Yesterday I blogged a bit about the importance of writing things down, and how it can help you be more successful when getting organized. Today, I’m taking that discussion a step further and encouraging you to write things down to reflect on the day and record your life.
I set a goal this year in my PowerSheets that I wanted to spend more time documenting the amazing moments in my life. While working through those goals, I realized what I really meant was three things:
- I wanted to have more family albums than whatever I post on Facebook
- I wanted to record memories while they were fresh so I could recall them easier
- I wanted to reflect on each of my days, taking the opportunity to dump the clutter in my brain each night so I could focus more on the things around me and reflect on what really matters.
The core of my goal was to reflect on my days as they happened, and record big moments so I would always treasure them.
It was the reflecting side of things that pushed me back into the wonderful world of journaling. Like my planners, I have different notebooks for different things–all of which serve a purpose in my daily routine of documenting life as I know it.
I set aside time each and every day (usually right after Maisy goes down for the night) to start my journaling process.
I always start with my Simplified Journal from Emily Ley. This journal has a few little prompts to get me started each day. I jot down the date, a little bit about how I’m feeling and some notes about what went well and what was challenging each day.
Then, I jump into the thoughts section, where I usually reflect on my daily devotional verse. I found this to be incredibly soothing. The methodological way of writing in each designated section until it fills helps me release any tensions I’ve been holding on to throughout the day, and get down to what really matters, my main take away from the day.
On the left-hand side of the Simplified Journal is a section called “Brain Dump”–this whole page gets filled with whatever is on my mind, I’m able to work through my thoughts and frustrations or relive joys from the day that otherwise would have been forgotten under the weight of the day.
I then move on to the Write the Word journal by Lara Casey. This was a gift to myself. I have been working on reestablishing my faith this year and the Write the Word has been perfect for this! Each day has a passage in the Bible to simply write down and reflect on and I find myself getting closer to scripture each and every day.
I wrap up my nightly reflections by jotting down a note in my Mom’s One Line a Day Journal. This is the best sort of journal for someone who does not like to journal–five minutes, heck five seconds, and you’re done! This is specifically for the funny/sweet/silly things that Maisy does. I pick a favorite from the day and write it down.
Reflecting was only one side of things for me. I also wanted to record the big moments in our lives. I don’t take the time to record life each day, but once every few weeks I have written in my planner to check in on some of my recording books and see if there’s anything I can add or record.
I’m taking great care to really record this pregnancy. When I was pregnant with Maisy, I feel like the whole thing sort of blew by! The baby book we purchased was really general and I missed so many things when they happened that I found myself recently filling in the blanks for things I didn’t really remember anymore.
I fell in love with this Simplified Baby Book because I adored the prompts it asked. I didn’t need to fill out a whole questionnaire about who Justin and I were for this baby, I did however want my kids to know how we felt before they arrived so they would know when they have their own babies. The Simplified Baby Book does exactly that. I can take the time to write letters and record moments in a way I couldn’t when I was pregnant with Maisy.
Taking recording one step further, I was so moved when I saw the Handbook for Life pop up in Lara Casey’s shop and instantly bought two, one for each of my babies. These books are designed for long-term documenting filled with prompts from favorite family recipes, love letters on special occasions, thoughts on love, life and faith, and favorite family memories and traditions. It’s the perfect gift 18 years from now to give to a graduating senior, or in 22 years to a new bride. I could not be more excited to record my kids’ lives in something that really holds my heart and soul.
I used to be an avid scrapbooker, but I found I’d spend so much time making a page look great, that I’d neglect to say anything about why something was important. Getting back to creating family albums, I never wanted to look at a page 40 years from now and wonder “why did I take a picture of that?”
I had heard about Project Life through Instagram and figured I’d give it a try. It’s seriously so so amazing. I love being able to put photos in albums, write a memory or a note on a cute little card and instantly have entire moments of our lives documented forever between beautiful album pages. I highly recommend this for Momma’s trying desperately to finish that vacation album from last year!
So there you have it. A few of my favorite things to write in to reflect and record my life. As the second post in this series, I hope I have convinced you to spend more time writing things down. The biggest advantage I have of starting this writing process is that I can relive moments in my life over and over again. I can learn from things that have happened before and I feel myself being a more changed person. I am focused and organized, my goals are clearer, and I have a renewed sense of ownership over my life. And with a new baby on the way, I couldn’t be more thankful for that.
How do you make time to reflect and record your life? Share with me in the comments!