As Back-to-School Savings circulars arrive in my mailbox I, initially cringe, then grin. I am shocked that our summer is flying by and realized I had left the calendar on the month of June. When I flipped the page the Hawaiian-looking scene instantly transported me. On this very day, last year, we sat on the sands of a Maui beach. It seems like yesterday. But with the arrival of these ads my inner organizing diva is revelling. Office supply superstore, here I come!
I relish shopping in our office supply store; both online and in-person. I gaze at the bins of must-have supplies on-sale, the shelves of various pens and pencils under the sun. I found myself laughing out loud, one afternoon, as I tried to decide between the gel ink pen or the smooth-rolling ball. Which one would glide effortlessly on the piece of paper? Would it smudge? Fifteen minutes of my life passed me by as I contemplated these deep and detailed thoughts.
But the aisle I stand in, the longest, is the one with various calendars and day organizers. It is a tantamount task to find the perfect monthly view calendar. Should I go green this year? My smartphone calendar isn’t enough. It took a lot of willpower to go from books to my Kindle so this is the last frontier. I need paper to touch and feel, to write the events that mark our days in various technicolor. I have a large desk organizer (for work, as well as home) but look for the 18 month calendars only available prior to a school year. Upon my bookshelf, at home, I have monthly calendars from the year of 1996. Occasionally I find myself thumbing through them, remembering the events highlighted. Some were mundane, others lasting. That particular year, as December came around, I counted down the days until I left my great job and followed my fiance. It was that year that the life of me, changed to we. And I have kept each yearly monthly view calendar ever since.
Recently my sons have been asking the hubs and I how he and I became us. As young boys it was fun to relay stories about courtship; it’s quite another to share them with a soon-to-be teen and inquisitive tween. The simple story of we met and fell in love doesn’t jive with these guys and they, surprisingly, have wanted more detail. You met Dad by passing paper to a trash can? What kind of trash can? Where were you sitting? Why weren’t you next to him? are the questions from the youngest. From the older two, Did you think Dad was hot? What did he look like? How did you, like, try to kiss her? Oh dear. When the hubs tried to show a crude demonstration I waited for the sounds of Eeeewwww or embarrassed laughter. But no! Instead, they asked about technique! It was the hubs who ended up laughing, embarrassed.
And so the calendar beckons. I am already projecting 8 months out, filling in the squares on my calendar app. It is rare that the squares are empty; much as I fight filling them. I must consciously try to stay planted in today, verbally reminding myself to take each day as it comes. It used to be that a filled calendar meant a fulfilled life. I loved to write in the squares, the oh-so-important tasks and events that gave me meaning. These days I find ways to eliminate them, instead opting for the white on the page, the starkness contrasting with the numbered grid blocks. This is not a battle I will soon win but one I will continue to wage.
I wish time would go by faster, the middle son just announced. We are still working and the boys wish to be home in video gaming bliss.
I glare at him from my desk. This son is one inch shorter than I and is rapidly gaining ground. He sees my look and begins to shrink with an impish grin, knowing what I am thinking. Stop growing! my mind shouts. I don’t want time to fly by, I’m wanting it to slow down! Each time I measure his height, against mine, it is his endearing joke to shrink and tell me he’ll always be my little boy that doesn’t grow. He does so now. I snap the shot of the clock. That memory is frozen at this time.
I cross off another day on the, purposely, blank desk calendar.