What is Creative Planning? It’s the art of pulling and putting together numerous components for the perfect paper planner which equals planner peace.
Some might think creative planning is about the stickers. And stickers are great –aren’t they?! But, in my opinion, that’s called “decorating”. Creative planning really comes into play when using a bullet style journal for planning. Using this traditional planning method, you have to literally pull together a layout, set up your entire page from scratch and then put together your notebook.
My perfect paper planner started to come together back in April! The month of April happens to be National Donate Life Month where local, regional and even national activities are held to promote organ, eye and tissue donation. It’s also a time when those who were organ donors are celebrated for the lives they’ve saved through the gift of their donation.
The month of April is important to me because of my brother, Edward. I lost him to cystic fibrosis back in 1998. Before he passed he was accepted onto the lung transplant list as a candidate for a double lung transplant. So, raising awareness of organ donation and transplantation is also important to me. One of the ways I raise awareness of this important cause is through the colors of green and blue.Don’t take your organs to heaven....Heaven knows we need them here! Click To Tweet
That’s when I discovered, and ultimately ordered, my Foxy Fix Sugar Sour Apple No. 4 (personal size) notebook in April (shown above). It was the perfect green color to represent and raise awareness of organ donation and transplantation. I added the blue elastics because blue was my brothers’ favorite color. What really creatively customized this notebook for me and my cause was when I chose to have embossed “Celebrate Life” on the cover with a butterfly on the spine.
Then around mid-June, I discovered Leah’s beautiful July kit featuring green, blue and purple butterflies. Since the month of June is a special month for me because I still celebrate my late brothers’ birthday (this year he would’ve been 51 years old!), it was one of those moments where your jaw drops and you hear angels sing. This pairing was meant to be because it just so happens the awareness color for cystic fibrosis is….purple! It felt like this kit was made just for me!Sometimes you will never know the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. ~Dr. Suess Click To Tweet
Anyone who has been touched by organ donation and transplantation, especially lung transplant, knows that the butterfly is a symbol of lung transplant. Even though my brother didn’t make it to transplant, it has been said by some that butterflies also represent that a past loved one is with you. I can remember for the longest time, waiting and waiting…and waiting, for some sign that my brother was still ‘with’ me. I would see butterflies but I just didn’t ‘feel’ that was him. Then one day, out of the blue, I happened to notice this dragonfly (who was quite large) and kept flying in “my space”. I thought, ‘Geeze, why is it flying so close to me?!’ And in a moment of clarity, I realized, it’s a sign.
I had to chuckle because I thought to myself, of course he wouldn’t be a feminine butterfly! Ever since, I’ve realized a dragonfly is always around me all the time -every year (in warmer weather, of course). Everywhere I go, I seem to see a dragonfly and it seems to fly near me in a way as if to say, “Hey, I’m here!” My daughter asked me why I get so excited about a dragonfly and so I told her my story. Now, every time she sees one, she says, “There’s your dragonfly Mom.”
Just this month, I hosted a going away party for my niece and while prepping the pool for the kids, I noticed a dragonfly in the water…and it wasn’t moving. You’d think my child was drowning….I immediately thought ‘Oh No!’ and I frantically swished the water towards me to try and get it. When that didn’t work, I grabbed the pool skimmer and scooped it up. I stared at it for what seemed like forever and was beginning to think it was gone, then…it moved slightly. I was overjoyed (and wouldn’t admit at the time, but I think…I almost wanted to cry happy tears!). For the next 20 minutes or so, I let the dragonfly rest on the edge of the skimmer. Every now and then it would flit its’ wings to get the water off and clean its’ head.
Then it must have felt better because it then flew off. I was a little sad to see it go. But, while it was resting, the dragonfly had no problem at all with me getting super close (all in ‘his’ space, so to speak!) to get pictures of it. It didn’t flinch once. Later on, as I went back to getting the pool ready, I looked up and saw the dragonfly fly right past me –almost as if to say, ‘thank you’.
I involved my niece in helping with the dragonfly and as it sat drying its’ wings, I told her about my dragonfly story. You see, my brother is her godfather. So, that day…my heart was full. It was as if the stars aligned perfectly and I think it made her feel really good that her Uncle and godfather was there, that day, for her, even if just in spirit.
Sometimes, creativity comes to us in the most unexpected ways at the most unexpected times. And sometimes, it just aligns perfectly. 🙂
Now, every day I carry this new notebook planner it’ll feel like I have my brother close to me and I will be raising awareness for an important cause. Join me on my creative planning journey, as I accessorize and decorate this planner, by following me at Behind the Designs on Instagram.