I miss the Daytimer.
The Daytimer was one of the many casualties of the internet/smartphone era. I’ve never kept a journal or a diary but I was a devout Daytimer user. Recently during a visit to my parents’ storage locker, I found my 1998 Daytimer. The entire year came back to me through appointment entries, notes to self, receipts, photo booth pictures, to-do lists, and phone numbers; I remembered everything: what I wore, what movies I saw, who I saw them with, why my boyfriend sucked, specific days at work, where I sat, what was said at team meetings… all of it. And just from quick entries, a few words here and there with no proper sentences. But they were enough to trigger the memories.
Right now, if you were to ask me what I did last month, I couldn’t tell you. And I carry two smartphones, each, obviously, with a calendar function.
You know why?
Technology moves us forward, only. We don’t flip BACK through electronic calendars. And we certainly don’t populate them with our personalities the way we did in our Daytimers. I used to flip through my Daytimer on the subway, both to get organised but also as a sort of self-indulgence sometimes to relive a fond memory. An electronic calendar simply tells you where you have to be and when. It doesn’t encourage you to preserve how you were then, or why you were going, and what you hoped for at the time.
My Daytimer used to be a source of pride. It was black leather, and heavy; it felt substantial, and when I carried it around or set it down, the act of dragging the zipper along the edge to open up the contents felt important, like nothing that went in or came out was insignificant, a permanent record, a clue for my future self. I haven’t kept a Daytimer in over 10 years. Have I lost 10 years of clues?
This, then, is my New Year’s Resolution: I’m going back to keeping a Daytimer. I may not have to write down phone numbers anymore but I can certainly remind myself how comfortable the cushions are in the corner booth at the restaurant where I just had lunch, and keep the cocktail napkin because I like the font they used in the logo, and looking at that later, I might remember how we laughed about how annoyed the server was when we kept asking to refill our snack tray so that we could save money on an appetiser and only order an entree.
I’m so excited about this, I’m already making plans for me and my Daytimer like it’s a relationship. Together, my Daytimer and I are going to help me manage my schedule and get into shape. We’ll be documenting everything I eat, and my workout schedule. We’ll also be making work lists and travel itineraries. We will never forget a birthday or a song that needs to be downloaded. We will keep track of the cost per wear of all my shoes. We will look back at show tickets and score cards and celebrate a year full of culture and golf. We are going to be there for each other all the time. We will be so organised. We can’t wait to tell you all about it in 12 months. We have already made a note of this.
Happy New Year!
And what’s your New Year’s resolution? Share!