I began journaling when I was 5. I have loved writing and recording the memories of my day for a long time. Writing down the day’s events was a delight to me every night. Between the ages of 5 and 13 I filled over 15 journals with entries, taping tickets to a movie into the page or a letter from a pen pal; I even illustrated some days – they were THAT good. As I got older my entries became less frequent and began to feel like a burden. I couldn’t commit to all the detail I was used to putting into them. With piles of homework, a driver’s license & a later curfew my habit of journaling was forgotten.
I’ve always felt some guilt over that – that I didn’t take the time to write it all down. I love having a gateway into old memories and escaping into those youthful places, some of which I don’t even remember having. It’s fascinating to see a younger you on paper. I have tons of documented proof that I’ve changed, progressed and grown in some way throughout the years. So there!
I made efforts through college to journal in different ways, I filled one journal with quotes, another with my feeble attempts at poetry, another with prayers, and even another with random moments of creative thought. These were valiant attempts but all of them were incomplete and scattered, disappointing ends to frenzied dreams.
I have no documentation of how I felt the night I met my husband, how he took me to see a Shakespeare play on our first date, or how I felt when he surprised me 2 years later with a proposal. While I remember each of those events fairly well, it’s all the spaces in between them that are lost to me. My memories have faded and I dearly wish I had some record of our dating life.
2 years ago I stumbled upon a little blue book with gold tipped pages and an orange ribbon. It’s called a “One Line A Day” journal and when I opened up the little cream pages I felt the ability to journal on a daily basis return to me. This little book allows you to record your day in 1-3 sentences and has mapped out space for 5 years of entries. The years are not preset, each page is topped with the 365 days in our calendar with five entries below each date.
I bought the journal in 2009 right after we got married with the determination to record and document the first few years of our marriage and I failed miserably. I wrote in small intervals in 2010, failed almost completely in 2011 and I’ve made a roaring comeback just this summer.
I’m bonkers about this book. I love the idea of having 5 years of journaling all in one tiny book.
Journaling not only gives me a precious record of sweet events & memories, it makes me set aside time each night to reflect on my day, recall my reactions and feelings throughout the day, and it gives me time to consider how well or how poorly I did. This time of reflection is really precious and valuable.
Fun Fact: there are a couple different formats of this journal that would certainly either be great for you or a friend.
– There is the “Q&A” version that asks you a different question for each day of the year allowing you to compare your answers over 5 years.
– For Jane Austen fans there’s the “Jane-A-Day” journal that gives you different quotes to enjoy each day.
– And finally the “Mom’s One Line a Day” – a sweet gift to any new Mom.
These are great gift ideas but I also encourage you to go out and pick one of these up. Look at it as a personal learning & growing experience. Challenge yourself to learn the discipline of a simple journal and reap the rewards of seeing your past entries, the silly & sweet alike. It will be more rewarding than you know.
How many journals have you filled?
What types of journals have you kept?
If you’ve never journaled, what’s kept you from doing it?