Browsing through Powell’s Books recently I came across a selection of 5-year “memory books” or journals. These immediately reminded me of the 5-year diaries with locks where we as teens scribbled our deepest secrets that we dared not share with anyone (except sometimes our best friends). These secrets usually ran along the lines of , “I love ____,” written several times per entry, along with “I saw ____ walking down the hall with another girl. Will he ever notice me???” “I put his picture under my pillow tonight!” Tame stuff, for sure, but it gave us a thrill at age 13. And a secure feeling, being able to lock up our words and hide the tiny key (as if the lock would actually keep anyone out who really wanted to read it).
I started keeping journals again (in a bit more mature fashion) when I was 25, though it was hit and miss over the years. I wrote more consistently when the journal was tied to a specific event, such as when my first husband and I separated, the pregnant months before my daughter was born, and when I was approaching 40 and worrying that my life would go downhill after that. A little later on I started journaling, or blogging, online when I received a LiveJournal membership as a gift, and then I also started blogging on MySpace around 2006. In early 2009 I started this blog, and I also have a private blog I started around the same time on another blogging service; this is where I write things I prefer not to share with anyone, writing generally when I’m angry, feeling hurt or trying to work out a personal problem.
As I gazed at the memory books on the bookstore shelf, I became intrigued. If I start a 5-year memory book on January 1, 2015, the ending date will be December 31, 2019, which will be my last day of full-time work. I liked the idea of a few lines each day to chronicle the last 5 years of my full-time working life. And there were many types of 5-year journals to choose from; most were relatively small books, some with thin, fragile-looking paper, which I felt wouldn’t hold up very long. Some had a “question of the day” to spur one’s entries, which was kind of interesting thinking about how one’s response might change from year to year. However, I decided on a Leuchtturm 1917 “Some Lines a Day” memory book, because there’s more space in which to write, and the paper is amenable to fountain pen ink. So I’m looking forward to starting this on January 1st!
Do you keep/have you kept a paper journal? Do you prefer that or blogging/journaling online? Please share!