I’m starting to see double, and I’m not quite sure what to do about it.

It’s not a vision problem I’m dealing with, it’s a problem with double-booking myself, and not even realizing it. This has never been much of an issue for me before. Whenever two events I want to attend are taking place on the same day, at the same time, I simply choose one, and put the details on my calendars. I have two—the one on the kitchen counter that I look at every morning and several times throughout the day, and the one on my phone, which I always carry with me.

Still, not long ago, it somehow slipped past me that the overnight plans my husband and I were making for Super Bowl weekend were in conflict with a weekend retreat I was working at. And the following Friday, after we decided to go to our church’s first Lenten Fish Fry, it didn’t register that I couldn’t go because I had signed up to help with an event at the Writers Museum at the same time. That event had been on the calendar for weeks, but somehow it didn’t click that the Fish Fry was the same evening.

The part that bothers me about these instances isn’t that I had to pass on some activities. It’s that I didn’t initially realize I had a conflict. So now I’m trying to figure out the best way to keep this kind of thing from happening again.

I don’t intend to give up any of the activities I enjoy, or the organizations I belong to. And hiring a personal assistant to handle my schedule is not an option. Nor is putting up a giant wall calendar in every room so it’s always right in front of me.

Perhaps color-coding calendar entries would help me differentiate between firm commitments and those I’m just thinking about, or those that aren’t firmed up yet—like lunch dates with friends or one-time meetings that need a consensus from several people before the date and time can be determined. Of course, I’d also need a bigger calendar in order to include all these not-yet-firmed-up plans in addition to the already-scheduled ones.

I suspect the only way to solve this problem is simply to be more mindful and careful whenever I’m making—or even considering—new plans and activities. If I write everything down on my calendar as soon as I start thinking about it, rather than when it’s set in stone, I should be able to more easily see and avoid potential conflicts. And to more smoothly navigate my schedule.

And, of course, to stop seeing double.

March 5, 2024
©Betty Liedtke, 2024

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