Who among us keeps a diary?
Once we are adults, who has time? Who cares what minutiae we take part in each day? Bo-ring.
I haven’t kept a journal in years, and I call myself a writer. I decided long ago that keeping a record of my my daily pursuits was a snooze and I’d rather jot down little things, little bits of interesting throughout the day here and there, as I felt the urge. Those bits would potentially end up in a short story, or future novel, or just make me laugh when I look back. Like the time in church, when I later wrote down, “kid eating Slim Jim.” Like, who does that? Great detail for a future story.
Thus, when I decided 5 days ago to start keeping a December Diary, I thought I may have gone mad. The holiday season has finally pushed me over the edge, I considered. Inner voice be damned, I started on Dec. 1, keeping a loose account of my daily crap. For myself. I thought that I might learn something about myself, motivate myself, keep myself ACCOUNTABLE for what I do with my time. I hoped that I might be able to keep up with some interesting details so that I could add real-life details to my illustrious future novel. A win-win, right?
It may be vain, but it’s been a fun endeavor. At the end of the day, I type in a new entry and try to put down events, as well as random things I wonder about, find amusing, super deep existential questions, and celeb gossip. Today, I wanted to be sure to put down the amazingly fun basketball practice I assistant coached, the annoying use of “Flemish” by a character in The Goldfinch (just use “Dutch”, ok? Like that’s not confusing enough), as well as how cool Rachel Ray was on “Watch What Happens Live” with Andy Cohen, despite how over-saturated her brand has become. That overly long sentence pretty much sums up my life in a nutshell.
Some days are so uninteresting, and I have very little to say. Like when I cleaned my disgusting house all day and did not venture out one at all; i.e. not a lot to put down. Some days my brain just shoots everywhere, with all kinds of fun stuff, like a kid in wonderment at the world. I really think that on December 31, I will be able to look back and learn about who I am, who I want to be, and maybe, just maybe, use it in another creative endeavor.
My diary of a gimpy adult (bum knee from middle-aged running and early-20s kayaking) may just be the project that keeps me focused and connected with myself and engaged with the outside world.
Random blog moment: I love Charlie. From the AT&T ads. I want to adopt him. “One hundred!” “Do you put pepper spray on your burrito? I like it spicy, but not like, eughhhh spicy.” Love. Him.
Do you keep a diary? Give it a shot and let me know how it goes.
Take care of yourself and each other,
December 6, 2014 at 8:01 am
Reasons I keep a journal:
1. I used to keep, as Sarah Kate put it, “a little portable calendar.” As in a planner, pocket calendar. I have calendars from about 20 years in a drawer. I can look back and see what I was doing on this day in 1998, which was a big year in my life, but also other years that just blend together. Now that I keep up with my days in the phone, the data disappears. (There’s a metaphor there.) So with my journal, I can look back and see when Uncle Bobby died, or which friends lost loved ones in the last year.
2. I can keep up with the books that I read and quotes that meant a lot to me at a certain time in my life.
3. I go weeks, maybe months sometimes without writing in my journals, but sometimes I just have to fill it with things that mean nothing to anybody but me. There are days that I throw confetti on the page and days I emotionally vomit on the page.
4. I track my spiritual journey in my journal. I write down uplifting or confusing or meaningful quotes that I can go back to later.
So you just keep writing, and hold onto those things you write. If it never gets published, it will sustain you on the journey.
And keep blogging and sharing your thoughts and observations!
December 6, 2014 at 1:21 pm
I should have had you do a guest blog on this. Excellent journal ideas!
December 6, 2014 at 8:38 am
inspired to keep a diary!
December 6, 2014 at 1:21 pm
Let me know how it goes!