Thursday, November 15, 2007

Book of Days

Some days you must learn a great deal.
But you should also have days when you
allow what is already in you
to swell up and touch everything.
- E. L. Konigsburg

I've kept a diary since I was 12, which was about the same time my Great Grandmother, Mary Tankursley, advised me to always use moisturizer and keep a diary. These two things, she said, you'll never regret.

I haven't. Throughout my teen and college years, I dutifully wrote in my diary several times a week. The pages are full of big letters and heavily underscored sentences that spell out detailed exasperations with parents, first loves, and school. As I transitioned into my 20s, the writing grew smaller... tighter... stressed... and shorter entries mentioned money and job and boyfriend woes. When I turned 25 and bought Freeman House, diary keeping as I had always known it came to a stop. If you, I thought, plan to continue to ink all your daily frustrations and challenges, you will fill all the books in all the world....

So I did this: I bought a small but thick - blank and fresh - leather bound book. I bought a brown pen. And I made a point, several times a week, to open it and write... or even sketch... not what frustrated me, but what delighted me. Not what tore my soul apart, but what made my soul sing. Instead of detailing a bad day, I went back, back, back in my memories and thought of a good one. When I had a particularly horrible day, I made a list of the most wonderful days of my life. (I refer to that list still, whenever I have a bad day.) Poems, scriptures, quotes, jokes, fortune cookie predictions, paper clippings... they've all been pasted and penned inside. And slowly, over the last two years, this tiny book has filled with the sweetest moments, the loveliest memories, and the happiest thoughts and dreams and wishes a life can hold.

I call it my Book of Days, and it's one of my favorite things.

Thanksgiving is a week away. A week away! As we count it down, I hope you're finding plenty of thoughts and thanks to fill a book, too. But life is funny in this way: it's all in how you see it. Guess the art of thanksgiving and a key to a lovely life is that way too: it's all in what you remember and where you set your thoughts. It's all in how we record our book of days...

7 comments:

Sue said...

Brin, were so alike, it's scary! lol Last week I posted about journals and such, and am starting a new tradition this Thanksgiving, passing a Graditude journal around the table for all who can write, just something they are are thankful for. I love your idea, and have always wanted to keep a book of days, think I'll start one now! I have so many diaries but I want something to pass down to the grandkids some day so they can truely know me, I never knew any of my grandparents and I miss that. Wonderful post, as always!

betty r said...

I like the idea of "book of days"..I too may start one. Thank you for reminding us to look to the positive and happy things in our life!!

LBP said...

What a wonderful idea. I'm not disciplined enough to keep a diary, but a book of things I'm thankful for I think I could keep up with!

Linda

Anonymous said...

"If we have not quiet in our minds, outward comfort will do no more for us
than a glass slipper on a gouty foot." - John Bunyan

I do hope you are finding that mind quiet. . .

A Woman Who is: said...

Absolutely the way to go. I started such a journal this summer. Every night before I went to bed, I wrote down at least five good things I could thank God for that day. After a few weeks I could look back over the list, and rejoice even more for all the good things that the Lord hath done!

Jen(n) said...

this is a great post and a great idea.
I found your blog on "a woman who is" and am enjoying catching up on all you have written!

redbee said...

That's a great idea. It's funny, I was just thinking that I've had a good year, and my journals are empty. How will I know how delighted I was, if all I do in my journals is complain. Very good suggetion.