Learning To Write In Pencil

For the first 56 years of my life, I welcomed each new year with a blank calendar and an abundance of fresh hope. The heroic words of architect Daniel Burnham emboldened my Type A penchant for scripting my life: “Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized.”

I crafted big goals out of big dreams, broke them down into actionable bits, and scrawled them in pen on each new calendar, along with the “little plans” of my daily life: meetings, deadlines, and reminders to pick up the dry cleaning.

During the last year, I was forced to begin inscribing all my plans, both large and little, in pencil on my calendar. Pencils are for beginners, or for those taking tests.

The irony of the shift in writing implements was not wasted on me. [Read more]

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