By Tina Koyama
It has been more than a year since I reviewed the Leuchtturm 1917 Some Lines a Day five-year diary, so I thought it might be a good time to check in and let you know how I’ve been doing with it.
Distressed at the time about some negative thoughts and feelings I had been having, I intended with Some Lines a Day to focus on writing at least one kind thought about someone each day. On most days, it was easy to think of at least one person to think a kind thought about. Often it was related to a kindness someone had shown me. But occasionally I was so angry, sad or despondent that it was a challenge to pull myself out of my own head to think about someone else – and having the diary to write in gave me a reason to do so.
I didn’t always have perfect attendance; some days I left blank, but I rarely skipped more than one day. After about half the year, though, I fell off the wagon completely and wasn’t sure if I’d ever pick up the five-year diary again.
Since I had begun the book on my birthday in November 2020, a year later on my birthday I started reading some of those early entries. I was surprised to find it gratifying and sometimes moving to be reminded of whoever I had thought and written about each day. Reading made me realize that now the book would have two rewards: Thinking about something positive and also recalling whatever positive thought I had had a year prior. It had become a “memory book” and not just a diary.
In November 2021, I started writing in it again with a more general theme of gratitude and appreciation. Most of my entries are still about people, but now I also acknowledge situations or events that are not necessarily associated with specific individuals. As I read the entry for the prior year on the same page, I see the full value of keeping a diary in this format: Without having to dig through my shelves or closet to look for old journals, I can see in an instant whatever or whoever I was thinking about a year ago. Yes, it’s only a few lines a day, but that’s all I need to pull myself out of my own head to recall a good moment.
According to one source, 68 percent of resolution-making Americans will break them by Feb. 1. Although I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, I’m here to say that it’s OK to fall off the wagon and then get back on again. Just because you’ve abandoned a diary, a sketchbook or whatever you had committed to using doesn’t mean it’s forever. If it gave you joy then and might give you joy again, just start again.