Matt Chacey, chaceyme@muohio.edu

I was sitting at my desk recently, playing on my Facebook page, when I got a bumper sticker from a very good friend of mine. It said, “I have CDO, it’s like OCD except in alphabetical order… like it should be!” Of course, all of my friends had a huge laugh at me over it but in reality, it is borderline true.

Take, for example, my daily planner. Now most people don’t think that a planner is crazy. In fact, it represents normality. But my planner is something else: I have a color-coding system mixed with precise numbers and times. Needless to say, I am extremely organized.

However, the other day I was talking to a friend of mine, and when describing her schedule, she wasn’t relaying to me lists or specific times, but the experiences she had. Her planner doesn’t entirely consist of quantitative items. It includes more than a reminder of an appointment at 9:30 a.m. It is full of experiences and memories; the qualitative items. That’s the stuff that really matters.

It might sound sad to say, but I think that in general, mankind focuses more on the quantitative side of life. We seem to revolve around our schedules and calendars, filling them with appointments. We even do the same in our classrooms.

I recently asked my younger sister how her English class was this year; she replied with, “Ohhh, it was fine… I ended up with an A.” Okay, but I didn’t ask her how she did in English class; I asked how English class was. All that mattered to her, and unfortunately to a lot of students, was the end result, and not the experience itself. Ultimately the objective of a class is to do well, sure, but ten years from now will you remember that you received a B+ in a class or will you remember what you learned?

As that good friend likes to point out to me, the true and utter pleasures of life aren’t found in the destination, but in the small side trips we take. Even our friendship began out of a chance meeting. She was never part of “the plan,” but the point is that the best things are not always part of the plan. While I might hate to admit it, looking back at my life, the fondest moments I have were not according to some plan I had laid out. 

So I made an addition to my daily planner. I added a whole new page to every day in which I have general notes, the worries I have to think about tomorrow, and lastly, the things that simply made me smile. The first of which was a Facebook chat with a friend I miss dearly. I guess I want to remember the fact that I had an absolutely wonderful time catching up with a friend who has been there for me time and time again and not just the fact I had a dentist appointment later that day.

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