It seems auspicious to have the new year begin on a Sunday, at the beginning of the week. I don’t think of myself as superstitious, but I do look for good omens where I can find them.

Of course, I say that, and once an ex-boyfriend told me I was the most superstitious person he knew. I am always picking up pebbles for good luck and knocking on wood after saying something won’t happen. I like to think, I just appreciate good luck when it finds me.

Time, that ever-marching force. Linear enough I suppose, for us mere humans. Not like Superman, who can fly so fast and strong around the globe, he can turn the clock back. There are so many ways to track a minute, or all 525,600 in this new year 2023.

You can mark time’s passage with shadows via sundial or count out beats with a metronome. Then there’s stopwatches, clocks—digital or intricately built gears inside a clockface,

Keeping the days of the week straight is important when you work at a newspaper. That date on every page better be correct. That’s a pretty simple factual error to make—the wrong day, although it has been known to happen.

Then there’s the ever-present phone calendar, which I use religiously. If I am making an appointment, it goes into my phone calendar. If I have a deadline, it goes into my phone calendar. A birthday to remember? It goes in my phone calendar. It’s hard to believe my phone calendar isn’t spying on me. Especially when I get served ads connected to events that I’ve committed to the phone calendar.

Google’s privacy policy says it uses Google calendar content to “provide services like spam filtering, virus detection, malware protection and the ability to search for calendar entries and their attachments.” It also uses your location when allowed to “suggest nearby places when you edit your events.” But according to Google’s privacy policy, the calendar info is not used for advertising.

Perhaps I just googled ticket prices, and that’s where the ad targeting came in. Hard to know where companies pick up information about you when we live in this constant stew of information, always sending and receiving data about ourselves online.

If you’re looking for a calendar that definitely won’t spy on you, pick up a copy of the Chieftain’s annual free calendar, which will be arriving in the next one to two weeks. We’ll put a notice on Facebook and in the newspaper when we receive them. It’s full of brightly-colored photos by our own Russell Huffman.

Before we know it, all those empty calendar days will be filling up once again, counting toward the end of yet another year full of joyful and challenging moments.