What did I do yesterday morning? Did I make it to that meeting last Monday? Darn.  I can’t remember. I’m forgetful. Fortunately, my journal writing isn’t.

18,250 days

Every day since April 1973 I’ve written a simple journal entry on small format lined binder paper. Haven’t missed a single day. Entries aren’t great writing and are rarely emotional. It’s not a diary. On some days I write only a few lines, while I might fill a page on more happening days.

My journal records about 18,250 days of my life. Combined notebooks take up about three feet of shelf space.

Uses of Journaling

Man reaches for journals on shelf


Useful? Yup. When did we go to Yellowstone National Park?  I remembered the month and year but not the dates. In minutes I found those dates in my notebook and learned what we did each day. What did we do on Christmas Eve 18 years ago?  My journal reminds me.

My notes are simple, short, and often skip perfect grammar, but they are meant to bring every day into clear memory………so each journal entry records something distinctive about that day. Here’s a simple entry:

Monday, January 16, 2023: Weirdly warm with temperature in the 50s. Made new plywood shelves for my tool cabinet. Payton (a neighbor kid) was visiting when sirens blew warning of a potential tornado. We sheltered in the basement. No tornado here but one hit near Williamsburg, the first January tornado in Iowa since 1967.

Like Brushing Teeth

I’ve been journaling for so long it is as routine as brushing my teeth. Blank journal paper goes with me on trips, and I’ve even scribbled entries by lantern light at campgrounds.

My memory lapses.  My journal never does.

What are Ways YOU Remember?

People have other ways to remember or “journal.”  Share some and we can post on Winding Pathways