Calendar Crazies

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on

This year, one of the retail business owners commented on the local news station how meat and other food products are flying off the shelves as compared to last year. As many of us turn the corner of COVID-19, people feel a need to compensate for the celebrations that the pandemic erased from 12 calendar months.

Calendars serve a lot of other purposes than just tracking special dates, holidays and appointments. For one thing, they can signify importance. When I was an adolescent, I was a recluse. Long before the days of personal computers in the 70s, I spent my lonely days updating my wall calendar, tracking holidays, birthdays and school projects in different colored markers, pens and embellished the days with a variety of seasonally themed stickers. In actuality, whether weekends or weekdays, rarely did I get invited to parties. The process elevated my life. Apart from gifting myself with a false sense of importance, my calendar also offered me a true sense of organization and control during the fragile coming-of-age period in my life.

In the 80s, as I started taking responsibility for my actions and allowed people, some of whom became lifelong friends, into my life. I “grew down,” becoming less self-centered, and reckoned with the fact that I didn’t have to color my life by bringing a false sense of significance to it. My fellow, Allan, aided the process. Some of his favorite sayings were, “Out of all the grains of sand, we are one mere speck!” and “In a hundred years, what will it matter?”

My calendars reflected my new maturity, and they became black-and-white, practical pages that kept track of appointments and reminders.

When my first child, a son, was born in 1993, ironically, at the beginning of the year in January, my calendar-keeping bug not only revived but sparked into an inferno. I purchased a new calendar and an array of stickers and markers and recorded every little hiccup, smile and gained ounce of weight. This practice continued with my second child, a daughter, in 1995. For years, it were as if I wanted to freeze both of them in time, like butterflies under a glass display case to admire them like an over-enthusiastic curator.

I’ve learned, especially through my son’s untimely death, that curators belong in museums. Life has a divine curator, and I can’t tell you all the particulars, but I have full faith that it is not me. For the most part, I ceased my over-indulged calendar-keeping duties when the children grew older. Sure, I noted appointments, assignments and important dates, but, as the stresses of daily life elevated, the new teeth and height spirts became too time consuming to commemorate.

Today, I continue to update my calendar with the bare minimum. In addition, I now have another calendar displayed on the wall downstairs that I turn on the 15th day to the following month, which happens to be today, because instead of chasing behind time, I want time to accelerate and move faster as if I will reach a finishing line for my grief.

The grief that tracks me month after month, season after season, is mine alone to process, not micromanage nor deny, but, wow, somedays its weight can cover me 10 feet deep in cement. I can’t turn the clock back, but I can turn the calendar ahead to give me some sort of symbolic reprieve.

Thankfully, after knowing such influential people like Allan, I can step aside and not allow my jaded vision to dilute others who have faith that their upcoming milestones, celebrations, commitments, important dates and special days ahead will come to fruition because they are marked in permanent ink.

Faith Muscle

19 thoughts on “Calendar Crazies

  1. I related to every word you wrote, Stacy. I used to save all my calendars – eventually, I tossed most of them. I remember looking to buy very pretty ones every year. It was a fun purchase. But I finally succumbed to using my phone and computer. It is much more convenient.
    Yes, there are so many memories of those events with my kids. And you painted a very clear picture that what we plan for and mark down, isn’t a certainty. Everything can change in an instant. Only those who have experienced tragedy understand this. It’s impossible to relax after that – to have any faith in outcomes. You have suffered a terrible loss and your writing about it is so helpful for others to read. You shine a light of understanding.
    I actually think about the calendar with my grief experience. Marking down a surgery that was difficult to plan for my son, Jason. For many years, I felt like I scheduled his death. He died with that surgery.

  2. Stacy, The heavy load of my eldest son’s death like yours has become lighter with sharing in this group I resonate with your feelings ” I want time to accelerate and move faster as if I will reach a finishing line for my grief”. At the end all of us are winners facing our challenges with faith in the Higher power& trust in us.Gratitude is my foremost emotion, so I give positive messages to my cells for holistic health!

    • My load is lighter too, thanks to the continuous support of you and others in the extraordinary blogging community. PS: I LOVE “At the end all of us are winners facing our challenges with faith in the Higher power& trust in us.” Here’s to holistic health! 🤍🤍

  3. Your post took me back to my own big desk calendar I had on my desk in my hostel room when I was in high school – many years ago (and also with no computers and cellphones 😉).
    Where I grew up (a very small town) there was no high school, so my parents had to sent me to a boarding school when I was 13 and I only went home for school holidays (every 3 months or so) … so when I went back to boarding school after a holiday, the very first thing I would do, is to run over to my desk calendar to mark the date (with a beautiful bright coloured pen) when I would go back home again. Make no mistake, I’ve loved my time in boarding school, but the highlight was definitely to get to THAT page where I could go back home for a few weeks again.
    I think now with so much nostalgia back to that time …

    • What a lovely memory! Thank you so much for sharing it. We live different lives, but share an emotional connection that makes me feel like I am not alone and part of something so much greater than myself! 🤍

  4. and love will fall like stardust from above and a shower will come your way….. these are the words for the start of a poem I sent to a then, stranger, on hearing of her loss… I thought that the poem would break the fall which it did but it also turns out she was also breaking mine… she said that just because she has problems didn’t mean I can’t have them too… we remain very good, on that ‘very’ way, friends… I now find that many people, almost all, intuitively get this… I hope you do too.

    Great Post Thank You

      • I have lost my notes but there is a version of it on The Colours Madness site who a writer on WordPress, it’s an exchange of comments in her post ‘Seeds of Hope’… I tend towards writing on the hoof and in the moment so everything is scattered like a shower of dust that falls your way… lol. The site by this writer is well worth the effort to find, also twitter and fb, I think she’s brilliantly brave and bold too.

      • Aw, thank you so much. I subscribed to her blog, which, from a quick read, looks amazing. Also, please never stop scattering your “dust storm” of words on the world and helping to make it a better place! 🤍

  5. Beautiful post.
    I remember my days of believing I could calendar my way to perfection and achievement. Glad I gave up on my expensive Covey experiment. Now I just keep appointments and need to remember birthdays on my phone.

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