A “Slight” Calendar Modification

Did you ever notice how impractical our calendar is?

Do you like long weekends?

Do holidays ever seem to come at the wrong time of the week?

Do you ever become aggravated that you can’t get any work done on a supposedly workday Monday or Friday that falls between a major holiday and a weekend? (For example, the Friday that falls after a Thursday Christmas?)

 If you answered one or more of these questions “yes,” then my revised calendar might make sense to you.

As far as I can tell, years and days are the only units on our calendars that make scientific sense. Of course, we all know that the earth completes its trip around the sun in approximately 365.25 days. We would agree that the earth completes each rotation on its axis in about twenty-four hours. However, we use two measures of time that are completely arbitrary. Weeks and months are strictly man-made and could be revised or eliminated. Most would argue that months come in handy as reference points for annual events such as holidays, birthdays and anniversaries. Months are a useful tool, so I would propose that we keep using months. Weeks, as they now exist, on the other hand, are problematic. Why do weeks have to be seven days in length? Who wouldn’t prefer a longer weekend? How about some consistency in holidays?

Therefore, I propose a slight revision to our calendar. Okay, “slight” might be understating my case. However, the benefits of an eight-day week, one that would include a three-day weekend EVERY week would overcome most of those objections.

Some might argue that three-day weekends would reduce the number of workdays, and therefore man-hours available to complete our jobs. However, if we take into consideration all the days that are officially “work” days, but fall on the days between major holidays and weekends, it is easy to see how much work we actually get done on those days. Having all holidays always occur on the third day of a weekend, would make more sense. Think how much easier both work and personal planning would become under this system.

Therefore, I propose changing our calendar to eight-day weeks, with every holiday occurring on the eighth day of each week. That day would fall after Sunday and before Monday. All Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays would be workdays. The banks, post-offices, driver-license offices, etc. would always be open on those days. Saturdays, Sundays, and our new eighth days would always be off days. All holidays would be assigned to those eighth days. For example, Christmas would occur on the third “eighth day” of December. (We will have to come up with a better name for the “eighth” days.)

An occasional “leap week” to compensate for these changes, and to keep our calendars in synchronization would probably be required. However, we have leap years now, and this year we even have a leap second. A leap week here and there shouldn’t be a problem. I’ll leave that up to the mathematicians to figure out.

Now, to name this new “eighth day.” My first thought was to propose we name that day “ALday” in honor of the brilliant person who came up with this idea. However, modesty prohibits me from offering that suggestion. Besides, in order to get a bill through Congress, we would probably have to name that day for a reluctant Congressman to get his or her vote.

I’m sure there are other arguments against an eight-day week. However, I believe the benefits outweigh the costs. Please be sure to post your objections and/or comments.

Written by Allen W. Forrest, December 31, 2005

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