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?


  1. What do u mean u r spending ur days n other ways? You can't leave us hanging. By the way, I too am fascinated with morality. It must b because we saw Dad depart from this earth so early. I used to want to go now!!! This world has nothing to offer me, I'd say!!! But tonight, just tonight, it was made known to me that God put Eternity in my heart not so that I would check out of this life, but so that I would have the urgency to lead others to Christ so that they would go with me one day!

    Also, I just heard of this great idea that gas to do with calendars! Every January you take time to pray over each month of the year to come! Pray about things that are yet to come!

    By the way, Tina, your days ate numbered. All of ours, the Bible says. Because u know the Lord, u will be ready to meet Him when ur time is done, but I think your best years are ahead of you...cause you keep getting smarter every year!!!!

  2. I used to be a planning addict as you describe. But somewhere along the way, I lost my passion for it. And sometimes I think I should go back. I'm not as good at remembering birthdays and anniversaries as I used to be. And I'm sure there are other things that get lost in the shuffle. But I think I also feel more free and less bound to obligation than I used to.

    Best of luck as you finish your book and commence all other manner of exciting adventures. I can't wait to hear your stories when you return. Happy New Year!

  3. right on. It is very presumptuous of us to plan our year and then be shocked when things dont go our way. Not that we should prepare to be dissapointed or negative, but that we should have an attitude of gratefulness for every day we have. we arent the potter, we are the clay.

  4. I am laughing right now because I spent a good hour last night transferring all of the annual dates from last year's calendar to this year's. I smiled as I added the birthdays of some new additions, my own son's earning the biggest grin.

    I love what you have to say about calendars, planning, and "false security." Do we keep schedules to give some traction to a life that is ultimately beyond our control?

    All the best wishes on your new endeavors. I will look forward to reading what you have in store for us when you return.

    Happy 2010.

  5. Happy Hibernation! Winter is a great time for it. :) And I love your thoughts about having our days numbered. It helps us stay more focused with our time when we remember that it's limited.

  6. As someone who just took a much-needed pause, I encourage your hibernation and I am thrilled to one day hear how you spent it. I only expect good things. Best of luck with all your plans and non-plans.

  7. I absolutely love writing all the new birthdays and doctors appointments in a fresh calendar! I will always have a calendar you have to write on, the electronic ones are just not the same!
    (thanks for commenting today! Enjoy your time "off" from the blog, and good luck finishing the book!)