You’d think I’d be having a heat-related crisis today—it’s the third day in Chicago of heat indexes over one hundred—but instead I’m having my second identity crisis of the year. The first was in May when, after fifty years, I could not give up my registered nurse license and, at the last minute, clicked myself on “inactive” status. Now I never plan to practice nursing again, but I hadn’t earned the newly required continuing education credits to renew my license and had thought it was the perfect anniversary date to let it go.
So, with my RN identity in a state of flux, I’m now in another crisis. The purse-sized “Academic Appointment “ book, running from July to August, that I’ve ordered online for umpteen years was out of stock by the time I got around to ordering it. I called the help line and a pleasant woman listened to my passionate plea to please tell the powers-that-be to print more, and then she guided me to another academic style book she was sure I’d like. So I ordered it—not cheap—along with shipping, it was about $20.00.
This new book is not working. I took it along on a recent four-hour flight to copy over the address and phone section information. First, the cover was a stiff synthetic. My old covers were flexible leather. Second, the new one had limited pages for addresses and phone numbers. Third, It had a month-at-a-glance page I didn’t need. I ended up transferring my fall information twice, once on the monthly page and again on the weekly page. Fourth, the stiff cover was a hair taller and wider which, in its inflexibility, proved to be wa-a-a-y too tall and wide. And fifth, when I flipped through the pages they tended to “catch” on the spiral binding. That never happened with my lovely flexible leather casing.
Trying to work with my new book, all I accomplished was raising my level of angst and wasting half of my flight time. I could have been pleasantly reading or watching the movie with my husband. But I had to make do. After all, I paid twenty bucks for it.
But last week, without planning to, I bought another appointment book. I happened to be in a bookstore—yes, some still exist—making a trip to the restroom before my mile walk home. And there on the table in front of that little girls room were the prettiest little purse-sized appointment books with flexible covers! One style sported a lime green cover with bright pink flowers that said, “Seize the day and Make it Yours! Appreciate the simple Things… Two-Year-Plus Pocket Planner August 2012-December 2014.”*
The cover and script screamed for my attention. The book sellers must have set up the table in that location just for me. Plus, they had to have known that one of my nieces once said, “Aunt Lois, if you don’t like something, cut your losses and move on.”
Was it time to move on?
I bought the book. And that was the beginning of my second identity crisis. This jazzy book will be a transition from my academic book to one based on the calendar year. After December 2014, I’ll have to switch my mind to calendar year thinking. I’ll have to change my identity forever from perpetual student and long-time teacher to a normal everyday person.
The soft flexible book cost $5.00.
I’ve now spent a half hour erasing everything I’d entered into the $20.00 stiff book and will mail it to my granddaughter. Maybe she can use it at college.
Next, of course, I’ll have to learn how to throw out appointment books that come with pages for names, addresses, and phone numbers and put all that information, plus more, into my new iPhone. Then my calendars will become perpetual. No more worries about academic versus calendar years.
But, please, not too quickly. I need time to adjust.
*Book source: Sellers Publishing Inc. / http://www.makefun.com