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Planning for Survival with a Cherry on Top

It’s been a rough year (2020) and 2021 promises to be just as difficult. I started the year exhausted and needed to ramp up to actually work normal hours. I strongly believe that we need kindness to others and to ourselves more than ever. The COVID19 global pandemic has created an extremely difficult situation for everyone.

January (or end of December of the previous year) is usually when people plan their year or their activities. To be quite frank, I normally plan with much more rigor for an academic year rather than a calendar year, but I also have a process for organizing my calendar year using my Everything Notebook and a set of printed calendars, integrating everything I plan as well with both my Google Calendar and my iPhone’s iCal.

Much as I love being ambitious, I think that for 2021 we really need to consider Planning for Survival with a Cherry on Top. I describe my approach below.

A Pair of Cherries

Photo credit: Amanda Slater on Flickr Creative Commons License: Attribution-Share Alike

You survived – RIGHT FUCKING ON.

Your family survived – GLORY!

Your friends, students, colleagues are doing as well as they can be? -EXCELLENT

Anything else is the Cherry on Top.

Did you Write For 10 Minutes – CHERRY ON TOP

Did you do an AIC summary of one article? – CHERRY ON TOP.

Did you teach that one first class of the semester? – CHERRY ON TOP

Did you manage to have the readings ready for the first couple weeks of classes? – CHERRY ON TOP.

Did you manage to answer 5 emails? – CHERRY ON TOP.

Right now, the goal is to survive this pandemic. Anything else that gets done, is The Cherry on Top. Actively de-programming ourselves from planning for life Almost As If We Were Back to Normal takes a long time. I’m struggling with it. I had to dial down my hopes for 2021. Right now, all I want is to survive and a few cherries.

(Immense thanks to Dr. Mirya Holman who always inspires me to think about these issues and I just want to heavily promote Dr. Holman’s #MHAWS newsletter AND Fridays writing group).

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