I tried... I really did

Last Sunday I went to the store and bought these:

That would be two paper calendars. A larger one to put in the kitchen for everyone to see and use, and a smaller one that I can carry with me which fits in my purse. Up until a year ago, this is how I managed all our family scheduling for years. Then last year, when we had to move to smart phones because of our eternal issue of lack of wifi out here, I switched to the calendar on my phone.

And that was okay. It worked. I don't think we forgot to go anywhere. It was handy to have it with me all the time, and not have to carry a separate calendar. In theory, there wasn't anything really wrong with it, so I kept using it.

Until my phone decided to degrade instead of upgrade twice in one month, and pushed me over the edge of all reason. I realized just how dependent upon the silly thing I had become. When it wouldn't work, I was stuck. I couldn't see my calendar to know what I was supposed to do. I couldn't call anyone, and not just because my phone wasn't working, but because I didn't know anyone's numbers. I couldn't do so much, and it made me a little crazy.

Then J. and I realized that while we thought our calendars were syncing with each other, they really weren't. This explained why we had the, "but I didn't see it on the calendar" discussions over the past year. While the lid was on the virtual calendar coffin, the last nail wasn't yet in. That was when I realized I had increasing anxiety over calendar things... figuring out what we were doing, scheduling things, doing actual planning involving dates... and that much of this anxiety stemmed from not be able to actually see and flip back and forth between calendar pages.

Like reading actual books, I've discovered that I remember more when I'm dealing with real paper. Seeing a month spread out on a paper calendar makes so much more sense in my head than seeing the exact same information on a screen. I spent Monday copying everything to the paper calendars, and having done so, my anxiety about planning, scheduling, and generally all calendar related things has vanished.

I'm sure a big part of it is the actual physical writing of the individual events. Having written things helps me to remember them. It's always how I've learned, so it makes sense that I can better visualize and remember things I've actually written down with a pen or pencil. I also love being able to have the calendar open (and it stays open without disappearing) while I am doing other things, so I can refer to it. I need every piece of information open at a time to really make sense of it, and having to toggle between screens just confuses my brain and makes me irritable. I made eye appointments yesterday, and it was almost blissful to be able to use my phone and see my calendar all at the same time.

There are things I enjoy about my smart phone. I like having photos available and being able to text friends and children. It is helpful in moderating a large Facebook group to be able to check in every now and then throughout the day to make sure things are calm. There is a lot to like; it's just that the calendar isn't one of them for me.

I share this in case anyone else feels the same way, and to say it was a very simple fix to rid myself of this particular bit of anxiety.


Donna said…
A very long time ago I had a really cool PDA that I used very effectively for calendar, notes and pretty much everything else. It was my brain. When it died so did my foray into electronic calendaring. I don't even know how to do it on my phone.
Erica said…
Yes yes yes. I have to have paper. I have had a smart phone for years, but I have never used the calendar features more than a few days.

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