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As seen in the Dayton Daily News on Aug. 12, 2017

Humans are creatures of habit. This explains why at the end of each year I take the calendar I just used and add it to the box containing my collection of previously used calendars. I saved them so I could look back through them someday. Except, I never do.

This past year, I looked at the overflowing box and asked myself, “Do I really need these old calendars?” I then felt panic set in at the thought of letting them go.

I decided I’d better review them so I wouldn’t later regret tossing them. I dragged the box up from our basement and began randomly going through them. I was surprised by the roller coaster of emotions I experienced as I read through them.

The first calendar I perused had the date my father died. You may think this odd, but I like remembering my deceased parents’ birthdays, not the dates of their deaths. Being reminded of the day my father died was not a good start to this project. I set the box aside for a few weeks before I braved opening it up again.

When I commenced where I left off, I then came across my fourth child’s birthdate. A very happy day, but of course I remember his birthday.

Another day revealed the day we closed on a house we sold. I had four young children at the time. All I remember about that time was yelling at everyone to keep the house clean as we prepared for the showings. Another time in my life that I don’t want to be reminded of.

On April 24, 1994, my pregnancy test was positive! That was an exciting day, but not a date I really need to know twenty-two years after it happened.

There was the day my friend and I made pumpkin pies from scratch. Please don’t remind me. That was so much work. The day would have been better spent with our kids at the park.

Going through my calendars was time-consuming so I began to take them on the road with me. I looked through them while I was at the pool with my family, at my son’s baseball game and during movie night with my daughter.

I quickly discovered that they were taking me away from enjoying the present. At the pool, I didn’t see my daughter do a funny dive off the board while trying to attempt a serious one. I missed my son’s at bat that brought in three runs, and my other daughter commented I wasn’t paying attention during the movie. These are things I would have enjoyed had I not been distracted with my old calendars.

I was surprised by the fact that going through my calendars was tedious and kinda boring. I thought I would enjoy going back through them. In the end, I didn’t finish looking through all of them because I remembered all the important occasions, and it was upsetting to be reminded of the sad or unpleasant days.

My past calendars are no longer taking up space in my basement. I’m enjoying living in the moment more than revisiting my past.

A note of caution: You may want to save your calendars if you are behind on adding dates to your photos.