Death Calendar ImageThe calendar doesn’t care.

Its pages flip. The new day comes into view. If it’s a plain daily calendar, it’s not much fun. The best calendars are those big monthly calendars with images that take your breath away. The ones that make you smile, even sigh at how beautiful they are. Some are sweeping vistas of romantic places. Some are such unique animals that you question if they really exist. Calendars do this on purpose, so you don’t have to suffer as much with your life’s passing.

I have a favorite calendar. It’s from Paper Source, and I buy one every year. Without looking at the summary of images on the back, I carefully hang the calendar on the wall directly across from my work desk. Like a little kid, I wait to the first day of the new month before turning the page. Never do I look ahead. In fact, it’s like peeking at Christmas presents before it’s Christmas. As in,”Mom, tell me where the Christmas presents are hidden, so I don’t find them by mistake.”

This tiny ritual aims to keep me from the frustration I feel with the swift passage of time. “The days are long, but the years are short,” says Gretchen Rubin, author of The Happiness ProjectIt’s crazy how right she is.

But alas, I am feeding my own angst. I look forward to flipping the page so I can see the new image. As I view the same image every day for three weeks, and then four, I almost will the month to be over. But then when I flip the page, I see what has transpired.

Time is slipping through the continuum.

The calendar looks me in the eye and starts asking the hard questions, “What did you accomplish last month?” or  “What do you have to show for the first three months of this year, not that it is one-fourth (!) over?” Or “This time last year you said you would have ____________ (fill in the blank) done. Did you do it?”

The calendar doesn’t care.

I told you that already. But it certainly has a gift for asking the profound questions — the questions that drive you nuts.

So as you flip the page of your calendar, pause to see what you have accomplished. Keep your fingers crossed. Maybe next month, you will have some good news for her. If not, there will be a pretty picture to greet you, and you can smile, sigh, carry on, and either gird yourself for self-recrimination or prepare yourself for joy when you reach to do next month’s flip.

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