Mom’s Voice: 365 Opportunities

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Jill photo - Duct Tape CalendarI have never owned one of those desk calendars where each day you pull off yesterday’s sheet and reveal a new word, picture, quote, riddle, cartoon, or photograph. However,  this year I decided I would purchase one for myself. As I began to browse through the boxed calendars, I quickly realized the number of choices is even more staggering than I thought.

I know immediately that I will not choose Garfield, Star Trek, or You Know You are a Redneck If…calendars.

There are a slew of tear-off-a-day calendars dedicated to TV shows, and sports – particularly golf – none of which interest me.  There is also an entire market dedicated to “wisdom,” “moments of grace” and “daily inspirations” for moms. But I was hoping instead for a fun diversion from motherhood.

I considered the 365 Tiny Paper Airplanes or the Origami ones, but the cynic  in me knows there will just be little wads of paper all over the place that need to be cleaned up or a bunch of tiny projects that were never attempted. A daily origami or paper airplane is a huge commitment, and I don’t need more guilt if I can’t keep up the pace.

The entire daily calendar industry would instantly crumble if the pillars – the seemingly endless varieties of the cat, kitten, dog, puppy, and horse ones – were removed.  I like animals, but I think I would lose interest by Valentine’s Day. I saw a calendar dedicated to photos of goats in trees that spoke to me, but it was only monthly. I’ll wait until they beef up their collection and can offer a daily one.

With the first week of 2013, coming to a close, I am already falling behind, so I must make my final decision.  The finalists include: 365 Days of Duct Tape, Cartoons from the New Yorker and Extreme Cakes. Also in the running: The Urban Dictionary calendar, where I can learn a new slang word every day, like Deligious: “A food or beverage that is so delicious ingesting it is akin to a religious experience.”

The Crockpot Recipe-A-Day keeps surfacing on the top of the list because I’ll admit it, I am curious as to how someone could come up with 363 things one can make in a crock pot besides beef stew and chicken enchiladas.

Whatever I choose, I am excited to join the ranks of the many who have one of these calendars on their desk or kitchen counter. Will I be able to resist the urge to look ahead? Can I be disciplined to just tear off one sheet a day?  Is it normal to get a mini adrenaline rush when ripping off the old page to reveal the new one?

So many choices are a testament to the uniquely human need to have a hobby, passion, or something with which we identify.  The 365 fill-in-the-blank calendars provide an easy way to make sure we take a moment each day throughout the year to be motivated, laugh or learn something new. We have other calendars that remind us of appointments, meetings, or schedules.  These calendars just serve as a reminder that the year is filled with infinite possibilities and joys.  At least one a day.

Jill Fales is the mother of four and author of “My Laundry Museum & Other Messy Gifts of Motherhood.” Visit her at

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  1. Wonderful, Jill, and I’m glad you resisted descending into that dark place where OCD folks miss three weeks but still feel compelled to study each missed day. And goats in trees – of course it spoke to you. 🙂 Nice piece!