Fall is an exciting time of year to think of cooler weather, football, holidays or back to school. Something much more mundane to think about is buying a calendar for the approaching New Year. If you use one of those business daily flip calendars like I do, you too would have recently gotten a friendly reminder to repurchase a new one when you flipped the calendar date only to find an order form. And since 365 days (or 366 days for Leap Year) are not divisible by 7, you have to buy a new calendar every year since the days and the dates are never the same year to year. Could this have been a long ago plot by the calendar industry to force us to buy a new calendar each year and not the fact that our calendar happens to coincide—approximately—with the Earth’s orbit around the sun every 365. 242199 mean solar days? We recently found out what the Mayans failed to realize by not planning far enough ahead. The world didn’t end on December 21, 2012; we simply bought a 2013 calendar—although I’m sure some of you might have held off until December 22 to buy yours just to be safe.
I for one absolutely love calendars. For it was about calendars that I wrote my very first blog post when I was invited to be a guest author on my wife’s blog, Mindfulmagpie earlier this year. And it was this two part series that served as the inspiration for me in February of this year to decide to start my own blog to share other stories. If you haven’t read these two posts previously (Part 1 & Part 2), I would encourage you to do so now so the continuity of this story can be maintained. I’ll pause so that you can do that…
So why now am I writing another post about calendars? As I said at the beginning of this post, it was that daily flip calendar that got me thinking about next year. My love for calendars has expanded since those early days I wrote about in those first two blog posts to include four separate calendars, each with its own unique purpose.
In my profession, I have to sign and date sometimes as many as 30 documents on a given day. And working in a highly regulated industry, if I write the wrong date next to my signature, I have to line through the entire incorrect date, write the correct date, and then initial and date next to the correction. So that daily flip calendar allows me to get a quick glance at the date so I can write the correct calendar date next to my signature to avoid all of the extra work.
My next calendar is another utilitarian one, an unadorned desktop blotter calendar. This calendar saves me the time of flipping my daily calendar to a past or future date and gives me an overview of the entire month. Unfortunately, this calendar is usually covered up with paperwork so it is rare that I can actually use it for its intended purpose. I can’t even use it to write future reminders as there is no guarantee it will be uncovered on the date of the reminder.
My last two calendars are my really special calendars. The prior year’s retrospective calendar that I create in iPhoto using photos from each month was the feature of my second blog post on calendars. My 2014 calendar is coming along very nicely filled with 53 photos through October, thanks to numerous trips my wife and I have taken this year. This calendar I keep at home hanging on the side of the refrigerator where I get a reminder of last year’s events from that month each morning when I go to get milk for my coffee.
My last calendar is a third calendar I keep at work. Since my computer sits on a small desk that backs up to my work desk, I need a small calendar that I can glance at to get a quick check on a date while working at the computer—or more commonly, to glance at a beautiful photo to give my mind a quick break from the minutia of details required for my job. This calendar has to be small because the pinboard behind the desk surface is only about 15 inches high, much too small for most regular sized calendars. So my needs for this spot are a mini calendar.
My calendar selections for this spot have varied along with the other calendars I wrote about in my first blog post—from crude hand made ones to professional purchased calendars.
My current 2013 mini calendar, while having peaceful photos of Holland—a country I have visited over 25 times—has one irritating feature. The first day of the week on this calendar is Monday rather than the usual Sunday utilized on most US calendars. This might be a feature unique to all European calendars but I can’t tell you how many times this year I have looked at a date only to realize the day and date was not what I expected. Most purchased calendars have pictures on the back so that you can see what scene is featured each month. But I have rarely seen one that showed you what the boring date part of the calendar looked like.
So for 2014 I have already purchased a US mini calendar for this spot. I must have scrolled through over 200 possibilities on Amazon before I settled on this one, a search I performed one day recently during one of my more boring teleconferences. I thought that seeing a beautiful photo from one of our nation’s national parks each month would give the mental break I often need at work while at the same time providing a month of dates with each week starting on Sunday—a feature I have relied on in years past.
And I can always hope that in 2015, I will discover that elusive Montreat calendar in a mini calendar format that will reside next to my computer to give me that moment of mental respite that will allow me to continue to flog through the details of my work.