In late 2004, I had lost interest in daily writing of my journal, which I had done pretty regularly since seventh grade. I didn’t miss daily journaling–my life seemed to have calmed down enough that I didn’t have to process so many things–but I did find myself thinking, “How did I spend last Memorial Day?” and “Did I make rolls last year for Thanksgiving?” I also needed a place to keep track of books read and movies watched.
I needed something to record daily life on a regular basis, but not in an excessive manner. I thought instantly of “My Dairy.” My Dairy was a small, red-bound book with a lock and a key and when you opened it, had a page for each day of the year. Each page was further divided into five sections of about four lines each, so that you could note things daily for five years. Small, compact, perfect. Exactly what I needed.
Could I find such thing? Nope. I found a few five-year diaries. But they weren’t quite right in some way or other. I didn’t really need a lock and key, or the years were already entered into the dairy pages, so that I would have to start a dairy part-way through its existence. None of them quite worked for me.
So, like any woman raised on a steady diet of books set on the frontier filled with spunky, make-do, clever women, I made my own five year dairy. I started by purchasing this standard dairy from an office supply store.
Before I bought it, I counted all the lines for each day to make sure that there were enough for five lines per day per year. There were. Then I simply wrote in the year, an initial for the day and drew a line under that. Voila! Five year diary.
After I finished the triathlon, I kept my race bib as a marker. It turns out race bibs make great markers. Bright, made of some plastic paper that doesn’t tear, just the right size.
The standard diary had extra pages which gave me ample room to keep track of books and movies. Most of the pre-made 5-year diaries didn’t have any extra pages.
I didn’t write in it every day, but most days. Friday and Saturday are notorious for not having anything written. Sometimes, if I miss a few days, I’ll jot a sentence or two as to what was going on. The fun really starts after the first year, when you can compare and contrast what was going on one (or two, three or four) year(s) previous. It’s also fun because you can email your friends with things like: Did you know that two years and three days ago we were celebrating your un-bachlorette party? Your friends will be astonished and amazed at your powers of memory.
I’m so happy with how this turned out, I’ve gotten myself another standard diary for 2010 and will begin the process over again. Look for another post at the beginning of 2015.