A short and sweet way to record daily events in your life.
About four years ago, I stumbled across a daily calendar idea on Pinterest, originally posted on Design Sponge. I loved the idea of just writing down one thought each day. It didn’t even have to be a full sentence!
I used to write, and write, and write. In diaries, journals, scraps of paper … basically, whatever I could get my hands on. But, like many things, children seemed to change that. Since having them, it was always, “I don’t have the time!” running through my head. This was a perfect solution.
I also loved that you could quickly look at what happened on the same day each year. After almost four years of doing this, it is interesting to note the coincidences or trends I see. For instance, I pretty much do the same thing for my birthday each year!
It took me a while to get motivated to put it together, but it was super simple and didn’t take much time at all.
How I put it together
I visited the dollar store and spent a total of five dollars. I bought a small plastic bin and four packs of lined index cards.
I loved the idea of stamping the date on each, but I didn’t have a date stamp at the time. Instead, I simply wrote the dates by hand. I probably did about half the dates in one sitting while I mindlessly watched TV, and then ended up just filling out the rest as the dates approached. In retrospect, I wish I would have been a little bit neater or more creative with the dates. But, at the time I had two kids under three – who has time for neat and creative!?
For the month dividers, I used paper scraps I had around the house. I loved the postcard idea in the original post I found, but I didn’t have any handy.
I then searched for some inspirational quotes online. I printed them out and pasted them to the cards.
Remembering to write something each day
This is more challenging than I thought. I found that I really need to put the calendar somewhere obvious, or I will forget all about it. I placed it on my kitchen counter for some time. This is an ideal location for me to keep it since I feel as though I am ALWAYS cooking or cleaning something in the kitchen, but I didn’t necessarily like one more thing cluttering my counter.
I discovered that placing it on my nightstand works the best. I am likely to see and notice it before going to bed each night. This, of course, did not work when the kids were into pulling everything off of my nightstand.
I don’t remember to write an entry all of the time. Sometimes there are blanks. One time I even wrote: Too exhausted to think of anything. Occasionally, when I can’t remember something we did, I write down something about my kids that I might not remember years from now: Sawyer loves Power Rangers, Lydia hates car rides, Sawyer always sleeps with his stuffed seal, and Lydia’s favorite song is “Jingle Bells.”
What I have learned keeping a daily calendar
1. I really do forget a lot.
When I go to write my daily thought, I am amazed when I look back on previous years. I often have forgotten about certain things. For instance, without the daily calendar, I would have never remembered that on April 8, 2013 Sawyer flushed four washcloths down the toilet and clogged it. Or, that on January 2, 2013 Lydia cried the entire time in the childcare room at the gym while I completed my workout. I could hear her over the whirl of treadmill; I didn’t take her back.
2. Sometimes life is boring.
That is okay. There are days that I just wrote: Went to the gym, Played outside with the kids, Trip to Home Depot with kids = nightmare, Went to Target to buy diapers, or Watched a new episode of Blacklist. My life isn’t always exciting.
But once in a while I read one of these “boring” moments, and I realize its value. For instance on January 1, 2014 I wrote: Watched Cars. Not the most exciting New Year’s Day activity, but at the time it was my son’s favorite movie. At three-years-old, he would never sit still long enough to watch a movie. Cars was the only movie that he was remotely interested in. It was the only time my always-on-the-go boy would let me cuddle him. He has since moved on to other movies, and I now have to limit screen time instead of encouraging it. So, reading this on New Year’s Day made me realize how much he has changed in two years, and how grateful I am for all of those snuggles I received while watching Cars.
3. I do more than I think.
Although there are many boring moments, and sometimes (especially as a stay-at-home mom) I feel like grumbling, “I never do anything!” I have proof of visits to pools and playgrounds, trips to zoos and bounce houses, and excursions to lakes and hiking trails. I do fill up our calendar. It is not always a Facebook post worthy adventure, but all of these little adventures are what have made my children who they are.
4. How will I ever stop this?
After four years, this is quite a collection of memories. I can’t imagine stopping this now. I don’t want to risk losing memories like:
March 11, 2013: Lydia took first steps with walker
June 7, 2013: Lydia has perfected the art of giving kisses
March 3, 2014: Lydia needs four songs and her “Ma-maaa” to fall asleep
April 3, 2014: Sawyer wakes up most nights and crawls in our bed
November 4, 2014: Sawyer insists (adamantly!) that his name is spelled with an “i”
I want to keep recording these memories, so they do not get shuffled to the back of my mind and overlooked in years to come. More often than not, the moments I record are the small moments that go unnoticed and aren’t always captured by camera. Keeping this calendar is a perfect way to make sure they are not forgotten.
I would love to hear how you record your memories. Anyone do something like this, or do you keep a journal or diary?