Published April 9, 2023
When I first began my life, time was nothing to me. I did not notice it passing, nor did I care. I lived in the world of events, and as stuff happened, I noticed the stuff without caring what time it happened. I was incredible at reading analog clocks when I was in preschool, but my parents worried about the time on my behalf, delivering me to soccer practice or school whenever they started.
As I got older, specific times took on meaning. Classes starting and ending times, lunchtime, and school letting out were all hard-coded in my head, and I would think about them every time I glanced at the time. Over time, it only got worse. In college, I started keeping a calendar to track my courses and their locations. If a clock is a machine that produces time, a calendar is a factory. It is the ultimate time-keeping tool, containing every minute of your life and your past, theoretically forever in both directions if its electronic. Isn't that incredible?
You may not think so, but try this. One day while working on Carnegie Calendar, I realized that you could put in ANY date you wanted for an event.
I scheduled a meeting for April 9th, 2150 that I probably won't be attending. I scrolled on my calendar to make sure the event showed up, and it was there, sitting as innocently as any other calendar event. Then I navigated to my 150th birthday, and that event was there too. I probably won't make it to that either.
If that's not insane to you, just think about it for a bit. To me, it felt like knowing exactly where I will be buried and visiting the plot of land 50 years in advance.
I'm actually here to talk to you about a way to create your own holidays.
You know how there are these preset holidays in your calendar that you didn't add, like "Presidents' Day" or "Thanksgiving Day"? We celebrate these events on certain days because these days were instrumental to the country's development, and that's cool.
But to me, these events are kinda just taking up space — I didn't make them, and I might not celebrate them. What I find much more interesting to commemorate are the events that were instrumental to my life and my development. Stuff like "First time I got stitches" or "Failed midterm" that I can look back on and smile because they happened.
Now, whenever I feel like I've experienced something life-changing, I put it on my calendar and set it to repeat annually. I've started added the year too, just so I can gauge how long it's been.
I know that if I continue this, my calendar will eventually be filled with ghosts — past iterations of myself experiencing my own history. My routine weekly work meetings will clamor with "First stiches" for space on my screen. Birthdays of people I don't remember will populate the top bar. But these are the holidays I have chosen for myself, and to me, they are worth remembering.
Give it a go!