Saturday, January 1, 2011

Blank Slate

I completed one of my favorite rituals this morning. It's 2011, so time for the new calendar to go up, and the old calendar to be retired.

I am a planner. I need to know what I am doing, when I am doing it and how long I am doing it for. I can be spontaneous-just tell me when and I'll mark it on the calendar. I don't do impromptu. I live by the creed "if you're coming to see us: come in. If you're coming to see the house, call 2 weeks ahead and avoid the cupboards."

My husband is not a planner, so I have assumed the social convener role for the family. I keep track of my work deadlines, my husband's appointments, my evening activities and meetings, my mother's appointments that require transport and what days of the week my daughter is in school because she's still on a variable schedule. I keep track of birthdays, anniversaries and other important (sad) dates that might recall a quick phone call or e-mail to let people know we remember and we care.

Every New Year's Day, I'm faced with a blank calendar. All those lovely, blank squares full of potential-it's enough to make a planner giddy with anticipation. I have a system. First I transfer the birthdays and anniversaries from my calendar in my purse to the wall calendar, and then to the new purse calendar, although I usually buy a 2-years-at-a-time calendar for my purse so that I'm not scribbling future dates on a piece of paper.  Then I colour code the calendar with the days that my daughter is actually in school, shaking my head at the dubious wisdom that has her in school exactly 1 Friday for the month of January. Then I add my choir schedule, the PWAC monthly meetings, and any appointments that have already been established for the new year. It doesn't take long to fill up the squares.

I always take a few minutes to flip through the outgoing calendar.In the hustle-bustle of life, it's easy to forget the year that has just exited, although for my family, 2010 will not be one we forget. My husband and brother in law lost their mother, my daughter, her grandma, my father-in- law, his wife and I lost my funny, kind, loving mother-in-law who remembered dates better than any calendar, knew and understood what 2nd cousin once removed meant and marked every trip she had ever been on by the food that she ate. She vaguely remembered the landmarks, but the pecan pie..oh the pie. She's left a big hole in our lives that won't ever be filled. I lost 2 acquaintances to cancer, and I lost my brother of my heart to Hepatitis C. A quick glance through the calendar's entries for the funerals I sang at in 2010 shows we weren't the only family struggling with a not-so-festive Christmas.

2010 is gone. 2011 is new, shiny and like the blank spaces on my calendar, gleaming with potential and anticipation. I wish you blank days to enjoy as you wish. I wish you happy occasions, parties and gatherings to fill your days with. I wish you work opportunities, prosperity and good health.I wish you an abundance of good news, leisure time, and enough money, time, friends, health and happiness to fill your lives with love, positive feelings and energy, and prosperity.

I wish you enough of whatever it is that will enrich your life. Happy 2011.


Betsy said...

Thanks for coming over to comment on my blog post. I didn't see where you were from in Canada, but we're practically neighbors. :)
Well, at least when I'm in Vermont, my real home.

Betsy said...

Sorry. That's at Momformation, in case you were wondering.

Atlantic Writer said...

Just don't keep the old calendars too long. I had to spend an hour shredding my entire lifetime of calendars after my mother died. Why did I need to know she had to send a birthday card to my uncle in 1988? Or had a lamaze class in 1975? I'm a planner too. If it is not in the family schedule... it doesn't happen. That said... I'm now going to throw away last year's calendar after looking through it one last time. Lets live in the new blank squares... not the old full ones.