failed to accomplish any of them, you can turn over and write them out again on the next week's corresponding blank page. It's important to cross each item out as you rewrite it on the next page, as this provides you with the sense that you have actually achieved each of your objectives, a useful shot in the arm for one's self-esteem.

The thing is, it always come back to this. Me and the red Moleskine weekly notebook (pocket size) are right for each other. If that's boring, then call me Steve Davis*.

I bought the new diary in that specialist travel bookshop on Long Acre, a place that reminds you that the world is really very small, with its furthest reaches only a 300-page guidebook away. Still, I only ever seem to go in there for diaries and birthday cards. The lady who served me remarked on how organised I was buying my diary so far ahead. I told her it was my third year with the same make and model, and expressed my fear that this hinted at a fundamental stasis in my existence, but she said I should save the excitement in my life for the really important things.

She was talking about breakfast, right?

I thought so.

(*I love Steve Davis.)


Cx said...

Can I come to gymnastics with you. (ooh I've just realized you probably mean THE gymnastics)

Miss Jones said...

Yes, THE gymnastics. I'm not competing on this occasion, although I haven't ruled out a call-up for the Games this summer. With my astonishing upper body strength, I'm hoping to be the first woman to compete in the rings.

Architectress Extraordinaire said...

You're going to see Matilda? The actual "Matilda" . . . ? Sooooooo jealous :(
Please maybe we have a review? Please, please, pluheseeee?

Wally B said...

My rut often seems like peering up from the bottom of the Grand Canyon, only without tourists. As if to confirm my place in our family's life, I received 2 new oven gloves and shiny new garden trowel. Sigh.....

Colleen said...

I was intrigued by the gymnastics too... if you do ever decide to learn, I'd love to come, I think I still have my baby blue legwarmers from 1981.