I have a small addiction to notebooks, with well over thirty floating around my desk – filled with thoughts/dreams/musings/drawings/quotes of the last eight or so years.
There is a bag next to my bed which has four blank notebooks ready to be used – a black Harper’s notebook, with silver-edged pages, a thin, blue lined notebook with a french illustration on the front, another one similar, but with an old fashioned car gracing its cover and a thick, dark brown leather bound book with plain white pages and a gorgeous leathery smell.
Filling these notebooks is no easy task. I have struggled to keep a diary, though when I do, I find it utterly therapeutic.
The big issues of life don’t seem so big when out on paper. The intimate cries to a God who loves me seem to flow more easily when I have my fingers on a pen, rather than my knees on the carpet. My writing – for the blog, for university, for work, for anything – seems to improve when the discipline of diary writing is being upheld.
All in all, keeping these notebooks is an incredibly important part of life. But, as I said, it is no easy task. Until…
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A few months ago, I wrote out a list of questions that I sometimes asked in my head, that I heard others ask of themselves, that I heard others suggest were important questions to be asking ourselves.
My list is long and fill, and yesterday’s post includes a few. I typed up a few pages and established a few rules.
I didn’t have to answer a question every day, or even every time I opened my notebook, but whenever I decided to respond to the questions I was asking of myself, I had to answer the next question on the list. No choosing a question at random, no going back to answer a question previously discussed.
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These days, I find myself pulling out my notebook a few times a week. Sometimes I’ll just answer one question, other times I zoom through three or four.
But often the timing is uncanny – on a particularly depressing day, I have to respond to ‘What are you grateful about today?‘ A great reminder that there is always something to be grateful for.
On busy crazy days, when I’m just focusing on putting one foot in front of the other, I have to respond to ‘What are your goals for this month?‘ A great reminder that I have control over my time, and should be using it wisely.
On days that seem carefree and floaty, I have to respond to ‘What do you most value in your friends?‘ A great reminder to take time to appreciate those around me, to recognise their worth – and hopefully share that with them.
What questions have you asked yourself lately?