Time Flies!! That’s the understatement of the year, right?
Having kids highlights the fact that life is short! Wow! My kids are changing so quickly. Right before my eyes. I want to savor this moment and keep it so I can cherish it forever. Like Jesus’ mom, I want to hide it in my heart. I try to capture moments in my mind, then a new one happens and I forget what I was trying to remember from before. Whew. How do I remember it all? How can I enjoy all the wonderful things happening right now?
The answer – Memory Keeping, aka Journaling.
As you know, I am doing things differently to create a life of intention and value. One thing I want to do is, I want to spend a few minutes writing down the wonderful things my children have done each day!!
I love to capture my family already with pictures. I take pictures and share them regularly. I also love to print and hang pictures, too. But when it comes to memory keeping (journaling) I struggle. I have started so many journals through the years but I haven’t stuck with one. I sincerely want to develop a habit that will last. So I’m digging into why journaling doesn’t work for someone who isn’t a strong writer. That’s me!
I will be challenging myself for at least 30 days to get this habit set. It takes 21 days, right? I figure 30 will give a bit of wiggle room, just in case.
One of the things I struggle with is what will happen to the journals? Will the kids like it when they are older? Will I give the journals to the kids? Will it mean anything significant? Will Mike and I look back and enjoy these? I have come to realize, it doesn’t matter what the answers are to these questions. My memory keeping exercise is not about recording for someone else to read, it’s about recording so I can enjoy the writing.
Mindset shift – journaling is for now, not the future. What matters is that I take some time each day to reflect on what I am thankful for – Jesus, Mike and my kids. This is a great way for me to open up and let the things that brought a smile that day to come back and bless my heart.
Another area that gets me is not knowing when to quit. Limit yourself, seriously!!! If you are starting to write in your journal today and remember something from yesterday, do you write all the details down? If I sit down and write without a limit I will quickly burn out because I will go and go and go. But I want to record this memory too! I want this to be a lasting habit so my solution to this quandary – set a time limit (10 minutes or so). Start small if you need to and build from there as you become more comfortable. If today’s entry and yesterday’s memory that popped in your head can be recorded in this time, do it! If not, jot some things down that will help you to remember to come back and fill in some details later on a day when you have a few extra minutes. There will be a day where you’ll have some minutes to be able to write about the random thought and won’t forget because you made a note to remind yourself. The time limit is important though. It keeps me focused for a short period of time then I’m done.
If you do not have children at home, find something to journal about. That’s ok, too. Think about your life and what is important. Think about what you are thankful for. There has to be something good from today!! Write, just to remind yourself of how blessed you are.
Today is a gift and your journal is a thank you letter showing gratitude to the giver.
How to memory journal?
What do I write down?
Dates. I want the kids to know exactly when this event happened, if I give them these journals. This is important to me regardless. I like details. Yes, it’s true. On the other hand, if you travel maybe you can start your journal entries with location (and a date).
Chuckles and snickers. My favorite moments are funny things the kids do or say. There’s a lot. A is currently full of words and surprises and I love how she plays. I love watching her play and I love playing with her. How we play depends on her mood. Recently, A told me she was hungry. Apparently, I didn’t get to it fast enough. She followed up with “my belly’s empty, I starvin’ to deaf(death)”. So funny. After laughing, I promptly retrieved my daughter some food.
Milestones. I also love to record milestones. New teeth, new words, first … well, anything. If it’s an occasion, write it down.
Back story. Sometimes I have to write some back story. I have to talk about where we are or who we are with. 15 years down the road could mean that we might not remember all the details. I want to write as complete as possible. Don’t get me wrong. I do not write 14 pages front and back in my little notebook each night. No way!! In fact, I usually write a half of a page but the story has to be complete.
When do I write?
I like to memory journal of the evening. Usually after the kids are in bed and I’ve picked up the mess. This routine is very important for my sanity. It’s so quite and calm at this time and the day’s events are still fresh. It’s a good time to reflect on some blessings, right before bed. There is something relaxing about being thankful.
What do I use?
I got a $0.25 notebook from OfficeMax for each of the kids (school sale). I type a lot during the day. I thought it might be nice to actually have paper and pen in my hands. I was right. I simply wrote their name on the outside. I also wrote a beginning date and will put the ending date once the book is full.
What else do you need to know?
Like I said, I’m developing this habit. So I’m trying to fit this into current evening routine. Once this becomes easier, I want to start recording a prayer for each day just below the journal entry. The main thing is to be consistent and simple at first so the habit sticks.
Do you memory journal? Would you like to join me in creating this habit? Hop on board. Lots of stores have cheap notebooks right now, go get one and let me know all about it.