Nearly two years ago I had one of those moments where I felt like everything I had done in life I couldn't remember. Of course I could remember the big bits; finishing school, sitting uni exams, graduating, first days at jobs, big birthday celebrations, first dates with my wife, opening our cafe, getting hitched... you get the idea. I CAN remember the story of my life, the ebb and flow, and I CAN remember lots of the details, the feelings I had, the smells, the sounds and the tastes. (Smelling Burberry London perfume still instantly transports me back to my second year uni bedroom getting ready for nights out in Newcastle!)
But in this moment I just felt like as I was getting older with each birthday, and as time whizzed past faster than ever, the day-to-day stuff was just bypassing me.
AND it scared me!
It scared me to think that literally weeks could go by, and in the future I may not be able to recall what happened in those whole months of my life.
Now, like us all, I aim to enjoy my life, I aim to live it to the full, and be generally happy with the choices I've made and the life I am living. But that just gave me even more resolution to wish to be able to recall what the hell I have been doing!
So on that August day, two years ago, as we drove to our camping site for the weekend, I vowed to start keeping a diary.
I had initially wanted to keep a very simple sentence-a-day journal, as inspired by one of my favourite author's Gretchen Rubin, but I found trying to keep to one sentence every time was more hard work than just scribbling down a few lines which summed up my day.
So instead, I just write down my day in a very boring account quite often, simply as a record of what I've been up to. There's very little deep feelings or thoughts recorded, but that's not what I am keeping it for. I'm recording WHAT I AM DOING, so that in a years time from now, or a decade even, if I want to know what happened in those few months without any big events or big changes, I will have an aid to help me remember.
It often goes something like this: "woke up, work very busy/normal/slow, home, blah blah errands, what I had for dinner, Emmerdale, what I'm reading, bed". Or if I'm on holiday, or away somewhere, it gets quite a bit more detailed as I recall places I've been or what I've seen, or funny anecdotes I wish to not forget.
I keep this day-to-day diary within my bullet journal, which I use very basically but do always have in my handbag; I am no pro BuJo keeper! But keeping it in there it means it's always with me... which you think would mean I'm up to date all the time, but unfortunately it does not! I find this diary keeping harder than a few lines would make it look, but I so want to keep a record for my later-in-life self, that instead I just play catch up when I do sit down to write it. I just want a tool to recall my memories, and that's why I do my best to make this account on paper.
So that's why I keep a diary, even if sometimes it is indeed just one tiny sentence. I do it so I won't forget where my life went. I do it so if I want to know what I was doing this time last year I can look and read, and be transported back to my one-year-younger self. I may never sit and read all these quite boring day to day accounts, but I want to have the option to. Even if sometimes it feels a bit of a chore to me, I will persist, or maybe I'll someday find a way to make it feel less of a chore to me. Anyway, until then, I'll just keep up the scribbles...
Anybody else keep a diary? Any tips for keeping it up but making it feel less of a chore?