One of the most important, most-used items I own is my small, black personal pocket calendar. Even in our small family of three, there’s a lot to keep track of: school events, appointments for doctors, dentists, optometrists, and orthodontist; rehearsals and performances for the many choral and theater ensembles in which we participate; board and committee meetings; performances and arts events we attend as audience members; vacation and travel plans; and family and social events. Over the years, I’ve developed a shorthand by which I can cram a lot of meaningful information into each tiny space. And I learned long ago to write only in pencil. I guard my date book zealously. Don’t touch my date book!
(I keep a separate, larger planner in my office to keep track of business projects and appointments.)
Each September, I purchase a new date book for the following year, and mark in all the dates that I already know about (three of the choral ensembles in which I sing distribute season schedules and/or contracts in June). I wrote a bit about that process here: http://quodlibet-sarah.blogspot.com/2008/09/anticipation-coming-choral-season.html
Thus, during the autumn months, I maintain two date books, one for the current year and one for the coming year. I guard them zealously. Don’t touch my date books!
When the old year turns and the new one arrives, I face a small emotional crisis as I abandon the past year’s date book and take up the new one. Yes, the old year is past, and much lies ahead. But the old date book is the record of our lives, for good and ill: Our participation in many wonderful musical and theatrical performances, and the satisfying and enriching rehearsals by which we prepared for them…Attendance at the symphony and theatre…Dinners with friends…Board meetings...Committee meetings… Stimulating book group discussions…Steve and Paul’s wedding, and David and Tom’s surprise anniversary-wedding!!...Illnesses and my hellish autumn-winter...Maine (and the fall that left a stunning scar on my leg)…Our Shakespeare Summer…D’s cycling centuries!...Visits to family, and the associated worries…Deaths…Camping with D and K… A series of very difficult doctor appointments and a cancelled vacation…K’s second triumph in summer Shakespeare, and the happy entrance of E on the scene....Our Christmas guest!
My 2009 date book will end up in the wastebasket today or tomorrow…or next week. Lots to look back on!
But the 2010 book is already crammed with appointments and new adventures. Much to anticipate!