The calendar on my iPhone was serving me well until it appeared I was showing up for appointments on the wrong date and missing scheduled engagements. This happened because in the process of scrolling to turn on the reminder alarms my finger had also been moving and displacing the dates and times of things I had added. The final blow happened while updating my phone on iTunes during a snowstorm and having a temporary power glitch – just a second where the lights flickered – and finding my entire phone contact list was erased and everything on my calendar had also vanished. Every friend and family member. Every appointment projecting into the upcoming year. My forgetful mind was in that phone and it was a horrible feeling.
I should have been able to retrieve it, but for some reason nothing I did allowed me to regain that information. As a matter of fact, everything I did seemed to make it worse. My stuff was not floating around on some storage cloud somewhere, even though I thought it was. Everything had to be re-entered by hand.
Although I also have an annual calendar on my wall, I haven’t been that good about using it because I was relying on technology. It was my back-up to the phone. This year will be different. The phone will be the back-up to the calendar. And I will have other things in place to back up the phone.
The item that will be decorating a prominent place in front of your face all year should be something you are going to want to look at. I’ve tried desk calendars but found they were getting misplaced and stacked under books. So it has to be on the wall. It has to also have enough room in each square to write in. Bank calendars with tractors and fall foliage don’t do it for me. I need something that I can glance at and feel good about for thirty days at a time.
2014 was a lovely one from the Butterfly Conservatory at Niagra Falls. 2013 was an illustrated collection of Rumi poems. The year before that was Hindu deities. One year it was Kandinsky. There has also been about a decade of Georgia O’Keefe’s. This year I had something specific in mind, a lovely collection of illustrated seed packets sold by a local business, which also happened to feature an illustration from a very talented and dear friend. It was so nice that I ordered one for my sister-in-law for Christmas, but for some reason at the moment I forgot to get mine. So I found myself on December 31st without a new wall calendar to start my year. Not the end of the world, but the little snippets of paper reminders and appointment cards were starting to pile up, and for some reason the urgency to have that new calendar seemed to really press upon me. I added the snippets to my phone, but faith in the phone is very much gone. So with determination I set out into our local uptown art store to find a wall calendar – that fresh, new, hopeful start to the year. With any luck, at this late date they would be on sale.
Having a new wall calendar feels the same as the first day of school. Anything is possible.
Well, I blew it. The calendars were picked over, leaving a few of cute kittens, some illustrated Jewish holiday calendars, vintage cars, and a pathetic collection of oddballs. I suppose I could have taken a fifteen minute ride to major book seller and seen what was left there, but I wasn’t into doing that. I needed immediate gratification, where I could grab the thing, go home, and fill in all the Important Dates. It had to happen Now.
There was one down at the bottom of the rack of woodblock prints by Gustave Baumann, a German American artist who eventually landed into the art scene in Santa Fe, a place that has always held a draw for me and which I have returned to a number of times. Because it was New Mexico, it was sort of appealing, although most of the months seemed a bit dark. I was already in a dark place at the end of 2014, which has been one of the more difficult years, with loss, turmoil and change, despite the bright butterflies on the wall. There were some amazing highlights to 2014, but it was overall a hard one. Did I want to move through the upcoming year with a dark calendar by my side?
So I waffled. Was I getting a little too crazy about this? Jeez – I grabbed the calendar. It was not on sale. It didn’t matter.
Here I am, sitting at my computer with the calendar on the wall to the right of me. For the month of January we have a print called “Morning Sun”. It is a bit shady. But there is also something hopeful about it, like looking out into a new day, a new morning.
A new year. Hope it is a good one for all.