After 2020, I’m So Grateful for a Full Calendar and Monotonous Schedule

Year after year. Month after month. Season after season. 

Practice.

Games.

Meetings.

Practice.

Games.

Meetings.

The repetitiveness of a coach’s life makes planning easy but can also dull the senses. My calendar August through, well, August looks the same year after year.

I know the time frame of when two-a-days start. I have a rough estimate that is usually spot on of the day coaching school begins each July.

The calendar that hangs on our pantry door shows the games and meetings. I don’t include practices or weight room duty because that is just a part of the natural seasonal schedule. We all know seasonal isn’t a reference to the flowers blooming or leaves falling—but sports seasons. In my house, those seasons are football and basketball, with a sprinkling of the ‘have-to-work’ track meets.

I love a calendar. As a newspaper reporter, I managed four calendars. I had daily, weekly, monthly and annual calendars. I tracked each task and event. The daily lived on my computer. The blotter-size monthly calendar sat on my desk.

Now, I manage life with three calendars—two paper and one electronic. Each serves a distinct purpose—one that blends my work with my life, the other shows the family goings ons and the third includes my to-dos and projects blended into the overall schedule. 

Consistency fits our lives. We appreciate the regularity of our schedules. Then, at times we get an itch when we want to have something unexpected fill our weeks. Oftentimes when I flip to the next month, I get a wild hair and don’t want to write in the familiar schedule, but rather pop in some other events. 

Hi, 2020.

We didn’t have new activities—we had no activities.

Even when school started in the fall, the calendar wasn’t the same.

Gymnastics was at a different time because of remote learning. Football practice was in the mornings. Games were delayed until the end of September. Coaching school didn’t happen and neither did two-a-days. 

When I put up the 2021 calendar, I craved the normal.

I hopefully added the remaining basketball games and projected track meet dates.

In pencil, I wrote in gymnastics meets and volleyball games.

I tentatively scribbled in some vacation possibilities with fingers crossed.

I wanted our usual back and yet, I knew, I would eventually yearn for the unusual.

In this life, some days do feel like Groundhog Day. The monotony is real if you’ve been in this for years.

Packing the game-day bag doesn’t seem as exciting as it once did. Discussing a game consists of the same words and phrases. The concession stands serve the same snacks. We find ourselves doing, saying, eating the same things every day of every week of every month. 

It’s our version of wash, rinse, repeat. 

So, what do we do?

Yes, we have the schedule, we plan the calendar, we experience the seasons.

And now, with a pandemic, quarantine, lock-down, at-home experience under our belts, we pay attention to the differences.

We notice the changes and recognize how they affect our lives. We decide to highlight the unexpected and make sure we appreciate the over-and-over-again rather than trudge through those moments.

We intentionally carve out time for card games and playing outside. With our countless streaming services, we sit on our sofa watching movies the day they release. We have more time to do more things, even if it includes cleaning and other chores. 

We re-discover our common interests and eat more meals together.

The calendars still appear full, but we seem to have more time together. I don’t understand the phenomena, but I like it. 

I’m not throwing away my calendars anytime soon. I’ll still ask my husband for the printouts of the schedules and practices. But, I’ll also pencil in some unique and different activities.