Monday, June 25, 2007

Happy New Year!

Okay, Okay. I know it is not January 1st, so it can't be a real new year, but according to my calendar, it is a new year. My life works best around an academic calendar and academic calendars run from July through June. Because the first of July is next Sunday, my new calendar started today. I finally bought "next year's calendar" a few weeks ago. You would not think it that big a deal to go buy a calendar, but a calendar is a personal thing. It has to be just right. Simple, right? Not really.

Over the years, I have had every size and every style of calendar - daily, weekly, monthly, compact, junior, full-sized. Like with most things, they all have positives and drawbacks. I should have bought this year's calendar long before I did but I could not decide what I wanted.

Last year I had a weekly compact calendar. It did the trick but it was the same size (and color) as my checkbook. Every time I reached for it, I grabbed the checkbook instead. It was also hard sometimes to see the big picture because it did not show the whole month except in a little tiny block at the top of the page. It also had no extra pages for notes. Because I waited so long to buy the new one, I have engagements for July and beyond scribbled in less than intuitive places throughout.

I have tried all the fancy organizer systems that are supposed to make your life run smoothly. I like them, but I find that I don't use or need all of their "features". I just need a place to write down where I am supposed to be and when. The writing down part creates its own set of problems. If the calendar is too small, then there is not enough room to write all of the necessary information. Then there are the calendars that have the times already preprinted. What if my appointment is at 10:15? The printed times are 10:00 and 10:30. Some of them have quarter hours printed. The lines are even smaller on these. What about 10:35 or 10:47? My point here is that I do not want any times preprinted. I can write the time myself. And, if I actually write the numbers, I am more likely to remember the information.

I like weekly calendars. I do not have so many obligations most days that I need a calendar with a page for every day. Plus, this makes them much thicker and heavier. I don't want that either. I would love it if the weekly version also had a full page view of the month.

What size do I want? I think I want a bigger calendar than I had last year. I don't really want a full sized page though because it is too big to fit in my bag so I never have it when I need it. Maybe I should go back to the junior (half-sized) pages. Decisions. Decisions.

The first few times I went looking to buy my calendar, nothing seemed to fit the bill. I kept putting it off. Finally came the point of no return. I had to make a decision. I figured I would "just settle" for something. I know. all of you are saying what is the big deal about buying a calendar. This is one of those places where my perfectionism plays hard. I want the perfect calendar.

I think that the Office Supply Store gods heard my plight and responded. I ran in to Staples one Sunday afternoon for something completely unrelated. There, right in the center aisle was the perfect calendar for me. It is a weekly/monthly/calendar, has a movable bookmark to indicate the current week, has phone and address pages, expanded notes section, and a pocket in the back cover. There are no times marked on the days. It is slightly smaller than full page. It has a cheerful striped cover and at the top of every week is a readable monthly calendar for the previous, current and next month. And, best of all, it was only $14.95. What more could a girl want? Okay, what more could a girl want IN A CALENDAR!

I really am thrilled by the simple things in life. So, now I will go relocate all of those stray dates to their permanent home. For another year, I will be organized. The only problem with using an academic calendar is that you can't take advantage of the 50% off sales on calendars that take place in January. Oh well, I don't know what I would do with a new calendar in January. I have enough trouble remembering to change the year when I write checks. Please don't confuse me further by giving me a new calendar too!

Again I say, Happy New Year!