Friday, January 1, 2016

A Five-Year Record

We have received a fun book catalog for years, one that has interesting treasures and things that any literary mind would enjoy. Within the pages of this catalog lies a little journal that I have noticed and coveted as long as the catalog has come to the house. I always see it, but never buy it for myself (instead I irrationally hope that someone will magically read my mind and buy it for me). One year I did buy it, or something very similar to it, for my sister. She is also a chronicler and I thought she might like it. I have absolutely no idea if she uses it or if it was relegated to a dusty under-the-bed place of forgotten things.

It sort of haunted me until finally, this Christmas, I took the holiday gift check from my stepmother (technically ex-stepmother as she and my dad separated in 2000, but I refuse to ex her) and I bought it. Because if I really want something, why wait for someone else to give it to me when I can give it to myself?

Here it is:

It's a five-year journal, with a prompt per day.

Here is a page I have to look forward to this weekend:

As you can see, you fill in the answer for five years, and you see how your answer to each question changes over time.

I like this, because it is short, it is a daily reflection, and it will capture things I don't necessarily chronicle here. It's strange, but since writing this blog and doing it with some regularity, I became fairly lackadaisical about writing in my physical, paperbound journal. I was never an every-night kind of journal-writer, but I wrote in it fairly regularly. And then I had those journals that were solely about our IVF cycles, that DID actually have an entry every single night to chronicle side effects and how I felt and where we were in things. Those are great (and somewhat painful) to have, but there is day-to-day minutiae that I feel I am missing, and in this digital world I feel like it would be great to have some kind of record to look back on that would survive. Not that my life is all that interesting, but to our future child? It might be. To my future self? Absolutely. I do go back to my old journals from time to time, and it's very interesting to see a snapshot into my other selves, my past lives. To have all of that in five years in one compact and beautiful little spot seems like an opportunity not to be missed.

I figure now is a great time to start such a thing, because our life will likely change quite drastically over the next five years. As I start this book it is still the two of us and our cats, but hopefully at some point in 2016 we will have a beloved tiny stranger in our home and begin a new journey. I also feel that starting this sort of journal now is wonderful because we are starting the year in such a place of hope and peace and anticipated change. I know that adoption can bring unexpected losses and pain of its own, and while we prepare diligently for that profile opportunity call, we can only prepare in theory. We have no way of knowing what complexity will be thrown at us and whether or not we are done with being cosmic punching bags. I really hope that the time of serious battering is over, but there are no guarantees. However, I choose not to expect the bruising but to hope for all the best, and to live in a place of hope. I think this journal will reflect that and give me four lines to reflect on the events and thoughts of each day through the prompts.

Prompts that range from superficial to almost painfully deep:
- How do you describe home?
- Today you needed more _________________.
- What colors are you wearing?
- Who are you fooling?
- Write down a quote for today.
- What was your prevailing emotion for the day?
- Is there anything missing in your life?
- What was the last fruit you ate?

I am so excited to begin this effort today, on the first day of the year. The journal is small and compact and can easily be taken anywhere, so it should be possible to keep this up with fidelity. I so look forward to the adventure and the minutiae it will keep within its beautiful gilded pages.

Such a pretty little treasure.


  1. What an interesting journal! And I'm glad you decided to purchase it for yourself (sounds like you've been thinking about this for awhile). Will be interested in hearing what the questions are and watching as things evolve.

    1. Thanks -- I actually love that I started it on Jan 1, even though you don't have to start it in January. It's kind of funny to gift yourself, but you sure do know what you like! :)