For many years in the Honcoop family, it was tradition for each member to receive their Success Desk Calendar with their Christmas gifts. These were page per day calendars, set up on little angled plastic trays, metal loops through the holes punched in each page, so you could turn it over when the next day came. This tradition died for Randy when I became the Keeper of the Calendar. Whereas Randy is a very disciplined, routine-oriented individual, I am not. If the calendar were placed properly in the locale of his morning routine, he would faithfully turn the page. However, I, Keeper of the Calendar, put the calendar in a central location, where it was available to both, but out of Randy’s routine. Being a "big picture" sort of person, I never could get the hang of paging days ahead to write something down, and then turn back to the present day. I never could get the hang of remembering to turn the page each day. Whole chunks of month were turned over at a time while I relied on looking at a grid of the days on the wall. I just needed the orientation of the relationship of the days to weeks to get events in mind. Even then, as my relatives whose birthdays fall at the beginning of the month know, I didn't always remember to turn the monthly calender either! Thus I killed the Success Calendar Tradition for our branch of the Honcoop Family. Randy didn’t miss it as he now had me to manage his schedule, however imperfectly!
But I digress (and how!)...Every Success Calendar Package had inside an explanation of the Gregorian calendar and how it came to be. I don’t remember any details of the calendars preceding it, and, honestly, I’m not sure I understood the explanation of the Gregorian calendar correctly. If I did, I seem to be part of a very small minority of people in the world who did.
My understanding was that Gregory’s calendar started with the Year One – not a zero year as we do with people, but Year One. In contrast, when a baby is born, we do not say he is One because he is in his first year. We say he is 3 months, 6 months, 9 months, etc. Then, AFTER he has completed his first year, we say he is One. He becomes ONE at the beginning of his SECOND year. Since the Gregorian calendar began with the Year One, it started as Year One in January. At the end of that first year, it became Year Two. It became Year Two at the BEGINNING of Year Two – not the end. Are you with me here, folks? Are you picking up what I’m putting down? What I am saying is that we are living the Year 2009, we have not completed it and started Year 2010, as is commonly thought.
The implications are interesting...Think back to the Year 2000. Every one was out of sorts because of the changing of the millennium. I know, the threat of malfunctions had to do with how computers handled the zeros, but there seemed to be an attitude of some mysticism associated with the turn of what was believed to be a significant year...But if I understand the Gregorian calendar, the previous millennium was not complete until the Year 2000 ENDED. The new millennium began as Year 2001...right? And how does that work with the century? A century must begin with a One as well, not a zero year as you always hear on the news and in the papers. Which causes me to question which century we’re living in...People were so quick to shove us into the 21st century – what if we were not there yet?
Okay -- I know that, practically speaking, this misunderstanding of the Gregorian calendar has little impact on our daily lives. Still, I think that we should get it right. We don’t need to make our world any older than it needs to be! And we might as well enjoy 2009 while we’re living it, instead of thinking that it’s already history.
As I said earlier, I have some doubt that I understood correctly the Success Calendar’s explanation of the Gregorian calendar. How could so many people have it wrong? However, until someone explains to me why I am wrong, I’m going to keep swimming upstream, living life a year behind everyone else.
Friday, February 20, 2009
Wednesday, February 11, 2009
I’ve been admiring February on my calendar...such an organized month this year! Neatly beginning on a Sunday, and concluding on a Saturday, there is a block of open spaces at the bottom of the page. I was thinking how convenient it would be if every month were so organized. Instead of saying, "we meet on the last Monday of the month", you could simply say we meet on the 23rd. It would go without saying that it was a Monday. If you had responsibilities at church every other Sunday, they would always be the same dates. No more asking, "which day of the week is Christmas this year". It would always be Wednesday! It would make payroll duties easier...as well as the school year – "Pizza Days are the 13th & the 27th" – ALWAYS! No more kids without lunches because Mom got it mixed up! You could always know the day on which school began...Vacation planning would be straightforward...In fact, human communications on the whole might be improved because there would be less cause for misunderstanding, contributing to a increase in World Peace!
It makes me think I should develop a new "Leslorian Calendar". I’ve always had problems with the Gregorian one anyway. ( A topic for another post...) I propose that all months be 28 days in length, and organized in the manner of February 2009. The leftover days would be equal to another month, which would be placed in the Summer. (I would prefer a longer winter, but being in a distinct minority there, I won’t even propose it.) This new summer month shall be named...uh...We shall have a contest to name the new month of summer! (Submit your entries in the comment area...) Left is one extra day that I propose to be placed between December 28 and January 1, belonging to no year. On it, no commerce will take place. Instead, all will purge their extra possessions to set out for the poor to acquire to begin the new year. Every 4th year, there will be 2 days between December 28 and January 1, set aside for the same purpose.
Now I’ve been wondering how one would implement such a plan...It seems so sensible, so organized, so routine...And then I realized that my birthday would always be on Wednesday, as would the 4th of July and Christmas. No chance EVER of an extra long weekend when the holiday so aligns...Kids whose birthdays fall on a weekend would NEVER get to bring treats to school on their actual birthday, just like those poor kids with summer birthdays...The number of days between Thanksgiving and Christmas would always be the same...Everything would be so predictable, so rigid, so boring...
I’m rethinking my brilliant idea. While there is something to be said for organization and convenience, I’m not sure I want to live in a world that’s too predictable. Variety brings interest to life. Unpredictability keeps us on our toes...besides what would we do for all those people who were born on the 29th, 30th & 31st? I guess Old Greg knew what he was doing...