Truly Yours, Baum-Kuchen, and Planner Peace

I have been checking the mail every day with great anticipation. For not so long ago, I sent my new Midori passport notebook to Baum-Kuchen for a personal customization. I wanted my initials and a very important Japanese term embossed on the cover.

When I was up late at night a few weeks ago, my husband asked me, “What are you doing?”

“Filling in my 2022 calendar insert,” I replied, “for my new Traveler’s Notebook.”

“Meredith,” he said, “It’s March. Of 2021.”

He doesn’t understand, of course. That’s why I gave him my old, already gloriously worn in Passport TN, the one I used during our trip to Japan. It’s navy, his favorite color, and I thought he could join me in planning now that he’s retired. Maybe he will, and maybe he won’t, but it doesn’t detract from my utter joy in the notebooks, the inserts, and the filling in of them.

These are the inserts from 2020. There are more than I usually fill, but 2020 was a more than usual year. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve referred to them now that the pandemic seems to be dissipating.

“Mom,” I said this week, “do you realize we started walking together March 20 of last year?”

It’s so easy to refer to an occasion, a memory, an event, or a thought with these little beauties.

My newly embossed cover has wabi-sabi embossed in the center, with my initials down below. What is wabi-sabi? Quite simply, it means finding beauty in the imperfect, impermanent and incomplete. It is so perfectly suited to the balance I yearn for between control and acceptance. It is a term I want to fully embrace, and now I can with this reminder on the cover of my new notebook.

It is just perfect.