• Planning for optional events...

Planning for optional events...

For the last few years, I’ve spent money on a spiral calendar which I can carry with me to keep up with appointments and such. In years past, a calendar on the wall or on my desk would do, but with retirement, I’m a little more mobile, and need to have something I can see easily and carry around.

Maybe my phone would be a good place to do this planning, but I have found that I’m so clumsy with my technical expertise that I end up putting events down wrong only to be missed entirely. I’ve set up reminders in the PM and not AM, so that the alarm goes off in the middle of the night for a one-hour warning to get ready for that 3 p.m. doctor’s appointment. It’s not good to jump up, get dressed, and realize that it’s still dark outside.

Most of the time, the paper calendar has been useful. However, this last Monday, I found myself a week early for a doctor’s appointment. The calendar put the 24th of the month and the 31st of the month in the same square, so I got to the 31st appointment on the 24th. Luckily, there was a cancellation and the little girl behind the desk felt sorry for the whimpering old lady and let me in.

At my age, most of the appointments are of the medical variety. When my partner was alive, his appointments sometimes crowded out mine. When he died, I thought my calendar would be empty, but I’ve found that “senior” calendars are never empty. While he was sick, I postponed regular tests and “yearly” checkups. Maybe I shouldn’t have. Anyway, I’m finding that my calendar is full again.

I read an article recently about planning an Optional Calendar. On a separate calendar, it suggested planning for those days when you might want to do something different. Our library has been having a piano recital every Friday morning. It would be so nice to attend one of these recitals, but I usually remember them on Saturday afternoon. If I wrote it down on my Optional Calendar then when I had an open Friday, it would be there waiting.

I missed a major historical presentation at the cemetery last Saturday. If it had been on my Optional Calendar, I wouldn’t have spent an hour and a half watching a particularly boring movie about British spies in Russia. I couldn’t understand what the British guys were saying especially when they were trying to sound like Russians. Now, if I had been down at the cemetery, I might have known what was going on… at least I could have asked someone to explain it to me.

Maybe on my Optional Calendar I could plan for a day to walk around the downtown square. We have some really nice stores around our square which entice out-of-town foreigners all the time. As a local, I forget to go down there. If it were planned out on my optional calendar, then I could take the afternoon off and loiter around the square… window shopping, taking time out for a cup of coffee and a cookie, even wandering through the antique stores and resale shops. You don’t have to buy anything.

I have no choice but to go to the Required Calendar events. That’s where the doctor’s appointments and tax bills are scheduled. If I had an Optional Calendar attached to it, I could fill those blank days with things I want to do. Planning is the key. Now, I’ve just got to remember to buy that second calendar.

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