I’m not going to try to make an excuse as to why I didn’t update yesterday. I take full responsibility. We all need a day off sometimes.
Today’s item is something that, without fail, myself and millions like me will receive in some form from some person every year of our lives, even if we tell everyone we know again and again that we don’t want it… It’s an item that asks for our full attention and participation for an entire year, a request that’s impossible to honor and frankly unfair to begin with. The item is the day-to-day desk calendar. Here’s a picture of one you’ll read more about later:
I don’t know about you, but my morning routine hasn’t really changed that much in the past five or six years. I tend to set my alarm for 10 minutes after I’m supposed to be up anyway, and generally ignore its ringing until 5 minutes after the time I was supposed to leave my house to be able to do the very important things I have to do on time.
The trip to the bathroom (a scant 10 or 15 feet) immediately after getting up is something I don’t ever remember much of. It’s the most confusing, jarring part of my day, and I’m lucky if I make it into the shower without falling or running into something and severely hurting myself. There is absolutely nothing on my mind at this time. I wouldn’t have access to it even if there was. My mind and body are not working together yet.
The morning shower helps a little, but does little to curb my growing anger and frustration as my mind begins to start working and I realize I have another long, milestone-less day ahead. The rest of the morning is a sprint to dress, get ready, scrape off my frozen windshield with an old credit card, and get to wherever I need to be before someone notices I’m not already there. I’ve accepted this routine, and really only ask that no one tries to disrupt this or add any other useless little hindrances to it that will set me back even more.
Then Christmas comes (Christmas yeah!), and it’s time for stockings at the Kingma house. We barrel down the stairs, almost bursting with excitement to see what’s waiting for us on the couch (or the chair. Krissy’s stocking is on the chair), even at 21, 23 and 24 years old. The only thing keeping us from bursting is the sinking knowledge that we’re going to get another one this year. We know the day-to-day calendar is waiting for us. And since mom feels the need to get us a different one every year, each successive year offers us one that has less and less to do with the things we like.
Our fears are confirmed once again… there’s one waiting for each of us. Mine this year? It’s hard to say… but since all of my interests and loves and hobbies belong to long retired day-to-day calendars, it’s a toss up. All I know is that it’s going to be more impersonal than ever this year. I wouldn’t count out the “insult-a-day” calendar.
With the gifting of the calendar comes a responsibility. We know mom spent time picking these out, and we have to respect that. But I hope she knows (and if she doesn’t, I’m telling her now (hey mom!)) that there’s no way this thing is going to be used the way it’s supposed to. The calendar starts on January 1st (obviously) but, chances are, it won’t even make it out of the box until mid-march, when we find it hidden in a bag in our closet during spring cleaning.
We dig it out of the bag, take it out of the box and inspect it. Spring cleaning is a time of change and renewal, so we promise ourselves at this moment that we’re going to keep up with the calendar from now on. We try to read through some of the “insults” (or whatever the topic is) on the sheets from days long past, but we get bored quickly, and end up just tearing a chunk off until we’re current (let’s say March 15).
The next morning, our regular routine goes virtually unchanged, until we meet eyes with the calendar. We’re in no mental state to read at this hour of the morning, and though we try to start our first day of the day-to-day calendar right, it’s just not going to happen. We may tear off yesterday’s page, but we’re so uninterested in what we know we’re going to find on the next page that it’s not even worth trying to read. And that’s where it ends. The rest of the year, that thing will stay at March 16th… until next year, when we take out our new one that we find in the same place we found last year’s.
And the cycle never ends. Parents: stop buying these calendars for your kid (or your young adult). The last thing we want at 5 in the morning every morning is to be insulted (literally in my case) by a little paper calendar with a cheap plastic stand. If we want to know the date we’ll read it on our phones when we’re ready. If we want to be insulted, well don’t worry. We’ll be at work in 20 minutes. We’ll get our fill there.