Every year-end season I have to buy a new pocket calendar. It’s almost an afterthought because there are usually so many other things going on to distract me in the holiday season that I keep putting it off and let it simmer in the back of my brain so that I’m always vaguely aware of the necessity of getting a new one but always deferring when I have the chance. And then comes a day when I suddenly go out and do it, as if it’s an inspiration.
I am very particular about the calendar I want. First, I want a monthly display, not a weekly display. A weekly schedule is useless to me. I habitually think in longer time frames than that. Second, I want a calendar that shows the first day of the week - Sunday - on the left margin. Many calendars these days put Sunday on the right margin, next to Saturday, first in order to keep the weekend together and looking contiguous and, second, out of the mistaken idea that Sunday is the seventh day of the week. Well, it isn’t. Sunday is the first day of the week.
I always choose a similar design for my kitchen wall calendar: a monthly display with Sunday on the left.
Then on Monday, January 7th I finally got around to transferring some notes from my 2012 pocket calendar into my new 2013 pocket calendar, paving the way for me to start using it. It’s just a little bothersome chore that has to be done. I like to keep some phone numbers and other contact information written in the pages of my calendar and close to my heart: the Canadian Embassy’s Tokyo telephone number; Air Canada’s Tokyo office number; my wife’s telephone number and E-mail address; the phone numbers of various English-language services here, like the Tokyo Labor Standards Bureau, the Tokyo English Lifeline, the Foreign Residents’ Advisory Center, the Tokyo Immigration Office’s English service, etc.
If they bother to keep that information on hand at all, many young people these days have it digitally stored in their cell phones, their iPads, iPods and tablet Androids, etc. and they don’t bother so much with the onerous task of manipulating a pen with their hands to take notes on a piece of paper that - gasp! - is actually made from dead trees. For example, if they see a sign at school, or the bank, or train station with important information on it they simply use their phones to take a picture of it rather than jot the information down manually. Ink and paper are so analog! I have digital devices, too: my computer, my cell phone, my digital camera, and the MP3 music player I bought myself for Christmas and have been learning how to use. But I still use pen and paper more than younger people - just like I read books more than young people. In addition, I have a postal mailing address, a home land line telephone, a cell phone, two E-mail addresses and a blog, so I don’t think I’m totally out of touch. But at the same time I estimate I am about a decade behind the technological curve. Probably will be for the rest of my life. It’s a generational thing.