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Is it just me? Or is it time to ditch the diary? asks LINDA KELSEY 

Last weekend, I dumped my 2021 planner in the recycling bin. I’ve felt strangely liberated ever since.

Diaries either resemble arid deserts, with page after page of empty vistas, or scarred landscapes, scored with crossings-out.

My planner had become the gloomy symbol of life in lockdown. The only uncancelled appointments to date consist of an online consultation with my GP and an Ocado delivery.

As someone who prefers to look forward, putting forthcoming arrangements into a smart, new, unscuffed desk diary has always felt both exciting and hopeful.

Linda Kelsey says there's much to be said for living in the moment, after dumping her 2021 planner in the recycling bin (file image)

The red-letter days go into the planner first — a couple of weddings, milestone birthdays or anniversaries. Then the holidays, work plans and study deadlines. And for those of us with kids, term dates, exam dates, sports days and concerts.

Then, as the weeks go by, popping in the social stuff, the meals out, a gallery visit. Everything that seemed to constitute a fulfilling life.

Who wants to flick mournfully through the physical manifestation of a life locked down? 

There was a time when an occasional blank space in the diary was a thing of joy. I might long for an evening, or a weekend, to chill with only the prospect of an overdue face-mask and a good book or boxset.

In those heady days between lockdowns, when spirits were rising and Covid numbers falling, I popped into Ryman and bought my 2021 planner. People were starting to make tentative arrangements, enough to make my diary worthwhile.

Oh well. Now I’ve dumped the planner, I feel unburdened. There’s much to be said for living in the moment. It’s easier to do when you can’t flick mournfully through the physical manifestation of a life locked down. Plus, there’s less clutter on my desk and a clear view to the window, where the garden is edging towards spring.

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