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January 5, 2012
by Dan Voigt , Emmetsburg News

There's just something about a brand new calendar.

It doesn't really matter what kind of calendar you look at, there's just something about it that seems to affect a person as they look at it - an aura, if you will, that makes a person stop for a moment to think. After experiencing this firsthand last week, I've come to the conclusion that it can be better than you might think.

In my case, it all began last Thursday afternoon as I sat down with my new desk pad calendar and my athletic schedules from Emmetsburg, West Bend-Mallard ant Ruthven-Ayrshire/Graettinger-Terril, as I prepared to write in the various basketball and wrestling meets scheduled for January 2012.

As I looked at the calendar, I began to daydream a bit about what the New Year will bring for all of the student athletes in our county. As I looked at the schedules and the calendar, it occurred to me that the month of January will fly by very quickly - almost too quickly for the wrestlers of Emmetsburg and Graettinger-Terril/Ruthven-Ayrshire, as they will start their trail to the state tournament on the first Saturday in February four short weeks from now.

Then the basketball teams ramp up their seasons, with both girls and boys starting their post-seasons in the second and third weeks of February. With the state tournaments for basketball starting the last week of February for the girls and second week of March for the boys, the months of January and February - eight weeks - will fly by quickly.

Realizing this sort of jarred me out of my fog and I looked at another calendar What's this? Track and Field practices begin on Feb. 13?

Good grief! How do these kids keep all this straight? I'm confused.but then again, when isn't that normal

Anyhow, there's a saying that time flies when one is having fun. Even though there are times that might seem to be a reach, I do have fun covering our young people in their anthletic endeavors.

On the subject of calendars, something I've noticed is that kids don't seem to use their calendars no, they use their smart phones instead.

Smart phone. The very descriptive of the object implies the requirement of some intelligence to operate it.

Me? I just talk and text on my phone. There are times when even a simple text can really push the envelope...

OK, back on track here

If you really stop and think for just a moment about the future, that calendar becomes the perfect place to become a fortuneteller, if you will. I look at the month of May, and various scenes come to mind. I can see the blue track of Drake Stadium for the State Track and Field championships. I can hear the mournful sound of "Taps" and the echo of shots from a firing squad on Memorial Day. I can hear the crack of the bat and see a ball flying into the bright blue skies over a baseball or softball diamond and I can almost feel the ground shake and rumble as sprint cars circle a racetrack with the alcohol fumes from their engines burning the eyes.

I'm pretty sure that everyone, if they stop for a moment, and let their mind wander, can equate an event or a memory of some type to a page on a calendar. While I may not remember a specific event or day looking at a month, I can get a pretty good mental picture, say, of the crisp late summer evening air, mixed with the pop of pads and the cheers of fans at a football field.

I recall reading a piece a while back where researchers said that exercising the mind by daydreaming was a good thing. It kept the neural network active and had been shown to actually relieve stress levels in test subjects who stopped their daily activity to take a few minutes to let their mind drift.

Yes, we've turned to a new page on our calendar, started a new year, which is supposed to mean resolutions of things that we should do to better our lives. For me, I'm resolving to take a little more time to just stop the hustle and bustle, throw the old drive into neutral and just idle for a few moments every so often.



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