As the noun not the verb, emphasis on the first syllable, this word always feels a bit pretentious; as though the verb counterpart woke up one morning with Notions. You know, the kind of notions one might wake up with in Sense and Sensibility. While walking Dog this morning, the morning dawning upon a new year, a new big number, a new calendar month, I couldn’t help but find myself musing on Social Constructs, constructs like The Calendar. I love, and hate, my calendar.

Calendars, like other time pieces, help humans regulate where & when they should be doing things. They are essential in keeping employment, keeping appointments and knowing when to pick up Junior from Driver’s Ed. They are also there to remind of how Time Flies, why I’m exhausted from Over Doing, what the Moon is up to, and which weekday My Birthday will fall on. Covering days & weeks, as compared to minutes & hours, The Calendar is far more tyrannical than its wrist-sized friend.

My calendar, fractured into work as employee, contractor and entrepreneur; into home life with all manner of appointments, Junior’s classes, lessons & events, Spouse’s travel; with reminders to send that payment, email that mom. Empty days on the chart are anything but; instead, filled with class prep, family or business bookkeeping, meals, laundry, yard work and on.

The best and most luxurious of days are those that flow from activity to activity, no agenda, no constraints, no demands, no Time Line. Coffee then probably Dog walk; starting a laundry load then to computer to write, enter receipts; hungry? something simple for breakfast; while in the kitchen replace the dishwasher clean with now dirty; start a levain for bread making later (something that does require time keeping!); wander outside to deadhead the hydrangea and finally stow the garden umbrellas; lunch-really? All activities occurring from a flow of consciousness.

Realistically, this type of luxury day won’t happen often. My work as culinary instructor and mom fill most of my time. I am teaching at 4 different venues plus here at home. Teaching in my home space is a super short commute, but there’s far more preparation turning home into cooking school, an extra step that takes extra time. I’m able to reuse recipes in many classes, but timelines still have to be customized for each event. Junior has classes away from home 3 days per week. Sometimes I get home while he’s occupied, having space to tidy up that garden, but usually we’re both gone, home in time to start dinner.

I’m not complaining but merely stating what is, what has been this past year. Writing this out let’s me feel it all in a different way, let’s me see that it could be shifted. This year I will add into my calendar a Day of Nothing, at least once or twice per month. I will place them purposely and plan for them, doing less Last Minute regarding time lines, recipe tweaking, with a housecleaning schedule that all can take part in. I’m so grateful for chances to change. I want a year with more room to breathe, with better connection to my Spouse & Son, and opportunities to make others happy. Short order? Happy New Year!






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