~ The Plan ~

It is mid-November. People usually make their resolutions in September or the start of the New Year. Not me. I am starting on November 16th, and vow that by Christmas I am going to:

1. have a clean house

2. be so organized I will not be able to stand myself

3. have all my book work caught up; and have a plan to keep it up


November (Photo credit: Cape Cod Cyclist)

4. renew my “plan” made last March

The following is taken from a column I wrote that appeared in the Kingsville Reporter in March (and on this blog too–but only two people seem to have read it, hence the repeat. I have edited it to fit this sunny month of November):

The plan is to walk every morning; the plan is to have time set aside for writing and (somewhat begrudgingly) managing a home office; the plan is to keep my home if not in domestic bliss, at least not a candidate for the program “Hoarders”; and the plan is to fix meals with an eye to nutrition.

That is the basic plan, with a few variables thrown in—editing a college essay or advising my college age son who lives two hours away on the mysteries of cooking (which though I have not in any way mastered, I have fairly successfully fed a family of four for over a quarter of a century). And to my credit and great relief no one has ever gotten ill from my cooking in the last thirty something years. (There was that incident when I made lasagna from scratch in university for some friends—but I no longer speak of it.) I also provide an ear for my eldest son, and hand out unsolicited advice to both he and his brother—I figure some of it sticks even if it is unacknowledged.

Office management is the hardest part of my plan. I have worked in offices, but in those offices I have had bosses. In this office I am the boss and I am just a little bit too laid back. I would fire me in a minute if I could.

Keeping the house off the television program “Hoarders” is also part of ‘the’ plan. I would give myself a C most days on my housekeeping skills, but on a good day I can see a B- in my future. My cooking skills are a solid B, as long as you do not give me demerit points for convenience foods that come in really handy sometimes. I have friends who ask me in the morning what we are having for supper—and most of the time I have no idea. I think this lends a bit of serendipity to everyday life. Serendipity sometimes translates into a roasted chicken with all the fixings; serendipity also translates into warming up a pre-packaged lasagna dinner.

So, that is my plan for mid-November. How about you–do you have big plans to complete before the holiday season–or am I just a crazy person?

English: A bokeh of Christmas lights.

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)


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  1. Sounds like a doable plan, LouAnn. I like “plan” instead of “goal” or “resolution. I feels more available and realistic. My plan through the holidays is just to stay calm, have fun and not add to many extra things to my already full plate. It got fuller this year with my blog…

    • I know, blogging adds a great dimension but also a bit of a responsibility
      I like your plan to stay calm–that is the only way anything can really get done with a modicum of happiness

  2. I like this post. But how dull would our life be if we could actually get so organized? I have found that when I am (organized) that I must expend so much effort that it is exhausting to try to stay organized.
    Speaking of hoarders- that show will make you feel grateful that you are you …

    • I know exactly what you mean–when I have a clean house I am much more picky with the people around me in keeping their stuff picked up–it is exhausting to stay organized — I need a maid and a butler and a chauffeur and a cook and a gardener–(lol)

  3. I ‘moved’ to get organized..lol…..Diane

  4. Great plan! I, too, hope to stay off “Hoarders.” Organization is something I need to work on. Tough to do so with three wild boys running around here 24/7. I like how you don’t wait to start this list. Begin change today! Keep us posted on your progress 🙂

    • thank you – my two boys are no longer little so it should be a bit easier–you just hang on to your sanity–forget about being organized!

  5. Your cooking sounds exactly like mine. Most evenings I don’t think about dinner until I get home from work, and the kids ask me what’s for dinner. I’ll then open the fridge, and the cupboards, and the freezer, and sometimes my answer is “Erm…leftovers from last night?” I always want to be much more organised with meals, I aspire to looking through cookbooks and then planning meals for the week and buying everything I need in one go. Never happens.

  6. I have the following plans:
    1. No more resolutions
    2. No more feeling bad about not making resolutions
    3. No more plans

    • that is the best no plan “plan” I have ever read!

      • I had plans to write more, but I’ve scrapped them.

      • no, no, not that–write more, write more!

      • I was trying to say that I had plans to write more plans (trying to squeeze another joke out of it)…..But I really have scrapped plans to write another novel. Too much work for too little pay. I figure to just write on this blog (not real writing, not the real thing in my opinion) and play some music. And try to stay out of trouble…. Oops that sounds like a plan!

      • this is Friday, you are allowed to to get in trouble on Fridays

  7. Your plan is good and can work for me too 🙂 In these days I am in a big mess between two houses, and weekend we can go only to the new house but the details are going to be finished then it will be my time to decorate the home 🙂 But needs a big cleaning first of all. You are not crazy dear, Good Luck for your plan… It is always so nice to have plan. Thanks and Love, nia

    • good luck – it is not easy being between two houses – glad you don’t think I am crazy–but it is still up for debate

  8. A clean house is overrated. And, I find it sad that frozen packaged lasagna is better than my homemade. However, I like your plan. Attainable and satisfying when reached.

    • it is overrated when I have to do it–that is for sure–but the tumbleweed she is rolling — and I have to get the house ready for our party.
      I had packaged lasagna the other day, and my husband asked me why I did not make mine anymore–I was complimented–not enough to make it–but complimented nevertheless

  9. Staying off the show Hoarders is not something I would wanna’ be on tv for either – LOL. The older I get – I find myself being less of a hoarder. Although – I do have things I “collect” – I recently got rid of a whole lot of unnecessary & unused items when I had my horder room organized. It felt so goooooood!
    I like the word plan instead of goal too. There’s more flexibility there 😉

    • plans can be changed while resolutions sound so hard and fast–I am not looking forward to the process–but the end result should be satisfying, as Robin said

  10. Am I really supposed to respond to the crazy part? My plan–shucks I don’t have a plan. You sound like the perfect boss though. How bout we call it a day and have some wine.

    • yes you are supposed to respond to the crazy part–we have already put our other friend in that category!
      I would be a good boss–I am quite lenient!
      Wine, not whine, sounds good to me!

      • I never whine!

      • me neither – where ever did she get that idea

      • LOL!! You two are a great pair 😃.

  11. I like your plan.. this reminds me to make plans to write a plan 😉

  12. Since I am not going to be home for Thanksgiving, I have a little more time to work on my plan.
    1. finish the current projects in my home and get them out of here.
    2. clean the home to my standards when I have no big pieces to work on.
    3. Increase my workouts and try to drop a few pounds before Christmas.
    4.finish the projects I am making for gifts this year.
    5. finally, finish the book I need to edit.

    • those are some good plans–I find if I write them down –it makes them more real–does that work for you too?

      • It definitely does. Knowing I had today to myself, I made a list before going to bed last night of what I wanted to finish today.

  13. As the holidays approach I usually set the same goals, namely to stay in my current wardrobe and out of Betty Ford. I know as goals go they’re a bit low, but at least I have a shot at success.

  14. You are going to laugh. Just as I hit post comment my phone rang, my neighbor had found something else tossed into the treasure box (his name for our recycling dumpster). I groaned, as I wanted to get my projects done and out before Christmas, but this was a true find and only needed a coat of spray paint to fix it up. Maybe my home will be project free for Christmas 🙂

  15. Your plan and organisation inspires me to get my lazy butt into work mode 😀
    Off to do that!

    Choc Chip Uru

  16. November Resolutions…LOVE IT!

    Good luck xx

  17. Sounds exactly like my plan except all my family are coming mid-December as that’s when my eldest gets time off work and will be driving down (1200kms I think) with his wife and my little grandson who turned one yesterday. With my other three, partners, my Mum & Dad and assorted grand-dogs, I’m hoping no one will even notice the Hoarders crew in the background 🙂

    • ha ha – you are funny — and if you don’t go crazy I am sure you are going to have a great time!

  18. I love the way you plan, LouAnn. I’m a shocking ‘planner’ and my plan is to become more organised this November instead of just doing things on the spur of the moment! 😀

    • I love spur of the moment, but it does not solve all our problems–hoping a little planning does

  19. Those all sound like good plans. I could use a plan for getting through the holidays without getting completely frazzled.

  20. Love it. I’m due for a mid-November set of fresh resolutions myself.

    • good time of year to do it when most others aren’t–you get your fresh start early

  21. I have the same goals to get thru the holidays… organization being way up high. Nothing else works if I don’t have things organized. 🙂

  22. no plan making here. No lists no goals.. just one foot in front of the other

  23. After moving in August, I am well on my way to being organized. Too bad it took a move to get me there…..but hey, whatever works. Good luck with your goals Lou.

    • thanks Peg–I have to work with what I have–no move in the foreseeable future

  24. Guess what? I started my resolutions today too!

    • great minds think alike young lady!

      • Oh you called me young – I love you!

      • the other day someone referred to me as a girl — I almost kissed him–but I didn’t–I know my place (lol)

  25. I mean yesterday – ha! On the 16th.

    • so, you are ahead of me — what time is it there – it is still today here though wordpress changes days hours ahead here

      • It’s nearly 10.30am on 17th.

      • see now I am replying to you at 6:34 a.m. on the 17th–so you will always and forever be ahead of me unless you come for a visit

  26. There’s something about this season that just makes you want to start planning, isn’t there? Oftentimes I really don’t have too many plans, but this year, LOTS of planning to be done which include:
    – getting my grad school applications DONE
    – shopping for appropriate snow attire for a vacation in December
    – getting my grad school applications DONE
    – resist spending too much on frivolous, unnecessary items
    – did I mention getting my apps done?

    • I take it you want to get your grad school application DONE and I know you will–the sooner you do it, the less you have to think about it–this comes from a worrier and procrastinator extraordinaire–unfortunately I know whereof I speak
      When I went to grad school they accepted me, then said I had to take statistics at summer school before I could take the brand new course–no one knew you had to have statistics for it–fortunately I just had to take it, and the marks did not matter as long as you passed–I have a fear of mathematics–probably why I am in charge of the books for my husband’s company–irony thy reign is complete
      Anyway–good luck with that application!

  27. I like your plan! I rarely hold to New Years Resolution’s myself, but I’m always revising my plan as the year goes by. Really, a whole 365 days without a revision? I think we have the better idea 😛

    My plan for November are:
    To finish my 3rd “Adventures of Baseball and Zooey” book
    To catch up, and stay caught up with blogging/reading/commenting
    and To clean the house!

    • that last one haunts me too
      good luck with that third book–I love the name Zooey
      have to strike a balance with blogging and reading and commenting–I am doing it at the expense of my other duties (but I just love it!)

  28. Nearing completion of all reparations from our July plumbing flood, I will be happy to just get everything back into its proper drawer, cabinet or closet. And the biggest plan I have, starting next week, is to go back to living my own time schedule and not someone else’s. Workmen love to start work early – like 8 am; so I’ve totally turned my hours around to accomodate them, going to bed four or five hours early and getting up four or five hours early!

    • be nice to have your house back – what a nightmare–I am glad thins are getting back to “normal”

  29. My plan? What plan? I am only going to do what I always do every day with the exception of doing a little extra shopping and cooking. Nothing complicated. 🙂

  30. I have a plan today, if I can ever get through all my emails :). I am going to drag every item out of the closet in my bedroom and only put back in those items that actually fit me and that I wear. I have to finally come to terms with the fact that I will never again fit into half of the clothes in my closet. Then I might actually have enough room for the newer clothes that are sitting on my bedroom floor!! Now the question is, will I actually get this done? I have so many things that I need to do around this house, including redecorating practically every room (but that’s expensive and I hate decorating) that I decided to just pick one thing at a time. So, wish me luck with my closet today, and good luck with your plan!!

    • Hey, guess what? I did it!!! You must have inspired me because I cleaned out my entire closet, and I threw away a ton of old clothes. I filled three huge storage containers and two green garbage bags and was able to put the clothes sitting on my floor in my closet where they belong. Yay me!! The best part of all was then going out shopping for new jeans because I was down to 2 pair that fit me and actually getting them on sale LOL!!

      • yay for you – now to put inspiration to work for me!

      • Go LouAnn! Go LouAnn!! I know you can do it 😃. Just pick one thing for today and don’t stop until it’s done. I know you can!! If I can do it, You can do it too 😀. There – how’s that for cheering you on. And you should always give yourself chocolate as a reward afterwards!!

      • a cheering section and chocolate–okay I will report back–thanks for the cheers

      • Any time 😃

  31. I’m just taking it one day/week at a time. I don’t do the whole New Year’s Resolution thing, but I do like to have some short-term plans to get stuff done. Right now I’m just going through my to-do list for today. If I can cross off everything on that list, I’ll be a happy camper.

    • The New Years thing does not work for me either, though I do it just so I can write about it in my newspaper column–it is called creative nonfiction (lol)
      I need plans so I will get things done–hope you happy camper status happens!

  32. I think I spend half my life planning!! 😉

    • well, we have got to have a path before we can make the journey

      • I never thought of that, that is beautiful I will have to remember that. 😉

      • surprised myself

  33. Oh, I have plans! I’m a list maker extraordinaire! Sometimes I even get to check things off my lists…and that’s the really satisfying part! Well, you know, hope springs eternal, and I’m all about re-setting myself on a regular basis if I don’t seem to be making progress. Mostly I give myself deadlines and timelines, like when we’re going to have guests…that’s always a big incentive…or when we’re leaving town…that’s another one. For some reason I am compelled to leave the house spotless and my lists all done. Best way to get projects checked off! ~ Sheila

    • you have given me some good ideas–resetting is a great idea because some things become unncessary, while others come to the forefront and become important
      my best way of getting the house in shape is to have guests just like you–I like to have it all done before I go away too–but that one never seems to work for me, but I can imagine that coming home to a nice clean place would be wonderful

      • Honestly, I worry a bit that I’m neurotic…leaving the house clean makes a lot of difference to how I vacation…it sends me off in a good mood, and I enjoy knowing I’m going to walk in to clean and orderly. Must be something wrong with me for sure! Isn’t a beach enough incentive?! No, I have to be dust-bunny free too! 🙂 ~ Sheila

      • I think you like having peace of mind, and I think this is a great thing to strive for–but for some reason I am always in a mess when I leave, but usually I am so glad to get home that it does not matter all that much–you are not neurotic, just organized

  34. Oh, organized sounds much better! I’m sure that’s it! ~ Sheila

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