She’s beautiful.  She has 35 glorious 2”x 2” blank spaces of possibility – five weeks at seven days per week – to fill in with any color erasable pen I choose.  Each person in the family has a different color, including the dog. He has appointments, too.  Sometimes the entries are rote and practically fill themselves in – soccer practice, car pool, cycling class.  But other times the entries provide small moments of excitement – like when my husband is making lunches for the following day and sees one of the kids has selected instead to have “hot lunch” from school. Awesome, one less lunch to make!  (It’s the little things.)

When I remember to update it on a Saturday evening, I get so excited and feel as if I’ve conquered something significant.  After filling those 35 squares, I step back, admire the colorful result, and marvel at how we keep our lives straight.  Folks who see my calendar claim to be impressed by my organization but, in all honesty, I am not an organized person – I am a clutter bug.  I have piles of paper and mail throughout the house. My home office is a jumble of papers and binders.  But our dry erase calendar is different.  It is a glimpse into our future as a family unit – our individual colors anchored together in a single game plan.  Having the plan motivates us and shows us what’s next – the best stuff.  Beyond the soccer practices and dentist appointments lays our next adventure – whether it’s a weekend or week away.  We love adventures and I LOVE having adventures on the dry erase calendar to look forward to…

I erase each day as it closes, usually with satisfaction.  When erasing those “routine” days, though, I sometimes feel guilty – as if I’m crossing something off my “to do” list; appearing productive simply by being.  As the days pass and more are erased, I begin to get anxious.  I’m reminded of how fast time passes, and how I want to fill each square with something important. Something that moves the family toward our goals, plans and dreams.  Always looking forward, never backward.  I don’t want to just get credit for being – I want to take credit for living.

I think it is up to each of us to fill our calendar with things that make us feel alive.  Some days that’s simple time with the family.  Often it’s adventure.  Whatever it is, pick your color, write it in and have something to look forward to.  Then erase it and keep going, always looking forward.

Join the Conversation!