A few things happened at the end of the summer in 2019. First, I turned thirty-five, which, along with twenty-three, seemed like one of those landmark years. (Why twenty-three? I don’t know. I was fourteen and super-depressed. I couldn’t tell you even if I knew.)
Second, I felt settled and landed in Wichita, Kansas. For twelve years prior–oh, since I was twenty-three or so, weird–I had lived all over the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, and the whirlwind of my last few years there landed me in a call up I-35, to this great town and great community. So there was a change of scenery. There were some breaks with the past–needed breaks.
Third, the numbers lined up. I sat down one day and looked at how many days were between my thirty-fifth birthday (on or around Labor Day) and the day before my fortieth (also on or around Labor Day). There were… eighteen hundred and twenty-seven.
Here’s what’s cool about this. 1827 is super-divisible.
1827 / 9 = 203 <– hello, eras
1827 / 7 = 261 <– hello, number of weeks
1827 / 5 = 365.4 <– hello, leap days
1827 / 3 = 609 <– hello, big seemingly arbitrary checkpoints
Because of leap days in 2020 and 2024, the final five years of my thirties can be segmented out rather conveniently. I broke the days into nine “eras,” which are explained more below. I know what the two checkpoint days (other than the final day) are: May 4, 2021 and January 3, 2023. And two hundred and sixty one weeks is a super long time–plenty of margin of error, plenty of time to spend actually growing, transforming, changing–with God’s help, of course.
So I broke up time into “eras.” (I don’t have a better term for it.) Each era is twenty-nine weeks long, and is subdivided into three four-week periods, a five-week period, and three four-week periods. Does this sound insane? It is. There are check-in days in each era, too–the midpoint.
Okay, fine. For example:
March 24, 2020 – April 20, 2020
April 21, 2020 – May 18, 2020
May 19, 2020 – June 15, 2020
June 16, 2020 – July 20, 2020 (midpoint: July 3, 2020)
July 21, 2020 – August 17, 2020
August 18, 2020 – September 14, 2020
September 15, 2020 – October 12, 2020
It’s about six months–but it’s not always! But the calendar is only part of it. What am I supposed to do, anyhow? Keep reading…