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January 14, 2009

CALENDARS AND SUCH

          I confess – I am a calendar and clock addict! Have you ever stopped to consider the vital part these time devices play in our lives? I, for one, cannot function without them. Perhaps it is due to my many years of teaching when I needed to know the date and time daily in order to fit in all of my responsibilities and prepare my charges for their progress but also to help them to enjoy the holiday and fun times during the course of the year. Hallowe’en, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter – just to name a few, brought special educational classroom activities with them which the students and I anticipated and enjoyed.

 Calendars are used to help us to remember the day, month, and year and thus must be replaced every year on January 1. However calendars serve many other functions as well. It is the most effective way for me to keep track of my appointments for instance. If it is not written on my kitchen calendar, I will likely miss my rendezvous with whomever it is. Is that because of the advancing age of my brain? Is that because I am trying to do too much? Is it hormonal? Do others need to organize their lives this way? It really doesn’t matter as it works for me and that is all that counts. I also carry an agenda with me in my purse to make absolutely certain that I will be where I’m supposed to be and on time!

 There are many different kinds of calendars. Some have lovely photos on them of my favourite flowers. Last summer we visited Quebec City and purchased a wonderful one with perfect pictures of this beautiful city, which reminds me of my enjoyment of the city and our sojourn there. Personal calendars of family members bring past joyful events to the fore of my mind as the pages are turned each month. Those are my favourite calendars without a doubt. Let’s not forget electronic calendars lodged in our computers, blackberries, phones, watches and many other kinds of gadgets. For many people this is how they keep track of life’s events. For me – aging me – I still prefer the good old wall calendar. Oh well…

Calendars are used for many different reasons besides reminders of the actual date.  We see them used as fundraisers, contests such as the Sudbury’s Land of Lakes calendar, advertising - for example my husband’s Real Estate fridge calendar, banks’ services, and any other businesses as well. 

In other countries such as my native The Netherlands, everyone – yes even young people, have Birthday Calendars hanging on their bathroom walls. These are just what the name implies – calendars just to list birthdays and anniversaries – thus happy events. These calendars have no year attached to them and so last for many years. The reason they are located in the bathrooms is because everyone visits that room daily and while doing so, a glance at the calendar instantly reminds me of that month’s birthdays and anniversaries. No excuse for forgetting anyone’s special day! The Dutch take these occasions very seriously as do I. At the beginning of the month it is my custom to write the cards for that month. I mail them out as the date approaches, thus I have become known as the “card-sending” aunt in the family. My close friends also enjoy this. Occasionally I am complimented as to my thoughtfulness but if only they realized that I look at the date at least once a day during my visits to that necessary chamber! It is simply a matter of maintaining a selection of various kinds of cards in the house and getting them out. I enjoy this pastime immensely!

 Calendars can be small enough to fit on the back of a business card. I also have a huge wall calendar given to me by a friend advertising his business and I have all sizes in between. There are religious calendars naming the saints to whom that date is dedicated. Famous Birthday Calendars are where I can find out which celebrity celebrates their day of birth the same day I do.  For instance, Tom Jones’ birthday is the same day as me – June 7. Lunar calendars show me the phases of the moon each day of the month. Then there are historical calendars which remind me of important events which occurred on certain dates – most interesting!

 Newspapers and magazines have columns entitled, “Calendar of Events” which indicate social and business gatherings approaching very soon. In short, I am reminded of consequential dates in many varied ways but mostly by calendars of one kind or another. I could not live without them!

 Clocks play a most necessary part in my life as well. I have clocks in every room of my home. I need to know the time frequently during the course of the day or even at night when I awaken. Being without my convenient watch gives me a feeling of being lost.  I am sure this too began in my teaching phase. It was important to always know the time so that sufficient time was allotted to each subject and of course to ensure that the children were ready for recess – my break – and at “home-time” so they would not miss their buses. But now that I have been retired for many years the exact time is still essential to me. I abhor being late for anything! The first thing I do when I awaken each morning is turn on my bedside radio so that Marcus Schwabe of CBC can tell me today’s date and time. At times my eyes are barely open but I must be informed immediately especially of the time. The clock in our bedroom is very large so that when I do rise, I can see it without my glasses. That was the deciding factor when I chose to purchase it.

 My obsession with time and dates causes my family to roll their eyes at times but – hey – this is me!

 

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