Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Do You Know What Day It Is? TUESDAY!

Betina here. Been looking at the calendar. Another bit of evidence that I'm my mother's daughter. My mom was a nuts about calendars: had one or more in EVERY room in the house. Yes, even in the toidies. Don't have a clue why. Each year she'd dutifully collect calendars from the dry cleaners, the Avon lady, two different insurance agents, the local Hallmark store, a tire dealer, and a funeral home. And if she didn't get a couple of fancy ones for Christmas, she'd go out and buy one with puppies or Norman Rockwell paintings or covered bridges on it. One for every room.

So, I come by it naturally.

I LOVE calendars. I love writing events and appointments in those little boxes and then checking them off after they've occurred. I love shopping for the big glossy, photo-rich calendars at the kiosks that crop up in malls in December. I love perusing the new crop of offerings at the Franklin Covey store-- yes, you probably already guessed, I'm a Franklin Planner devotee. And yes, I confess, I don't use it the way I should. I just love the neat pages with their place for everything and pretty flowers or cute sayings and cartoons. Day Runners, Day Timers, FiloFaxes-- I've had and loved 'em all. Does this make me a calendar slut?

The one calendar I'm not crazy about is on my PDA. I think it's the paper thing. I love the paper. Electronic screens just don't do it for me.

I even loved studying about old calendars-- REALLY OLD calendars-- like the Mayan Calendar with its long and short cycles. I'm fascinated by how they reflect what the people believed about the world and their place in it. Like that whole "The world as we know it will end in 2012" thing. Part of a cycle of ending and renewal they believed in. Ending as a new beginning.

Okay, so I started to think about our own calendars. . . about what we commemorate and celebrate says about us as a culture and as a species. Did you know that every week, every day in the year is designated as a day to commemorate something? Of course you did. But do you know what any of them ARE-- besides Valentines Day, Memorial Day, 4th of July, Labor Day, and Thanksgiving, and Christmas?

Today, for instance. . . March 4th, 2008. . . is:
Charter Day in Pennsylvania
Holy Experiment Day (???)
This Way to the Egress Day
March Dryads Display (Fairy)
Festival of Pirate Utopias (Huh?)
Hug a GI Day
National Pound Cake Day
Old US President Inauguration Day

Okay, so March 4th is a bit of a loser. Let's try a the whole month of March.
Cataract Awareness Month
National Furniture Refinishing Month
American Red Cross Month
Mental Retardation Month,
National Peanut Month
National Feminine Empowerment Month
"Talk With Your Teen About SEX" Month
National "On-Hold" Month
National Noodle Month
Frozen Food Month
Music In Our Schools Month
Poison Prevention Awareness Month
National Craft Month
National Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Awareness Month
Chocolate Month.

Now if we were sociologist or archaeologists from the future, coming back to explore good old 21st Century America and saw our calendar, what would this line-up say about us?

Hmmm. That we're empowered, decoupaging women who are so fatigued from thawing noodles from the freezer while we're waiting "on hold" to talk to our kids about sex. . . that we just give up, grab a jar of peanuts and some chocolate and head for our recently refinished beds?

Maybe March's weeks will be a little better. During March there is a week devoted to:
Universal Human Beings Week
TV Turn-Off Week
National Procrastination Week
Bubble Gum Week
Chocolate Week
American Chocolate Week
National Free Paper Week
National Surveyors' Week
Newspaper in Education Week
National Wildlife Week
Fun Mail Week
National Agriculture Week
National Pet Sitters' Week

Want to take a guess as to what that set of designations might say about us to future scientists? (Make up your own, here. And share.)

Okay, so March isn't a big winner. Except for the Chocolate. Three out of the four weeks are listed as "American Chocolate Week." The fourth is just called "Chocolate Week." It could be a typo, but then, who cares. Four weeks of celebrating Chocolate!! March is looking better all the time.

Now if we could just get National Half-Naked Firefighter's Month moved to March, it would be just about perfect! (Michele, Cindy, this one's for you!)

What about you? How do you use calendars? If you write, do you see the calendar as a series of obstacles? An enemy? Ever use any of them for inspiration? (Ahem) Of the Firefighter variety? What kind of calendar do you use to keep yourself organized? If you're a writer, how do you schedule projects and keep track of your production?


Playground Monitor said...

I have a desk calendar called Bylines. It's for writers and each week features a different writer. I was the writer for the first week in January. *shameful self-promotion* It has charts for tracking submissions and setting goals and I don't really use them. Instead I have a Word table where I track stuff and I have a list of stories I want to write taped over my desk. My calendar has the day-to-day stuff written on it -- personal and writing. I love checking things off.

I used to be a Franklin Planner gal, but gave it up when I left the corporate world.

Regardless of what you use, there's something so satisfying about crossing a task off a list or calendar.

Oh... March 9 is "Get Over It Day." They have a website at www.getoveritday.com. They picked March 9 because it's halfway between Valentine's Day and April Fool's Day.

And don't discount National Pound Cake Day today. I love me some pound cake.


Cindy Gerard said...

Hey Betina - thanks for the beefcake. Hubba Hubba (yes, I do say that)
I'm a paper calender kind of girl too - not to be confused with Debra's hairy chest kind of girl :o)
Without my little 5" by 5" 1 page per month calender, I swear, I could NOT write a book. It sits on my desk in front of me and every day in the little 3/4 X 3/4 inch box that represents 1 day, I write down how many pages I write and what my running total page count is so I know how I'm progressing on the book. This tracking (anal though it may be) keeps me from panicking as I slough away toward deadline. It illustrates that I CAN eat the elephant but I don't have to eat it in one big chomp. Little bites at a time will do it. It reduces that daunting 400+ pages looming ahead of me to something doable. And the comfort of reviewing past writing days is immeasurable - especially when I had a dismal writing day. I can go back and look, see that there were unproductive days in the past but have the historical proof I can still make deadline - one bite at a time.
So - bottom line - I love my calender, I love my calender, I love my calender.

Betina Krahn said...

Okay, when I wrote this blog I feared it would be the snoozer of all times. Who knew there were other calendar gals out there! I shoulda known!

Marilyn,I'm gonna have to check out the Bylines calendar! And National "Get Over It" Day-- I love it! (Yeah, and never underestimate the power of a pound cake!)

And Cindy, thanks so much for sharing how you use your calendar as writing motivation and sanity anchor. I love the image of eating an elephant. . . one bite at a time. Oh, and to all our environmentally conscious, animal loving friends, we are referring to a metaphorical elephant. . . right, Cin?

Michele Hauf said...

Bestill, bestill. At first I was excited over National Pound Cake Day, but then you go and give me an entire Chocolate Month? ANd top it with a Half-Nekkid Fireman? What a day to get out of bed!

I buy my calendars in November and have the annual ritual of transferring over all dates. It's a big deal to me. I like the art and faery ones the best. My life is on the calendar, as if my hubby's. But he never remembers to check his life, so I have to remind him. He's not so into calendar's.

My favorite is a little desktop calendar that gives inspirational quotes daily. Another good reason to get out of bed. :-)

Michele Hauf said...

Oh forgot. As for writing schedule? I never write it down. It's all in my head. I know, weird. I just can't bring myself to write a 'due date' on the calendar. It's seems so set in stone then.

Sarah Tieck said...

Something in me is delighted that there is a National Furniture Refinishing Month. Who knew?

At my house, there's a family calendar that both my husband and I note work dates and other stuff that's scheduled or important to note. And, he uses his iPhone and I use my Palm ... and then I create a weekly goal/to-do, and a daily sheet that breaks down all that stuff. Seems complicated now that I'm writing it out. But, really, it sort of helps me to get it out of my head ... and manage a lot of goals at once! That, and the Flylady routines.

As for how I use my calendar, I see it as a planning tool ... I set goals in 12-week increments and try to find little steps toward that goal throughout the week. I also use it to schedule in work, note deadlines, plan menus, and plan fun!

The daily and weekly goal sheets are how I keep track of my production ...

I've resisted structure for a long time, but find that it helps me achieve my goals ...

Betina Krahn said...

Sarah, isn't that the way it goes? We resist structure, fearing that we'll find it confining-- when most times it is actually freeing! Good lesson!

And I wonder if most households organize themselves around a calendar of some kind-- hung on the wall by the phone or in the kitchen beside the fridge.

Hey, everybody, where's your family calendar? Does everybody write on it or is there a designated "scribe"?

Debra Dixon said...

National Noodle Month ???

I'm having noodles tonight! (g)

Sarah Tieck said...

So true Betina! The curious thing is, I think I've been swinging towards TOO structured lately ... the part of me that wants to have a little unstructured fun is screaming!! So, the structured part of me scheduled in a little time for some unscheduled time. Don't know what that shows about me!

And, Debra ... mmmmm ... noodles! LOVE noodles. What is it about noodles that is so delectable and luscious?

PJ said...

A snoozer, Betina? Never! I adore calendars. I especially love the scenic ones that I bring home from vacations so I can relive adventure all year long.

Currently, I have one in the kitchen, a small datebook in my purse, a large desktop in my office, and a Chocolate Lovers flip calendar with daily quotes next to the computer. Oh, and there's the one the nuclear power plant puts out every year with "what to do in the event of" helpful hints. Gotta love that one.

I came home Sunday from the Celebrate Romance conference with a MEN BETWEEN YOUR SHEETS calendar, courtesy of Jennifer St. Giles and betweenyoursheets.com. It expires in May '08 but who the heck cares. I plan to stay right here in March. Or maybe April. Oh, but then there was July '07. And September. By September I'm thinking I'm going to need that shower and who better to share it with than the oh-so-sexy Mr. September? Yes, indeedy, very inspirational.

Christie Ridgway said...

We have the fam calendar in the kitchen, then I have 2 in my office. One a datebook type, and one for my wall. The one on my wall last year (bought by Surfer Guy at the dollar store) was of these half-dressed guys, but they really weren't very cute at all. There was a reason it was being sold at the dollar store. I'm so happy we're into a new year and I have a better calendar! Plus, my b-i-l didn't believe me when I said his bro bought me the beefcake calendar.

And isn't March Women Appreciation Month? I think we need pound cake and chocolate to celebrate.

Susan Kay Law said...

I have a big paper calendar, too. My husband would have a heart attack without his digital one (it's on his phone) but electronic ones just don't work for me. I want to be able to just grab it and see a whole month at once, flip back and forth.

All I know is, if I don't look at it first thing in the morning, I have a bad, bad day. I forget everything. (Like yesterday. I was supposed to blog, but had it in my head it was today!) Actually, if I hadn't looked this morning, I would have gone to the airport on the wrong day this weekend . . . now THAT would have been a problem.


Betina Krahn said...

Christie, chocolate and pound cake all around!! You're lucky your surfer boy it so. . . understanding!

PJ, lol on the helpful hints from the nuclear power plant! And true, some calendar months are just better than other, right?

Susie, Ahhh, I have days like that. And yes, keeping it all on a calendar seems to help. I like that "first glance in the morning" thing. That's a really good idea.

byrdloves2read said...

Love the March Dryads Display (Fairy)! But really, does chocolate need a month dedicated to it? Every month is chocolate month, as far as I'm concerned. heh heh

I depend on just one calendar. We keep it in the kitchen where we look at it every day. If we didn't have it, we wouldn't remember what day it was or what appointments needed to be kept. LOL

I don't buy calendars anymore. In any given year we receive at least 10 free ones. I usually keep the ASPCA or some wildlife one.

lois greiman said...

My favorite calendar right now is An Insult A Day. Sounds kind of mean, yes. But we all get our inspiration in different ways. Although, Betina, have to admit, the half naked firefighter did help. Thanks.

Betina Krahn said...

Byrd, I get you on the chocolate thing. But I figure this allows for special interest and indulgence.

And Lois, I love a good insult now and then. Yes, inspiration require different strokes for different folks. Like my firefighter. . . who clearly strokes with his big AXE.

;) Betina

Jordan Dane said...

Nothing like a grinning hunky fireman with a big axe to turn up the heat here in Oklahoma 365 days a year. And that's about as close as I'm gonna get to talking about calendars with beef boy smiling at me.

Nice, Betina!

Betina Krahn said...

Thanks, Jordan! I guess we all appreciate a little male splendor now and again.