Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Keeping a Daily Journal

As a teenager I was an avid journaler. I documented every detail of my dramatic existence. There were poems and drawing and lamentations. While they are somewhat painful to read, I am thankful I have them. It's pretty neat to read about the first time I met my now husband, our first date and first kiss. They are sort of ridiculous and angst-ridden but they're a reflection of me at the time.

Over the years I slowly stopped journaling. It started to feel a little silly. I felt pressure to come up with something to say. I slowly fell out of the habit. I just didn't feel like I had anything useful to write. At the same time, it made me sad that I wasn't documenting my life in some fashion.

I came across a daily journal, by the now defunct Paper Coterie, and it seemed feasible. It had three rows for you to write in everyday. Only three small rows. I felt like I could do that. I kept track of all things domestic- what I cooked (and if we liked it), what we did, what the kids are learning, who we saw, what the garden was doing, short and long term goals, kids quotes and etc. It was easy to adapt to whatever season of life we were in.

I am on my third journal right now. With Paper Coterie out of business I just purchased a regular journal-- with a pretty cover, of course. I enjoy having a little more space to write if I want to add more details. Reading over my old journals is really rewarding. It is also really helpful practically. If I want to know the date of anything we did, I can find it. Like when did we move to this house? When did you start that job? When did my daughter take her first step? When did the garden go in last year? This has come in handy so many times.

If you want to document your life in some way, but find it hard to keep on a journal-- a daily journal might be just the ticket for you!

Tips for keeping a daily journal-

-Just start with what you have. Maybe all you have to use right now is an old notepad, but sometimes the best way to start is to jump right in.

-That said... Having a cute journal does make things more fun.

-Keep writing! Some days it feels like I have nothings to say about my day. I pretty much do the same things most days, so I feel like I'm just repeating myself. To keep things from getting to monotonous I write silly things the kids say or do. The kids are always changing. I also write about any new projects I am doing or thoughts I am having.

-Try to write everyday. My goal is to have an entry for each day. However, I do sometimes cheat and do a few days at once. I try not to get to far behind because I tend to forget what we did.

-Reread them regularly. I have journals from the past three years. I love sitting down and reading about my life then. It is also really helpful to see what remains interesting to me years later, and what details I don't really care about. Like, why did I write about the weather 5 days in a row? I am thankful for the times I wrote about what dinners we were enjoying or the kids milestones. I try to then add more details like these in my current journals.

-Have fun with it! You are doing this for you, nobody else. Write about the things that you care about. No detail is too small if it matters to you.

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