Getting it together

One girl’s expedition into the uncharted territory of being a fully functioning member of society: Crazy detailed scheduling works, kind of

More stories from Faith Hultman


On Wednesday of last week I walked into class and flung my backpack to the ground dramatically. My friend Hannah, who was already there because she is the kind of person I wish I wereearly for thingsraised her eyebrows and, unprompted, I informed her that my life was “too together.”

It had been one day of carefully scheduling every move I made. My planner was overflowing with lists and times, and I had accomplished a lot in a fairly small amount of time. It felt good. Too good. Something had to give.

Hannah didn’t look like she believed me, so I launched into an explanation of how responsible I had become. Approximately two minutes into my poorly concealed bragging about what a contribution to society I was making by writing this column and helping college students everywhere get it together, I realized something big.

My planner said “pay rent.” I had it scheduled. What I didn’t have scheduled was my need to obtain checks.

I whipped my head over to Hannah, eyes wide with dismay. “I lost my checks and I have to pay rent today,” I whispered, horrorstruck.

Hannah was concerned, naturally. “Did you leave them in Rice Lake?” she said. There was only one problem with that line of questioning.

When I got my first debit card I also got a checkbook. The day after obtaining the aforementioned checkbook I lost it.

As a result, I hadn’t written a check in four years.

The first lesson I learned from a week of extreme scheduling: Sometimes, things you wrecked four years ago will still come back to haunt you in ways your planner, which you have been toting around like it’s the secret to eternal life, doesn’t allow.

I did, fortunately, get some emergency checks from the bank, but that panicked foray into the foreign world of fiscal responsibility pushed the rest of the obligations in my day to the limit.

The checkbook wrench was the first of many. It caused a domino effect; things I didn’t do on Wednesday because I was wandering Eau Claire trying to find checks got pushed into Thursday, so I missed a few things on Thursday and in the blink of an eye everyone except me was handing in their Spanish papers on Friday afternoon.

The way I see it, there are two options with this technique. Either keep it up for years straight, until nothing from your dark past as the living embodiment of chaos can claw its way back up to the surface of your clean, orderly life, or use your planner but don’t rely on it to tell you what to do every second of every day. I’ll leave it up to you, the reader, who presumably wants to get it together just as badly as I do.

As for me, I’m going to continue using my planner, but not to the point of zero flexibility. Scheduling pee breaks? It’s just not going to work, especially because I have the bladder of a baby chinchilla.

Catch me next week as I go to bed early and wake up even earlier. People who wake up early in the morning always seem so put together and their hair is never frozen from the shower.

Does it work? Is this the week I turn myself around for good? We’ll find out. It’s a desperate world out there folks; stay on top of it.