Calendars won’t be replaced by electronic devices in my world anytime soon. I realize my preference is not universally shared, and I don’t consider myself resistant to change. But I believe firmly in the adage, “If it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it.” For me and other kindred individuals, it’s satisfying and therapeutic writing life’s daily plans on a paper calendar. Not just any calendar will do. It must show an entire month on two pages and open to a flat surface for easy writing. Space allotted for each day must be large enough so details about multiple commitments are legible. The calendar need not be expensive. The past three years I’ve purchased one at the Dollar Store for one dollar plus tax. And it can’t be too big or bulky as I carry it in my purse so it’s readily available for verifying times and dates.

It’s also helpful if it contains extra pages in the front or back to include frequently needed information. And a much smaller layout of a calendar for the following year is necessary. Family and friends, and sometimes-gentle critics sneak a glance at my much-used calendar and make light-hearted critical remarks, asking why I don’t put all that information on my phone. There are two good reasons why I don’t. One, I wouldn’t want to if I could, and two, given my more traditional approach to technology, it’s impossible with the type of phone I have. But even with such obsolete accessories, my personal well-being is not diminished. I almost never miss an event or appointment if it’s on my calendar; and someday, hopefully very, very far in the future, my family will enjoy reading my daily happenings. I’m trusting they will conclude I led a productive, fun, and meaningful life, even minus the latest technological advancements.

The New Year brings a wonderful opportunity to begin life, or at least the next 12 months of it, in pristine fashion. It’s like a clean slate, or calendar, if you will, for noting more new plans. As a sentimental saver, I have a collection of well-used and enjoyed calendars from the late 1960s to the present day. I also have about a dozen of my Mother’s calendars. I truly cherish them. Obviously not every notation is profound or even interesting, but collectively they are a great way of recalling people and places, trips taken, and many other interesting details of life.

In this age of emphasis on minimalizing and doing away with paper, some folks would be bothered by such an accumulation. But my paper treasures are a tidy fit inside two boxes, and I affectionately refer to them as part of my archives. I’m very much aware that someday they may end up in a recycling bin somewhere, and that’s OK. They will have served a useful, even sometimes entertaining purpose for many years, bringing back memories of varied experiences. That’s quite a legacy for spiral bound or stapled and taped pieces of paper.

My family and I are planners, especially of our time together, and 2017’s calendar already has notations for special events and visits. Calendars are charming reminders for me that life is a one-day at a time commitment resulting in a lifetime of accomplishments, activities, duties, and memories.

Sandra Dempsey Post

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