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RAMON PRESSON: How to throw away a calendar

RAMON PRESSON: How to throw away a calendar

I always find it difficult on January 1st to throw away the prior year’s calendar.

It’s almost as difficult as tossing out an old Bible, which feels practically blasphemous. The last Bible I threw away was a 40-year old King James Gideon’s pocket New Testament with microscopic print and a crumbling spine.

Bibles Versus Calendars
Just try throwing away a Bible without an ounce of guilt or fear, I dare you.

You’ll find yourself looking up to the heavens offering an apology-laced
wordy explanation that seeks to reassure God that it’s nothing personal
while also reminding Him that you still have many other unread Bibles on
various shelves.

While tossing out a worn Bible feels irreverent, parting with a completed
calendar creates an existential angst, a reluctant admission of your mortality which is getting closer with every 12-month themed calendar sent to you by your insurance agent.

Expiration Dates
Our 2017 edition included a different Norman Rockwell painting above each month’s grid of numbered blocks in which important notes were jotted such as “dental appt” and “tuition payment due.”

Calendars have a very clear expiration date unlike packaged food items imprinted with a “Best If Used By” date. My wife has me sniff or taste items that are beyond said date to determine if the products are fit for human consumption. I feel like the king’s cup bearer whose job it was to pre-taste any wine served to the king to make sure it wasn’t poisoned.

Fifty-one Weeks for 50% Off
But back to calendars… have you noticed that retailers discount new wall
calendars by 50% after the first week in January? This should tell you just how precious time is that your year is marked down to half-price if you miss the first few days in January. A discounted wall calendar is screaming, “Wake up, you lazy sloth. Get moving! You’re already a week behind the others.”

But am I the only one who has trouble disposing of a used-up calendar? Am I just becoming sentimental in my old age, trying to hang onto a fleeting life like a rodeo cowboy that doesn’t seem to know when to let go of the rope… or the bull.

Letting Go
I wish I could let go of this 2017 calendar like it was a dead goldfish I’d bury at sea (toilet flush). But my life was lived out on that cheap calendar held by a weak magnet to the side of the refrigerator. That calendar is like a scrapbook of memories — the highs and lows, victories and defeats, root canals and colonoscopies. It’s all right there.

And I’m expected to just toss it in the recycle bin next to the Scofield reference Bible that was unknowingly left on the trunk of my car overnight before a rainstorm?

Maybe I’ll just hold onto this calendar for another week. I think Norman Rockwell would approve.

Ramon Presson, PhD, is a licensed marriage and family therapist in Franklin
( and the author of several books. Reach him at

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