There isn’t much that I purposely keep about me whose origins are from my ex-mother-in-law. But there are a couple of things. Her pumpkin bread recipe, for example (though I’ve decreased the oil and sugar somewhat), is one.

The other is the idea of a birthday calendar. Early on, she gave me a calendar for the upcoming year with everyone’s birthdays filled in for the family. (The family was sizeable, so this was pretty useful.)

Nowadays, I mostly remember birthdays either because it’s close family and I’ve known their birthdays my whole life, or because Facebook tells me. Facebook is so helpful. But I’ve decided to stop leaning on it for people whose birthdays I want to remember in case of the end of social media as we know it.

I don’t want to write everyone’s birthday down that I have access to, because I can’t write that small. So I have added close family’s birthdays to the calendar, and will add to it from there.

The beauty of having a birthday calendar is that it really doesn’t matter what year it is. Sure, the day of the week for the person’s birthday won’t work but every once in a while, but if you put their name and birth year down on the box for their birthday, it’s still really useful every year. It’s not quite a perpetual calendar, but it is useful for this purpose.

I ended up with a free monthly desk calendar from The Nature Conservancy (I get all my dad’s junk mail and appeals for donations now), and it’s the perfect location for these dates.

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