I was checking my calendar recently to verify the “due date” of my next article for Pop’s Perspective. As I was doing that it dawned on me how my life sometimes seems to revolve around that calendar. Sometimes it seems as though I’m constantly reviewing, updating, editing or otherwise using my agenda and without referring to it I would never be able to keep track of where I am supposed to be, what I’m scheduled to accomplish and at what particular point in time I am supposed to be doing those things. Not that I’m all that busy or have that many “appointments” – after all, I am a retired person! But when I review each month’s events I find that there are very few days without an entry of some kind. (For example, I just reviewed the month of June and noticed that June 18th was the only “blank” day).
So that got me thinking (sometimes that is scary in itself) about calendars, the term, the origin and the types of calendars and how they are used. For example, I use the “Google Calendar”, entering new scheduled items either on my Mac or my iPhone and depend on them to wirelessly sync to each other. And I set reminders and alerts to try to avoid missing something or being late to a scheduled event. And I keep a printed copy on my desk for quick reference each day. And by doing this I have a complete and electronic record of what I’ve done. On the other hand, my dear wife uses the modern day free Hallmark calendar book and a pencil or pen to accomplish the exact same results! Who is to say which method is “right” or the best?
I have been using a calendar in one form or another for as long as I can remember. I suppose I used some sort of system in my early school days and have continued to this day, changing the method of my tracking system several times until I settled on my current system. But until now, I had not really given much thought to the term “calendar”. So I decided to do a bit or research on the subject and found several items of interest. Many of the people reading this may already be aware of these things but I thought I’d share them with you just in case you may want to refresh your own memories.
We all know that a calendar is merely a system of organizing days for our social, religious, commercial, administrative or personal purposes. And we do this simply by assigning names to periods of time, typically days, weeks, months and years. And the term “date” is simply a designation of a single, specific day within that system. Then we assign periods in our calendars (such as years and months) that are usually associated with the cycle of the sun or the moon giving us, for example, our summer, fall, winter and spring times.
A calendar is, of course, also a physical device and is often just paper as is the most common usage of the word. But other similar types of calendars include computerized systems that can be set up to remind us of upcoming events and appointments. And our English word calendar comes from the Latin word kalendae which was the Latin name of the first day of every month.
While there are several types of calendars in use today, the by far most common and widely used is the Gregorian calendar. It is considered the international standard and is used in almost all areas of the world for general calendaring purposes. But even where the Gregorian calendar is commonly used, alternative calendars are also sometimes used such as the fiscal or astronomical year numbering system.
As with just about any other subject, the calendar has a good deal of history behind it. Calendar systems were developed in many of our early civilizations. Classical Greek and Roman cultures developed calendar systems and during the early Middle Ages several different yet similar local calendars were in use. And the presently common Anno Domini (Year of our Lord) system was developed during the 8th century.
Finally, since Pop’s Perspective is incorporated within Bill’s Askin Law News, I would be neglectful if I did not mention that for lawyers and judges, a calendar is the docket used by the court to schedule the order of hearings or trials.
Thanks for reading, check your calendars and look for another of “Pops Perspective” next month.