Goodies!

A few weeks ago I entered a competition on Instagram run by Notemaker and Dymocks to win a copy of Goodwood, the debut novel of Australian singer-wongwriter Holly Throsby and a new Two-Go Notebook by Moleskine. All I had to do was tell them what new hobby or skill I’d like to learn this spring.

Well that was easy – I’d just started my 30 days of cryptic crosswords challenge, so that’s what I said.

I entered and forgot all about it – and was very excited when Notemaker contacted me to tell me I’d won! I then had to decide what colour notebook I wanted – there are four colours: raspberry/green, light blue/pink, blue/yellow and ash/raspberry. They all looked lovely and I couldn’t decide, so I asked Kramstable to choose for me. He chose the raspberry.

My prizes have arrived!

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I haven’t started reading Goodwood yet, but it looks like a novel I’ll really enjoy. Anything described as “a little bit Twin Peaks and a little bit Picnic at Hanging Rock” (Hannah Richell, Australian Women’s Weekly) is going to get me interested. I’m guessing the town of Goodwood, where the story is set, is not the Hobart suburb of Goodwood! It’s next on my reading list and I’ll be sure to do a write-up when I’ve read it.

The little notebook is lovely, and I’m not sure what I’ll use it for yet. I like the normal Moleskine books because they are slightly narrower than an A5 book (21 x 13 cm) and I find them very comfortable to use. The Two-Gos are smaller still, 11.5 x 18 cm, so basically the same width as my Midori Travelers Notebook, and about 4 cm shorter.

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Because it’s the same width as the Midori, it sits nicely on top of it (see ^^^) and has  given me the idea of using this book as a catch-all/journal to carry round with my Midori, which I’m using as a diary next year. (The technicalities of how I’m using my Midori are beyond this post and require a degree of initiation into the Cult of Midori to appreciate.)

The Two-Go has a lovely contrasting colour inside the front and back covers.

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And doesn’t the green go nicely with my pretty new Lamy pen? (Yes it does.)

The final interesting feature is that the pages are plain on one side and lined on the other, which means you could (if you were learning to draw, for example) do some drawing practice on one side and take notes on the other. If that was your thing.

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The book has 144 pages and two bookmarks, as well as the back pocket that most Moleskine notebooks have. The cover is hard canvas, so it has a lovely textured feel.

Time will tell whether this is the journal solution I’ve been looking for, but I really like the look of this notebook, so all I’ll have to do is get over the fear of the blank page and write in it!

Thank you Dymocks and Notemaker for your very generous prizes. I was thrilled to receive them.

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Journalling challenge 

This week I’m participating in a journaling challenge set by the people at Asian Efficiency.

There’s a journal prompt, which is “what did I learn today?” and each day there is a challenge to help you to incorporate journaling into your daily routine.   (oh hi bad grammar)

Day 3’s challenge is to write down why journaling is important to you. This was going to be a short entry, but it somehow turned into a blog post.

Why?I’ve kept a journal on and off since I was 9 or 10 years old. I don’t know why I started. Maybe I was inspired by Anne Frank’s diary. I can remember how she called her diary Kitty, and so my first journals had a name too (which I’m not going to reveal here because that would be embarrassing.)

There have been times I’ve done it more or less every day. There have been times where there have been gaps of several months. But I’ve always come back to it.

Up until July 2005 I kept a paper journal and I’d stick stuff in it. Ticket stubs, brochures, little bits and pieces that I gathered. I have a box full of those dating back to the 1980s.

In July 2005 I started my first digital journal, documenting what was supposed to be my journey to weight loss and health. Somewhat unexpectedly, six months in it became a pregnancy journal, and I wanted to record everything about my experience because this wasn’t something I ever planned to repeat.

The pregnancy journal morphed into a day to day account of my life as a new mother, my struggles with breastfeeding, my attempts to process a birth experience that had left me angry, upset and unfulfilled.
And I just kept going. Everything he said, everything he did I recorded because I never wanted to forget anything. Children change and grow so quickly. Before you know it your baby is walking, talking, at school, reading, writing, and learning swear words. Where does that time go?

I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to record as much as I can about both my life and his. In recent years my Twitter feed has become part of it. My daily ramblings about the little things that are my life right now.

One reason for doing this is that I take a lot of photos and my journal records the stories behind a lot of them so that when I come to do a scrapbook page or Project Life spread I (theoretically) know what the photo is about and what to write.

So the two are linked. Two forms of memory keeping. (I can add in a third, movies, which is another level altogether.)

And it comes back to why? Why do I take excessive quantities of photos? Why do I keep a huge journal? Why do I scrapbook? What’s the point?

This question has come at an interesting time, because it’s at least the third time this week I’ve read something that has stressed the importance of finding your “why?”. You are, so the story goes, more likely to achieve your goals if you know why you want to achieve them. You’re more likely to stick to your desired habits if you know why you want to behave like that.

So I journal, take photos, scrapbook so I can have a record of my life. But why? Why do I want a record? Will it matter in 10 years time that I drank coffee after lunch yesterday and got really jittery? Will I care that Juniordwarf wrecked the box of cards he just bought?

In the big picture no, but if I ever want to look back and know what my life was like on a daily basis in 2015, know what the little things were that were a big deal at the time, I’ll be able to do that. A photo of a building that I see every day before it’s demolished and the streetscape changes forever. A tweet about something Juniordwarf said that made me laugh. An entry about how much I enjoyed a dinner or a concert. Little moments that make up my life.

It’s a record for me to look back on, to remember what Juniordwarf was like, things that were once important to me, things I did, places I went, what my life used to be like.

Perhaps I’ll never read it again. Maybe some day Juniordwarf will read it and it will help him to understand me, and even himself, better. His world might be very different to how it is now, so he’ll be able to get a feel for what his life was like in the 2010s. I wish I had a more complete record of life in the 1970s. If nothing else, I’d have evidence to call bullshit on those Facebook posts that say how much better life was in the 70s because our mothers smoked when they were pregnant, no one wore bike helmets and we all played in the traffic until dinner time.

Maybe he’ll never read it either. But it will be there.

My journal also acknowledges the hard times, and can help me to see how far I’ve come (or that I haven’t moved on). Sometimes it just helps to write out how I’m feeling about something to process it and work out what to do next.

Taking it further I think a journal could help me to identify patterns that keep me stuck and to record my progress in making changes I want to make. Maybe even to help keep me accountable to myself.
So the why is twofold. To keep a record, basically for the sake of having those memories preserved for myself (and my family if they want them). And as an outlet for learning, reflecting, taking stock, processing, exploring, creating, expressing gratitude.

And because I just love to write.

P365 – Day 297 – stationery stash

Waiting for me at the Post Office this morning was my latest stationery order from the lovely people at NoteMaker.

My diaries for 2012 and a mini Delfonics pen. I am totally in love with these pens. I want more!

I have a vague plan for keeping myself more organised, and these particular two diaries fit the bill for what I think I need to do.

Fortunately they both start in October 2011, so I have time to get used to them and work out exactly how I want to use them before next year. And really, if I already know what I want to do, why wait two more months before putting the sort-of plan into action if I have the tools all ready to use now?

Just get on with it!

While I’m on the subject of stationery, several weeks after breaking my ruler at work by running my chair over it, I decided it was time to get another one. I thought rulers would be in plentiful supply in the stationery cupboard, but how wrong I was.

The only one I could find was this one.

I have no idea how it got there, since we are not a Commonwealth Government department, but it looks like it’s been around for quite a while. An antique in the world of government office supplies.

I think it goes pretty well with this handy little device.

P365 – Day 146 let me diarise that

Most of the things I’ve read about time management and organising say that having a diary is essential to getting your life under control.
I have one.
I wrote in it once, on 6 January.
The books also say that you have to actually use the diary. That means writing things in it, then looking at it during the day.
You are also probably supposed to do the things you write down to remind yourself to do.
Hmmmm.