I’ve always loved
keeping the idea of keeping a journal. In spurts throughout my childhood, I would get really enthused to write about my life and its happenings, particularly if I got a pretty journal for my birthday or Christmas, but after a short period of time, my excitement would wane and another beautiful notebook would sit on the shelf to collect dust. The trend has continued into adulthood, and as much as I would love to have 20 minutes every day to recount to my diary everything I’ve done and how I feel about it, I’m just not inspired to do so, nor do I have the time.
Recently, however, I read the book Simply Tuesday, and it motivated me to re-think my ideas about what journaling entails. In my mind, it was something I should do daily, and if not daily, at least a couple times a week. The issue with that is, as many of us know all to well, if you don’t get into a habit of doing something, it’s nearly impossible to remember to do it. Then it feels overwhelming because you haven’t done it in awhile; then you start to have negative thoughts about it; until, eventually, it’s been so long since you thought about it that you decide to begin the whole cycle over again.
In Simply Tuesday, the author Emily Freeman does a short exercise in which she writes “These are the days of…” and she concludes the sentence with bullet points such as “writing my fourth book” and “being the tooth fairy.” I love the simplicity of the bullet points and the depth of the information. I decided to revamp my journaling technique and resolved to spend five minutes once a month jotting down my thoughts with the same prompt.
When I wrote in my journal last month, it looked like this:
These are the days of…
- Long family walks
- Cards and tea when Kevin’s in bed
- Lots of laundry
- Motivating and mentoring
- Sloppy, open-mouth kisses
- Toddler babble
- Muddy paw prints on the bed
- Paying off debt
- Wondering about Brendan’s next job
- Self-discovery and re-invention
- Dreams about our future home
- The first signs of Spring
- Playing pretend
It takes hardly any time to do and still allows me to keep track of these memories that I want to keep forever–I encourage anyone who struggles to keep up with a journal or diary to do the same. What currently fills your days?