Picking Next Year’s Calendar, and Getting Philosophical About Another Year

I’ve heard people sing the praises of the Google calendar, and I use an Outlook calendar to make sure I remember work meetings, but when it comes to personal preference, I’m firmly on Team Paper Calendar (as teams go, we’re one of the most organized ones out there). I carry a planner in my bag at all times, on my desk sits a page-a-day calendar, and on my cubicle wall hangs a 12 x 12 wall calendar.

I’m someone who tends to like routines: the routine of flipping to the next day in my calendar every morning when I get to work (or a double flip if it’s a Monday), and the ritual of marking the first day of a new month by flipping a calendar page. When someone visits my desk to talk to me about a deadline, I rotate myself to the right almost by instinct–that’s where my wall calendar is, and I need to look at it in order to visualize lengths of time that would otherwise be totally abstract. As cliche as it is, the start of a new month always manages to sneak up on me, and turning a wall calendar page feels like a fitting reminder that a period of 28 to 31 days has come and gone–or at least more fitting than having to write a rent check or pay a bill.

This goes double, or more like duodecuple, when the year ends and instead of turning a page, it’s time to replace the calendar altogether. I think of the calendars that have accompanied me at my desk for the past few years–the Shoes Gallery this year, and before that, Handbags, and Art, and it’s crazy to think that I’ve flipped at least 900 pages in my time here, at least 900 times like sands through the hourglass, so passed days of my life. And I think about how my new calendar, whichever one or, more likely, ones that I choose, will be with me for a whole ‘nother year, bearing witness to novel reactions like, “wow, can’t believe it’s 2015!” and “how is already February?,” and before long, “July!? The year is half over!”


There are dozens of calendars in Workman’s arsenal to choose from. Setting the right tone is important–after all, we’re going to be spending a year together. Balance is a consideration too: I want a wall calendar that complements, but doesn’t overlap with, whatever page-a-day I choose. There’s the impulse to try something new and pick a calendar I haven’t used before, but there’s also the draw of the familiar, and the thought of going back to an old favorite. Then, frankly, there’s the practical: what can I actually find when I decide it’s time to take the plunge, ideally well before December 31st?

If all goes according to plan, I think I’ve settled on my choices for the year: The New Yorker Covers Gallery on my desk and Flower Recipe on my wall. Wish me luck. I don’t know where 2015 will lead me, but I do know that wherever it is, I’ll probably have a calendar by my side.

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