I used to have the terrible “habit” of forgetting important birthdays and anniversaries of my family, friends, and acquaintences. Even though I kept track of their special days on cards in my Rolodex, I was obviously doing something wrong.
I tried entering the dates with names electronically on my computer, but that was not a good system, because advance notice is necessary in order to send a card via snail mail to a distant state or overseas. Even advance reminders did no good, because I’d soon forget the event again soon after the device reminded me. I blamed the distraction of the Internet.
Day planners seemed like the obvious choice. But they didn’t work well, because I didn’t always buy a planning diary each year. I do have a small calendar booklet that I use to keep track of topics for this blog, but that is the exception.
Finally, I decided to follow the example of calendar printers. I buy a good sized wall calendar, the kind with a beautiful picture for each month and an outlined square for each day. I write the event in the appropriate square as soon as I find out about it.
For example, when a dental checkup is scheduled, I turn ahead to the month and day, then write “dentist 10:30” or something similar. I use a fine point Sharpie for each entry. For birthdays, I only write a name. For instance, on the March 8th square, there’s the name Tina. For anniversaries I jot down two names. For example Jorge & Jose’. One of my New Years Day traditions is to copy special days from the old calendar to the new one. When I meet a new friend, I put the birthday on the calendar as soon as possible.
The reason the calendar method works for me is because I have the calendar in the bathroom, at eye level near the sink. So, when I’m brushing my teeth, the calendar attracts my attention. I see and review each month’s events at a glance without fail.
If an event falls on the first week of the following month, I make a duplicate notation. For instance, my friend Andrew’s birthday falls on August 3rd. So, on the last day of July it says, “Andrew Aug 3”. Since he lives in Toronto, I need ample time to send him a card so it will arrive on time.
The reason I’m writing about forgetfulness today, is because I wrote on my blog calendar, “I Forgot Day”. Today’s holiday commemorates the fact that many of us forget to acknowledge a loved one’s birthday or anniversary. I understand that people love to be remembered on their birthdays because I feel sad when I’m forgotten. I do my best to remember friends and family.
Even though today’s “holiday” is intended to remind us about missed birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays, I have extended its meaning to other forgetable things, like learning a foreign language.
Currently, I’m trying to learn Russian. I was able to remember the alphabet by placing a letters chart onto my refrigerator door; it’s still there. Vocabulary can be very challenging, so I write a few “words of the day” onto a large “Post It Note” page and stick it on my bathroom mirror. This gives me another reminder to read during teeth brushing time. A person can use this method for any topic they want to learn.
If these methods don’t do it for you, there is also the option of sending out “all purpose” greeting cards today. The sentiment can include every special day from January 1st to December 31st. What could possibly go wrong with that?