For many, many years there was a routine at this house. It started around October or November, when the calendars for the next year came out in the book stores. Both Walt and I would look for the right calendar to hang in the kitchen. The calendars were always meaningful. Once we had a year of scenes from The Wizard of Oz (hmmm...I wonder who chose that calendar...?) Several years there were calendars from TV shows (like Star Trek). After we started traveling, calendars tended to be from England or Ireland or Scotland. And then when we started fostering dogs, we had a year or two of dog calendars. So many choices....so much fun picking them out.
When I finally had our calendar for the next year, the first thing I would do was to get out my little birthday book and copy down all of the birthdays on it, so I would remember to send a card.
I don't know when I started keeping that little book of birthdays, but so many people in the book have died and so many people I never see or hear from...and there are even people in the book (Peggy Drown, on this page, for example) that I don't remember who they are or where I knew them from. It's also woefully out of date. Anybody I've met in the last 10 years probably isn't it because I don't mark birthdays down on a calendar any more. People whose birthday I want to remember are on an on-line calendar that reminds me a week before the birthday to send a card.
The problem with the wall calendar was that I never remembered to look at it. In the beginning, when the kids were home and we were doing so much kid-related stuff, I checked it all the time, but when we became empty nesters, I would record upcoming activities and then forget to check the calendar and sometimes forget the activity itself.
When Peggy was here in 2000, she found the Sierra Club Calendar. Being a photographer, she loved the photographic quality of it. It has lots and lots of animal photos in it, and it was a good size for her desk. She bought a calendar for herself and bought one for me, as a gift.
Then I started to become bi-calendar. I still kept entries on the wall calendar, but I came to rely on the little Sierra Club desk calendar more and more, and over the years I stopped putting things on the wall calendar completely, and record everything on my Sierra club calendar, which sits at my left elbow and which I check many times daily.
I still have a wall calendar (see Photo of the Day), but now it is a piece of art that changes monthly. I tried at one time having an on-line calendar--and I actually do sort of keep that up, so I can sync it with my iTouch, but I forget to check that calendar enough to catch everything.
My mother also lives by her calendar. I think her calendar is one that Hospice of Marin (for which she volunteers) sells each year. Or it may be a free calendar that she received through the mail. It's a monthly caendar and it is almost embarrassing to look at her month. She has something for almost every day. Either people coming to visit, or social events she is going to or whatever. I get exhausted just looking at what she has coming up over the next month.
In comparison, my calendar is a weekly one and this week's page is typical of what most pages look like:
The only thing on the calendar is my lunch with Ruth yesterday. That stuff written in the lower right hand corner was just some notes I was taken--my calendar has a lot of white space and it makes a handy doodle pad, when I need one.
This page, 3 weeks from now is about as busy as I get:
There is a show to review on Tuesday, both a lunch and a dinner on Wednesday and Pinata Group overnight on Thursday. That, for me, is a busy week.As with most things in her life, I just don't know how my mother does as much as she does!