I like paper. When I’m writing a new blog or working on a presentation, I sit in a room of my own with a colorful, wide-line journal, pen in hand. I am just not that creative when I stare at a monitor.
While I do maintain an electronic calendar for work, I use “real” calendars for home. There’s something comforting about passing the linen paper kitchen calendar and seeing the whole month of activities and reminders laid out before me. Its penned-in words call out fun times to look forward to. “Hey, remember that we’re going to the circus at the end of the month!”
It’s somehow reassuring to look back over the calendars I’ve kept from the time my children were born. These old calendars prompt memories that otherwise could be forgotten. We see how our days were spent. Visited Aunt B. We remember a favorite bedtime book. Read “The Knight and the Dragon” three times tonight. We laugh at how words were mispronounced. I wike busghetti, Mommy! We recall the loss of a grandparent. Goodbye, Honey. Try doing that warm and fuzzy activity with a smart phone.
My cousin Lynne and I spent some time a few summers ago pouring over old family photographs, such as our long-deceased grandmother as a young woman and the group of cousins at Christmas when I was four and Lynne was just a baby. We wondered about how future generations will visually recall their ancestors. Passing around a tablet or standing over a laptop or even viewing pictures on a larger screen…well, it’s just not the same as holding the paper image in your own hands.
And yet I am guilty too. With the phone’s camera just so darned handy, I take a lot of pictures. But I can’t even recall the last time I myself printed an actual photo. So I guess that’s a major reason why I treasure the Shutterfly calendar my daughter Laura makes for me each Christmas. The pages display not just the most recent year’s photos but also include some from the past — special reminders of loved ones who are no longer with us. These calendars are photo albums to me.
We can’t live without our electronic gadgets, of course. If not for them, you wouldn’t be reading these words! But I encourage you to put a little paper in your life. Instead of a text or email or e-card, send a snail-mail real notecard to someone who has made a difference in your life. Maybe years from now, others will find it and say, “Hey! Look at this!”
Question for my readers: What paper item do you most treasure and why?