Every year, I buy myself a new diary. I write in it all the stuff I couldn’t publish on a blog – either because it’s too personal, or too mundane. It’s very teenage. For the last couple of years I’ve also kept a record in the back of my diary, of the books I’ve read throughout the year. In 2012 I read 41 books, but my mind was slightly preoccupied with the whole childcare thing.
It started in 2002, when a boy I was seeing suggested I keep a diary. I laughed, and he told me that he’d kept one for years, and found it helpful in ordering his feelings and ideas. I bought one in the January sales, and started immediately. On the days when I have a lot flying around my head, it does help to write it all down. It’s also interesting sometimes to go back through old diaries and see what I was doing, how I was feeling, and how things have changed since. My old diaries are crammed with newspaper cuttings, cinema tickets, random scraps of paper that record all sorts of minor details of my life. Over the years, this sort of thing has petered out and now it’s generally just illegible scribbling, the handwriting getting worse as it reaches the bottom of the page.
Each January 1st I have my shiny new diary, with its pretty, shiny cover and pristine pages, and it is filled with promise and hope for all the exciting and interesting things I could well be recording on its pages over the next twelve months. Each year I make a list of New Year’s Resolutions, and write about how this year I’m going to do things differently, live more healthily, exercise more, be more happy, tolerate less shit, make more effort. The first entry in every single diary on my shelf is full of these promises to myself that this year will be Different and Better and I will be Happier and Thinner.
I often go months at a time without writing in my diary, which is a shame because when I look back through the year there are huge blank chunks where I’ve little clue what I was up to. In recent years my diaries tend to only have entries when things are either really good, or really bad. Perhaps this year my New Year’s Resolution should be to record more in my diary. (and to lose weight, exercise more, eat more healthily, become a Buddhist, read more, cook more, tolerate less shit…)
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