Friday, March 12, 2010

Marker Mania

I think my obsession with calendars has been very well documented. The necessity of Sharpies is the lynch pin for the whole plan. For the past 5 years since I have been back at work and since the kids have their own events, I have had as solid colour coded system.

All birthdays are noted in yellow. All school/work/childcare issues are written in blue. All other activities are in green. I use red Sharpie to note the payment of a few important bills: MasterCard, property tax and insurance. Every few days I also use the red marker to either tick or cross out whether an event has ever happened. So in October, if I care to look back to the month of January, I would be able to know that Jackson did not go to swimming lessons on January 23rd. Do not ask me what I would do with this crucial information.

In the fall, I thought we had come to the end of my calendar system. Time to bump up the complexity a notch for 2010. Instead of writing the kids activities like J: Soccer, I thought it would be infinitely easier to have SOCCER written in a coloured marker dedicated to Jackson.

While I did a store to store search for a calendar that would fit into the magnetized frame that is on our freezer, I also took a gander at the new Sharpie colours. When I FINALLY found the calendar I needed (and my search was extensive), I also bought a shiny new pack of FINE POINT Sharpies. And there were lots of colours. Too many as it turned out.

I thought my enthusiasm for the whole calendar/Sharpie project would be infectious and I sought to involve the whole family.

"You guys can pick your own colour of Sharpie to go on my calendar." I said to my kids, riding the calendar high.

"I want blue" Sydney said.

"I want red" Jackson said.

"Except it can't be blue or red." I said.

"What???" Sydney asked

"WHY NOT???????????" Jackson wailed.

"Sydney you can have light blue or pink" I said.

"Pink" she readily agreed.

"WHY CAN'T I HAVE RED???????????" Jackson screeched.

"Because that is the marker I use to cross everything off and I can't change that colour after 5 years. How about orange??"


I was not feeling the familial love for this project.

I assigned Jackson orange, which is his second favourite colour. He did not accept my choice and to this day is adamant that red is his colour. Sydney got her second desired pink. I chose purple and Husband chose light blue. We still maintained royal blue for school activities and green for some other activities.

The first problem I noted was that my purple was really a pinky-purple. And Sydney's pink was really a purply pink and they were hard to tell apart. So my plan of calendar differentiation was a little murky. But since I don't go to dance class and Sydney doesn't go for mammograms, I could still usually tell whose appointment was whose.

And then when the kids had activities at the same time and I didn't know what to do so I used brown when they were going to a joint activity, as opposed to my other alternative, alternating orange and pink on the letters for "swimming".

And then I thought I would use a unique colour for our church activities, so I chose a bluey green for that. And a greeny blue for family activities (that were not at church). And a limey green for Olympic activities.  And I don't know what the original green family activity colour is even for. To make matters worse, all of these colours pretty much look the same on my calendar.

Plus I keep forgetting what colour is assigned to what and I just noticed that I started using Husband's light blue colour for the family activities.

And I am on the horns of a dilemma when Sydney has a field trip at school. Do I use the royal blue SCHOOL colour because it's a school activity? Or the purply pink SYDNEY colour so I don't get confused that Jackson has that field trip? Or put FIELD TRIP on the calendar. 

So now I have a calendar where I can't tell whose activity is whose, where I am not faithful to my own colour-coded system and I generally don't know where I'm supposed to be on any given day.

I am resisting the strong urge to head out to Staples and buy a new calendar and a fresh batch of Sharpies.


Robin said...

I love calendars, too, and am currently in the middle of a rapidly failing experiment to use an online calendar. Not enough visual. I'll have to go back to what works!

Konnie said...

Robin, I'm with you. I need to SEE it. My husband has a Palm which he seems to like. I need to see it!