Thursday, January 12, 2006

to save or not to save

I wonder how many people save their personal calendars from year to year? Of course that’s assuming someone has a date books with paper as opposed to an Outlook calendar on his computer or a Palm Pilot. I don’t have either of those or really know how to work one, but I assume the information just stays stored for as long as you decide to keep the technology and then disappears unless you transfer onto some means of storage. No, I’m talking about good old fashion date books, like the Week-at-a-Glance my mom has or the filofax that I’ve been keeping with varying levels of regularity since college. With a Week-at-a-Glance it’s an all or nothing deal. You file the small booklet away somewhere or you throw it away. But with a Filofax you’d have to clip together the pages and find some tidy way of placing them in a drawer—maybe create a large manila envelope labeled “Filofax pages” I don’t know. But every year I end up throwing them away—thinking that I don’t need to add the paper clutter that steadily mounts every year. And yet, in some ways looking back through my notes from the last year are more interesting than my journal (which I don’t keep as regularly as I’d like.) There’s what I did with my life as well as what I might have done with my life, of course making me wonder what would have happened if I had chosen door number two. There’s the party I went to and the party I could have gone to. And then there are some ways that my planner looks as much like a year-in-the-life of Philadelphia as it does a year in the life of me—notes about exhibits, concerts, lectures, parades that I may have jotted down as soon as an event calendar came in the mail or after procrastinating for a while on City Search just so I would know what was going on in case I chose to spent an evening or an afternoon that way. And then there are the reminders of contacts lost that you might want to refoster—a phone number or email address jotted next to a name.

As I’ve been writing I’ve been turning the pages: June 2004 to December 2005. Have to take them out to make room for the new. Have to get down all those plans and possibilities for the future. And in the end, I think throwing away all the old ones won’t make me forget the past.

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