Writing the F-Word

“Think like a queen; a queen is not afraid to fail.”~Oprah Winfrey, American entertainer

The Letter F challenges writers, and many others, with a curious history of pronunciation, spelling and script.  


The other day, I caught the movie Frozen on TV. I haven’t seen it in years, and I still don’t see the blinding infatuation of it. Disney’s Beauty & the Beast or The Little Mermaid are far more visually engaging with entertaining stories…but that’s not the point right now. The last song in Frozen is “Let It Go,” which won both an Academy Award and a Grammy. It is unexpectedly bouncy and rebellious, and I sang those three words in my head for several maddening days.

I’m a #planneraddict, #plannergirl and many other #planner tags on Instagram.  I like lists.  I like stickers.  Lists make me feel organized and productive. She Who Abides By To-Do Lists experiences an incredible sense of satisfaction when I draw that checkmark in that checkbox, especially when there’s an owl or mermaid sticker next to it, my current obsessions.


There are so many planners and calendars and datebooks in the world, and there’s no way to address them all.  One image on Instagram led me to a site that led me to a site that led me to a site that eventually took me to the GET TO WORK BOOK site.  I’m not promoting this item, because other than the designer price tag of $55, the GTWB looks like any other paper planner.  It does offer an intriguing spin on breaking down your action items.

Most planners offer some wrap-up, check-in, progress-made section in their book.  Their website shows images of the interior pages so you know if this planning system works for your needs. At the end of each month, GTWB has a “Reflect and Goal Set” page divided into six sections. The first three boxes prompt you to review the definitive actions of your past four weeks: “Last Month’s Wins” plus “Still in Progress” and “To Let Go Of.” The second set of boxes encourage you to look ahead with personal less-structured questions: “To Think On” plus “To Work On” and “To Complete.”


“To Let Go Of” struck a chord in me.  I have a lot of To-Dos that I never seem to complete. I keep pushing them aside, for whatever reason, and these tasks hang over my head. I feel compelled to complete them. After all, I set the goal, so I should finish, right?

I live by my phone app, Due, which points out my failure constantly. By my choice, of course, because I use it. I wouldn’t own it if it wasn’t promoted by Starbucks years ago when they offered free App Of The Week cards. It’s a useful scheduling app complementing my online or paper calendar to type in appointments, weekly reminders, yearly events and due dates.  You set a timer for on-screen notifications, anything from 10 to 30 to 57 minutes or 3 to 6 to 24 hours, whatever time frame you need for the item to pop up in your face.


My Due setting is to “Keep alerting you to overdue reminders until they are marked done,” which is accomplished by swiping down on the notification box when it pops up and clicking the “Mark Done” line. My regular events include “Call (person) weekly,” “4:30pm: Do afternoon eye exercises,” and “Tuesday #writestuff Twitter chat, 9pm.”  

It’s an electronic snooze alarm filled with some tasks with no definite deadline, just an I-need-to-do-this-soonish timeframe. Those one-off tasks include “Buy (this item) in September,” “Look for (that) next week,” and “Review (this) mid-month.” The tasks I keep putting off haunt me. I feel responsible for them because I created them, and they hold me back.


Let it go. Three simple words, one difficult concept. We hoard our obligations as a contract to ourselves, and we judge success by them. How good would it feel to just hit a reset button and move forward with blank slate? Is that irresponsible or careless? Moving beyond that in itself is a measure of letting go. Can you do that? Of course you can. Will you give yourself permission to do that?



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