When Immy was a baby I was much better at keeping track of the little memories. When she was first born I wrote down everything in a notebook – to start with it was sleep and feed times (so that I could keep track in my own sleep deprived haze), then it became little but important memories like her first real smile and the first time she purposefully reached for something, and, of course over time, the bigger, more significant events like when she first rolled over and started eating solids; all sorts of special memories. Although I had never really been one for diary writing or journalling, during that first year I kept lots of little notes about the things she did and the things we enjoyed together.
And then some at around 12 months the little book was put away and I got out of the habit of jotting down our little memories. I suppose it was when we packed up to move across the country. By the time we had found a new home and settled in, Immy had moved on through the bigger milestones of walking and talking and our days seemed pretty routine and mundane.
So when I recently came across that little notebook, it made me a little sad that all of the days which have passed since then are obviously in our hearts and memories but not recorded somewhere for prosperity. After all, memories fade with time and what can seem routine and mundane is still pretty significant in the life of a child.
And then I came across the idea of keeping a one sentence journal over at The Happiness Project blog and I thought I could do that. One sentence a day about something which happened in our family. Maybe something funny Immy said or something little memory that I want to hold close or even just a feeling or emotion about that day.
When reflecting on her daughter finishing her first year of nursery school, Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project says on her blog;
“There’s something so inexpressibly sweet about this age and this first experience of school. I’m having an emotion that I can only describe as preemptive nostalgia for this time. Her last morning there was yesterday, but already, I feel deeply sentimental about it.
The days are long, but the years are short.
For that reason, I’m so happy that I started keeping my one-sentence journal; otherwise I would worry that I wouldn’t remember any of the details about this time – the teeny tiny sinks, the coat hooks in the hallway marked with the children’s photos, the play kitchen and the board books.
Two years ago, I started keeping a one-sentence journal because I knew I would never be able to keep a proper journal with lengthy entries. I just don’t have the time or energy to write a long entry – even two or three times a week.
Instead, each day, I write one sentence (well, actually, I type on the computer) about what happened that day to me, the Big Man and the girls.”
So now I have my little notebook sitting on my bedside table where I will see it at then end of everyday as a reminder to keep the little memories alive with just one little sentence about our day.
Do you keep a diary or a journal, or maybe you use your blog as a space to record these memories? If not, will you join me in keeping a one sentence journal? I wonder if we could keep it going for a whole year?