Make a Date with Love

Fill a perpetual calendar with “can’t miss” occasions.

In my work I’m often writing and speaking about expressing love and “Saying it now.” I frequently toot the horn of “Don’t wait ‘til a special occasion; celebrate now.”

And it is true. I do believe that every day is a special occasion. (Or at least that we can make it one by offering gestures of love and appreciation to the people in our lives.)

There’s an intentional reason I use the word “now” so much! All too often people wait for special occasions to appreciate one another and those occasions don’t come around often enough for the kind of love and attention most people want and deserve.

That said, I don’t mean to imply that we celebrate all the other days and simply forget about meaningful dates in people’s lives.

If you’ve recently given your best friend a “just because” card or gift a few weeks before their birthday, I hope that doesn’t mean you don’t reach out to them on their actual birthday. If you’ve just had a long talk with your cousin about her deep grief over her dad’s death, I trust you will still send her a card on the anniversary of that death.

There’s no such thing as too much love.

I want you to know that I realize how busy you are, how tired you get and how time just slips away until…oops!…we’ve missed our BFF’s 20th anniversary, our niece’s 30th birthday, our cousin’s new job celebration or (gulp) our own wedding anniversary.

I was on the phone with someone recently who was telling me that she had really wanted to do something special for her husband’s 50th birthday but the date just completely snuck up on her. Instead of creating a memorable experience for him, she ended up quickly organizing a little last-minute dinner to celebrate. Most of their favorite restaurants were already booked and good friends already had plans and couldn’t attend. {Insert the sound of best intentions falling flat.}

The gathering was lovely, sure. It was nice. But when we have intentions to do something that feels once-in-a-lifetime and instead end up doing the same-ole, same-ole, it can feel disappointing.

This can happen on a smaller scale as well.

I know so many people who vow to remember and acknowledge their friends’ birthdays every year; but then the busy-busy-rush-rushness of life gets in the way. And…drat…missed it.

How often does that happen to you?

I have a really simple tool that can support you in remembering the important dates of the important people in your life!

I hope you’ll give it a try.

Keep a perpetual calendar of occasions.        

What the heck is a perpetual calendar? A perpetual calendar isn’t linked to one specific year. It is a book or calendar that just lists dates of the month and also has some space to write in things that happen every year on that same date.

So, for instance, the January page would have the dates January 1 through January 31. But it won’t show a day of the week since that would change every year. It would only have the dates.

You would jot down any birthdays, anniversaries or other important annual dates on the corresponding date. Suzy’s birthday is January 7th so you write that under that date. Bill’s mom died on January 15th so you write that under that date.

You can fill out the calendar and then post it near your desk or somewhere you will have easy access. (Note: be sure to also write the year someone was born or married so you can easily see if a “biggie” is coming up.)

Once you fill it out, be sure to glance at the calendar at least once a month (I suggest the first day of every month) to see what events are coming up in the next few weeks and also if there are any big events in the next three to six months.

If your spouse’s 40th birthday is six months down the road, that gives you plenty of time to plan something amazing.

You can imagine how relieved you might feel once you have this calendar on your desk. You don’t have to try to remember everyone’s special dates and these occasions don’t get lost in the jumble of stuff on your online calendar.

Where do you get a perpetual calendar?

If you search in Pinterest, Etsy or on Amazon for “perpetual calendar,” you’ll find a variety of these calendars to choose from.

You can download some for free online or via Pinterest. You can also purchase them from other online stores. It is obviously more costly to buy one than to use a free printable, but you want something long lasting because hopefully you’ll keep it for the rest of your life, right?!

Another great tip for loving better.

Keeping a perpetual calendar makes it really easy to keep track of important occasions of the people you love.

If you want to make it even easier on yourself, keep a box near the calendar that is filled with a variety of greeting cards, stationery, stamps and photos. If someone’s birthday is coming up, you have everything at hand to zip them off a thoughtful greeting.

Your friends and family deserve it, right?

And you know what? YOU deserve it, too. You deserve the peace and joy that come from knowing you are someone who values your relationships. You are someone who takes the time to remember important dates. You are someone who regularly celebrates others.

One last thing – mark today on your perpetual calendar and celebrate yourself for being someone who loves with intention. When this date pops up next year, you get to celebrate a whole year of loving better!

I hope you’ll comment below and let me know how it goes.

Sherry’s mission is helping people find creative, intentional and impactful ways to celebrate life and to express love for family and friends. Visit her website or email her to say hello at Sherry’s book, “Say it Now; 33 Creative Ways to Say I Love You to the Most Important People in Your Life,” is now available on Amazon. Join Sherry’s free 5-day challenge, "Olly Olly Oxen Free: Permission and Belonging," here.

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