I’m the kind of person who likes to see some order in my life, at least on the most basic level. I can handle all kinds of change and variation, but I like to have at least some continuity that I can hold on to. For this reason, I have always been annoyed that the number of days in a month is constantly changing and that every 4 years an extra day is jammed in at the end of February which shifts all the subsequent days for the rest of the year. It all seems so arbitrary and random, like some group of intellectuals came together a long time ago and decided to just screw with us. I hear them laughing every time I have to detail out monthly budgets or project schedules.
If you dig into the evolution of our calendar you come away with an archaic concoction of sun cycles, lunar cycles, and religious decrees. Whatever the rationale, it is obsolete, annoying and wastes a lot of money on a global scale.
Consequently, I think it is high time we dumped our antiquated 12 month calendar and substitute one that fits our modern world much better. We should start a totally new era with a calendar of 13 equal months. That’s right, 13 months. This will not only simplify our lives at a time when we desperately need it, but will save an incalculable amount of money and time. Hear me out.
Every month would have exactly 4 weeks or 28 days except for December which would have 29 days. This would provide the opportunity to designate the last day of December as a global holiday that leads into New Years Day. It would provide a formal day to review our accomplishments and make wildly optimistic plans for the coming year.
Here are 10 compelling reasons to make the change. Maybe you can think of more.
1. The first of the month would always fall on the same day of the week, let’s pick Sunday. Of course this means that each day of the month would always fall on its same weekday month to month. After a while, you would intuitively know what the date is by what day of the week it was, and vice versa. This alone would prevent millions of missed appointments and mixups. No one would ever tell you to meet him on Thursday the 18th because they would know that Thursday always falls on the 19th.
2. One week would be exactly ¼ of a month, 2 weeks, ½ of a month, and so on. Forget about multiplying 4.33 times the weekly rate to get a monthly rate.
3. Monthly budgets would be greatly simplified since every month would be the same number of days. The same thing goes for payroll.
4. Billions would be saved just on the effort spent planning out recurring events each year, not to mention money wasted buying new calendars.
5. Monthly interest charges would be consistent and easier to calculate.
6. Millions of digital devices that work with dates and time spans would be easier to code.
7. Your birthday would always fall on the same day of the week, as would all holidays. New Years Day would always fall on a Sunday. Valentines Day would always fall on a Saturday (the best day of the week for this holiday). Gone would be the variability of holiday schedules from one year to the next.
8. Regular airline, bus, train and boat schedules would be simpler to publish since the day/date would remain consistent month after month.
9. Watches could be made without the date since any 5-year-old would know that if it’s Tuesday, then it is the 10th, not the 11th.
10. Currently, financial quarters are 90, 91 or 92 days long. With the new system, each financial quarter would be exactly 13 weeks. The 4th quarter would have one or two extra days; however on those days the markets would be closed along with most businesses.
Of course, you’ve probably already thought of the glaring problem here. In order to always have January first always fall on a Sunday, what do we do about the extra day at the end of the year?
Actually the solution is simple. You give that day a new name and insert it between Saturday December 28th and Sunday January 1st. We could call it Earthday, which would culminate with New Year’s Eve celebrations.
So, the last week of December would be one day longer, consisting of 8 days ending with Earthday. Of course, every 4 years the Earthday festival would stretch out to 2 days, followed by the New Years Eve celebrations. It would be a time for renewal and hope for the future. Maybe we call this extra leap year day Kickbackday.
Related to the small problem of getting consensus on what to name the extra days, what do you call the extra month and where do you insert it? I suggest a global internet-based contest to see who comes up with the coolest month name and a rationale for which two months to insert it between.
I propose Johnuary, inserted between July and August. It just sounds right to me.