Can Old Fashioned Calendars Survive in a Digital Age?

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Sarah said at brunch this morning, “I love the new calendar app I found that’s so much better than the one that came with the phone.” I congratulated her but didn’t ask to see it or why it was better than the other one she used. I’m so disinterested in keeping my life at the touch of my fingers. I can understand the advantages of knowing where you’re supposed to be or where you are or where you’re going to be in the next week. But is that really so important in my life? It would be handy when I was away from my paper, spiral-bound, week-by-week calendar, to make that doctor’s appointment or know I was free to go to dinner on a certain date without saying, “I’ll check my calendar when I get home.” Just that last phrase sounds so old fashioned, eh?

And I guess I am old-fashioned in that way. But I’m not a Luddite. I mean I’m sitting here writing this blog on this computer and sending it out with the touch of a finger. I absolutely adore my iPhone and texting little nothings to my friends and being able to let folks know if I’m going to be late. I even went — albeit unwillingly — into social media although I think those days are limited. So it’s not that I couldn’t — in the sense of knowing how to keep a calendar on my phone — I just don’t want to give up my paper one and it’s stupid to keep both.

Besides, one of my favourite things at this time of the year is to write the first dates of the

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My full-of-possibilities calendar for 2019

new year in my new calendar. I always buy the same kind which I think is part of my whole ritual. I love this little company out in Vancouver. When they send you your calendar, it’s always wrapped in paper just like packages used to be wrapped in Europe before plastic took over our world. I’ve been buying them for years and years. A while back, I suggested a change in the layout. The next day they wrote and thanked me for it and changed the design the next year — and sent me a free calendar for my idea.  I was impressed and have never been lured away by other fancy calendars that have tried to catch my eye.

I have a whole ritual I follow before I write my name on the inside cover and put the first date on the first pristine page. This may sound weird — but, hey, it’s my ritual not yours. To begin, I hold the new calendar to my heart and then I kiss it and wish it and me a very very happy new year. I couldn’t do that with my phone or laptop. Well, I guess I could but I would feel ridiculous then. I make all kinds of promises, too, before I start to write in it. I will keep it clean, only use pencil, erase-not-cross out broken dates, keep the tea cup far away so it doesn’t end up spilling on the calendar like happened in 2017. A new blank calendar holds so much possibility and promise especially after a particularly hard, challenging, bad year that 2018 handed me.

I’ll keep my 2018 calendar for a year and then I’ll shred it up. Before I moved, I shredded 23 years worth of calendars. I thought about keeping them so I could go back and see what I was doing in 1997 and who I was having lunch with or where I was working. It was a hard decision to get rid of them. I felt like I was getting rid of my past history but, hey, I’m the woman who burnt over 40 years of journals and I’m still here and remembering what I need to remember.

So I’m ready to open my new 2019 calendar and write all those January dates scribbled in the back of 2018 in anticipation. So many possibilities on those 352 days and nights. I’m looking forward to this new year in my new book.

 

Happy New Year Everyone.

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