I started this journal because I’d become alarmed by how little I remembered about my own past. I decided to make a much greater effort to take photos and videos regularly, as a kind of diary to keep happy memories vivid – especially memories of my children as they grew.
I also wished that I could keep a proper journal, but that just would have been too much work. However, I decided I could write one sentence each night — so I invented my “one-sentence journal.” Each night, I write one sentence (well, often it’s three or four sentences, and I type them into the computer instead of hand-writing) about what happened that day.
In particular, it’s a great way to record those kids-say-the-darndest-things moments. I always think that I’ll never forget, but I do. Until my mother reminded me, I’d forgotten about the time when, years ago, as we were driving across a bridge, I asked my husband, “Have we ever seen this drawbridge up before?” and my daughter piped up from her car seat, “If that’s the drawbridge, where’s the castle?”
Already, I love looking back in my journal to see what we were doing two years ago on a particular date. Just a sentence or two brings memories flooding back.
It’s very satisfying: it’s manageable, so it doesn’t make me feel burdened; it gives me the atmosphere of growth so important to happiness; it helps keep happy memories vivid (because I’m much more inclined to write about happy events than unhappy events); and it gives me a daily reason to pause and thinking lovingly about my family.
The days are long, but the years are short.