Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Numbered New Year

I love calendars. I love planners. I love calendars and planners the way other women love shoes. I don't love shoes at all. Each December for the last 20 years, I have purchased a planner and systematically transferred all birthdays and anniversaries from the old planner to the new. I mark off school holidays and breaks. I note plans by month and then by day and then by hour.

I love my calendar and when a year ends I can't bear to toss my companion so I keep it. Because you never know when you'll need to know the date of a dental appointment from 1998. Not really. I hang on to these records of my life because it reminds me of how the days go by so quickly and then the back cover is shut on another year.

My 2010 calendar already has plans on its pages. Appointments and meetings. Errands. Things to do. Calls to make. Goals to reach. All good stuff, all the fillings of a day, a week, a month, a year. I delight in plans. But I've learned something about plans. They change. And as much as I would like to think that what I have planned is exactly what will happen, that's foolish. Could I make some predictions about my 2010 and get a few right? Yes. But I'd stick to predicting the highlights, the certainties, the happy times, the love and joy I'm counting on. I'd fail to mention the disappointments, the changes, the unexpected doctor's visits, the phone calls I won't want to make, the occasions on which my heart will hurt.

So I won't be making any grand predictions or resolutions. I am jotting down some things in my planner acutely aware that there will be more to this year than I can imagine. 365 days of false security stretch before me, teasing me into thinking that they will always be here, nice and neat on my calendar. At least I know the games they play.

No resolutions but I do set a goal for each year. Just one. One big one. Last year's goal was to write a book. I started in January and finished in May. Well, kinda. I'm still working on getting every sentence just right. I had no idea that last year's goal would roll into this year. I had it planned differently. So I will finish my 2009 goal in early 2010. My 2010 goal will have to wait.

I know my days are numbered, I just don't know what the number is but I'm done assuming I've got decades to spare. Not to be morbid but I find mortality to be extremely motivating. What will I spend my limited days doing that will count in the end?

This blog which I completely enjoy will be hibernating for a while. The stories will have to wait and more will accumulate and I will write them one day. I am spending my days in other ways.

What are you doing with your numbered new year?