January 20: Penguin Awareness Day

I may need to apologize to a penguin.

Are you aware that Friday, January 20, 2023, was Penguin Awareness Day? I wasn’t, either, until I ran across a “news” blurb flashing across one of my screens late that day, and by then it was too late to do anything very practical about it. (And I just assumed that most likely the event was designed to help people to be more aware of penguins and not for penguins to be more aware of their surroundings lest they step into traffic or something.)

Greeting card companies probably have some (overpriced) cards for that day. Black and white. Maybe tuxedos with black tie ribbons? I could have bought one had I not been so callously unaware of the special day. Better yet, I could have spent the entire day in heightened awareness of the particular difficulties faced by penguins in our modern world. At least, I could have posted well wishes on Facebook. Maybe “liked” or “loved” some awareness-provoking pictures of penguins. Alas, too late.

I figured I had two good options. I could make it a point to apologize in person to the very next penguin I bumped into, or I could just wait until next year’s Penguin Awareness Day and do something really special. Whichever comes first.

My oversight was nothing personal. As far back as I can recall, I’ve had nothing but the warmest feelings toward penguins and, indeed, the whole penguin community.

I assume they have one. A community, I mean. We all seem to have a “community” these days. The right-handed community. The left-handed community. The right-handed and green-eyed people who like chocolate community.

Anyway, I’ve made a special note on my phone’s calendar marking January 20 for those specially-beloved waddlers lest I blow right past their official day yet again.

Ah, but my callous oversight has made me think. Wondering what other special days I might be sauntering past with nary a thought regarding their specialness, I did some Internet searching. Turns out that there’s not a day in the year that’s not been designated as a special day. If you don’t believe it, navigate over to HolidaySmart.com and browse a bit.

The folks at that website somehow neglected to mention that January 11 is my birthday, but they did tip their hat to that auspicious calendar square as being, among other claims to fame, Hot Toddy Day. Good to know.

Just for fun, I looked up my younger brother’s birthday. Cheddar Day. I’ll send him cheese if he’ll send me . . .

As exhaustive (and exhausting) as that website is (I mean, you can’t take a breath on any day and not be trampling on top of somebody’s “day”), it’s quite thorough. I did notice, though, that they completely overlooked Hobbit Day, Sept. 22. (You can look it up.)

With apologies again to penguins, I give up. I plan to try to act like my littlest grandkids and recognize every day as a special day, a day given to them by God to use to run and laugh and play and hug and learn. A day from which to squeeze out every last bit of joy before getting some great sleep so you can do the same to the next one. After all, it was just the other day—a day I’d already mentally pronounced as windy, dusty, and generally unpleasant—when I heard one of those little snaggle-toothed princesses remark, “It really is kind of a beautiful day.” And in her company, ya know, it really kinda was.

I know now that the day Kendall dubbed “kind of beautiful” was also World Quark Day, and Tin Can Day, and Good Memory Day. That last was right on target. But she’s already told me a bunch of times on more than a few days, “Today’s my best day.”

Come to think of it, that’s not at all a bad thing to note on a calendar. I think it even overshadows Penguin Awareness Day. No offense meant to the penguin community.

You’re invited to visit my website, and I hope you’ll take a look there at my new “Focus on Faith” Podcast. At the website, just click on “Podcast.” Blessings!

Copyright 2023 by Curtis K. Shelburne. Permission to copy without altering text or for monetary gain is hereby granted subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.

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