Eri’s California Diary: New Method of Keeping Dates

By Eri Williams, June 17, 2021

(Uploaded July 16, 2021 at 9:15 am)

Perhaps due to the past 15-month of Corona-induced life style, it seems that even daily events in our ordinary life have been categorized into three timelines: “before Corona”, “during Corona” and “post Corona.”

In fact, I often hear people mention or refer to these. For example, I saw a teenager on TV telling the news reporter: “Last time I saw my best friend was before Corona back in February of last year.” The other day a shopper at a grocery store was talking on the phone: “Y had a baby during Corona.” One of my friends told me that she would start renovating her house “after Corona.” The Corona situation has had a significant impact on everyone’s life so much that I wonder if “BC, “DC’ and “AC” would formally be registered as the international acronyms in the future.

I can be a procrastinator depending on tasks, but I excel in keeping a good record of events and maintaining it, primarily thanks to my late Mom. Nothing went by amiss in her record keeping. Not only celebratory events, such as birthdays and anniversaries of families and friends, she would also list their dates of passing in her scheduling book and calendar, all done manually. Based on each notable event, she would prepare a card in advance, write a few words and mail it.

I still remember many years ago when my mom was preparing a card for a neighbor’s widow whose husband had passed away the previous year. She had a dictionary in one hand as she wrote a few words in English she wasn’t familiar with in the occasion. Then she showed her draft to my sister and me for review and correction. With a small bouquet of flowers in one hand and the card in another, she knocked on the neighbor’s door. She later told us that the widow was very touched by her memory and kind gestures and would not release her from her tight hug.

In other occasion my mom sent a card to another neighbor whose son had just celebrated his one-year wedding anniversary. Needless to say, they were delighted. Her kindness and thoughtfulness had no boundaries.

Even in this technology-driven society, she did not own and did not want to own a computer or even a cell phone.  She felt at ease using her scheduling book and calendar, and hardly missed any appointments, deadlines and due dates. Her memory was outstanding.

When it comes to maintaining schedule, I don’t use calendar feature on my cell phone either. Like Mom, I like to manually enter dates in my scheduling book, which seems to help me remember them better. As a matter of fact, some around me refer me as the “walking calendar.” The other day I sent a card to a friend in Texas whose husband passed away right before Corona. She later called me to thank me and was nicely surprised by my good memory.

Utilizing stay-home life during Corona, I composed a comprehensive list showing not only birthdays and other celebratory dates, but also due dates of house and car insurance payment, expiration dates of driver’s license and passport. It also has purchase and repair dates of household appliances, such as TV, printer, washer and dryer. Because rather smaller or mundane tasks, such as checking tire pressure of our vehicles and watering plants, can easily be forgotten, they are on the list as well.

When my friends see the list, they think I’m “too organized.” I don’t know if I am because I can be lazy in other areas. But what I do know is that my mom, who had passed before Corona, would’ve categorized her scheduling book into the “Three Corona’s” timelines if she had been alive.

Original essay:  6/17/2021
Revision:           6/25/2021 and 7/8/2021
Submission:     7/9/2021

About the author: Born in Japan, Eri Williams spent her childhood and youth in 3 different countries. After working in a corporate environment for many years, the native Japanese speaker now utilizes her language skills to contribute back to the society.  She resides in LA area with her husband and a cat, Taiko, named after her hobby, Japanese Taiko drum.