As digital as my world has become in recent years, there are a few things I prefer to keep analog. At the top of this list is my calendar. I've never been able to wrap my mind around Outlook or any other calendaring software. My brief attempts at converting to a Palm Pilot were an abysmal failure. I simply love giant paper calendars (the bigger, the better) with huge squares in which I can keep track of our crazy lives. There's something satisfying for me about writing appointments and dates down by hand, and my mind works best when I can view a whole month's worth of engagements at a glance. I even like to keep old calendars and look back at them over time. Those squares filled with scribbled reminders of past events are as good as any diary I've ever kept; a record of the years I've lived.
Over the past several weeks, I've been particularly grateful for the physical size of my calendar as I've struggled to fit as many appointments and playdates and dates as I can into a short period of time. I've been squeezing engagement after engagement into our days, staring at the full squares and trying to figure out where to fit in just a few more things. With August now behind us, I flipped forward to September this morning as I fielded yet another "we'd love to see you before you go" call. And there it was, staring me in the face: just over a week of jam-packed days and then... nothing. No playdates. No coffee with friends. No meetings. No adult events which will require a babysitter. No appointments. No kids' activities. No back to school events. Just row after row of empty squares.
My future may be filled with promise, but it is devoid of concrete plans. Structure and a new kind of schedule will inevitably come in time, but for now, what I have is a blank slate and a blank calendar to remind me of that fact. Those empty squares are unnerving as hell. Perhaps it's time to switch to Outlook after all. I think the one-day-at-a-time view might be about all I can handle at this point.