One of the benefits of being financially independent and away from the work-for-paycheck world is that we are not so “calendar dependent” as we were when we had our careers.
Well, for the most part, anyway.
We still need to know the date for renewing our visas, the date for paying the rent or any other recurring bills, the days and times we play tennis, and of course, the dates our plane leaves one country for another. Somehow, between the two of us, we manage to be responsible and show up on time for any commitment made and are current with any financial obligations.
Since we live in foreign countries most of our time, we miss receiving all the free calendars that businesses send out at the end of the year, and we often print out a calendar from the internet, or make our own with little squares on a blank piece of paper.
This is where my story begins, actually.
Getting ready for long term travel
We are getting ready for another months-long road trip and right before we leave, oftentimes, life will become hectic. In this case, I feel more at ease writing things down in my little handmade calendar so that I can concentrate on other things like packing, getting our supplies and equipment together, playing last minute tennis games, and meeting with friends before we leave.
So the other day I sat down to make a 6 week calendar for myself with big boxes to write all my last minute plans inside.
In the States, the beginning of the week starts with Sunday. I don’t know why that particular tradition is so, but that is how I grew up and it is how I look at a calendar. But we have lived in foreign countries for so many years now and here in Mexico, the week begins with Monday and the week ends with Saturday and Sunday.
Can you see where I am going with this?
So I proceed to make my daily log on a blank piece of paper ticking off the days of the week, and putting in the months as they cross one into the other. It seemed a rather brainless endeavor – how complicated could it be?
I put the dates in the corners of the blank areas I made, finished my calendar and put it away. Believe me, I have done this many times without error and never gave it a second thought.
Do you want one, Honey?
Today, Billy asked if I would like to have a calendar printed out for when we travel and I said sure, but I already have one here that I made for myself, see?
In my earlier mindless haste, I had the traditional Sunday at the beginning of the week, but also paid homage to the Mexican custom of putting Sunday at the end of the week. Except that I hadn’t realized this until I checked it this morning! Can you imagine the havoc that would have played with my careful planning?
Cultural differences make their appearance!
Billy and I often joke that our Spanish has gotten so skilled that now our English is horrible. Shifting from one culture to another often brings an unexpected surprise, as my 8-day-a-week calendar proved to me so clearly today!