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Taking 2017 one month at a time

January 7, 2017

horse

I’m one of those odd birds who like to make New Year’s Resolutions. In fact, since most of my life has been tied to the school calendar, I make them in January and again in August–two fresh starts. This year have decided to work on themes month by month, but since I only answer to myself, I give me plenty of wiggle room.

Right now I have calendars on the brain, probably because I spent about 6-8 hours in one spot last night into this morning working on the calendar I like to create for my mom every year.  She has a January birthday, so I have to hope she knows the important dates before then, since I do well to get the calendar started before the new year.

I like a real calendar. I may use the app on my phone sporadically, but I’ve kept a little paper purse calendar since at least 1974 (until they quit offering them, it was the Hallmark freebie available by the register). They provide a nice record of my life–the important little trivia that makes it up.

I also keep a wall calendar, usually in my laundry room near the kitchen. Not only do I record appointments and upcoming dates, but I keep a record of what has happened. Even more vital, this is where I record the books I read all year long. It’s a lovely kind of ritual for me to keep up with what I finish. At the end of the year, I record them all in a book I’ve had forever. Now I also post my list to my Discriminating Reader blog, ideally drawing some book lists from other avid readers in response. My annual calendars are also invaluable when I put together my scrapbook/photo album of each year. When did we do that? Oh, it’s on the calendar!

Knowing my fondness for calendars, my son John tries to pick out the most unusual calendar for me each year. He’s given me Nuns Having Fun, Suicidal Rabbits, and Horses Doing Yoga, for instance. This year, I think I one-upped him with the “suitable for framing” Political Mashup Calendar for 2017:  Lenin and McCartney, LBJ-Z, Yo-Yo Mao.

The challenge with the family calendar is getting a good representation of all the families. If I could just fill it with my immediate family (i.e., the grandkids), the task would be much simpler, but with five sisters and their extended families, I find it more fun and fair to try to represent all of them.

The calendar concept, sometimes even the title, is “This Time Last Year.” The January calendar (in theory) will have pictures from last January. Some months are easier. Two of my nieces married–in August and November–so photos abounded. We moved to Nashville in February, so I had a shot of the “sold sign” in the snow and the moving van.

The first order of business is to note all the family birthdays, anniversaries, and upcoming events. We have a high school graduation and a wedding in 2017. We have two new nephews-in-law to add to the birthday rotation, along with a bride-to-be who should be part of the family by the time her birthday rolls around. I include the ages (sometimes the years) for these dates, since it’s hard to keep up with everyone.

This year, my personal resolution is to have the rest of the family sharing photos month-by-month, so I can be creating 2018 as I go. I already see that snow pictures might be great for January. I can solicit shots for Easter, Halloween, first of school, all the usuals, and then we can fill in with the best all-round shots of the year.

Once I get this calendar issue under way, I can start typing up my syllabus for classes that start Monday–and that means another calendar!

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