At the creative recommendation of a cherished colleague, I started a five-year journal, well, five years ago. What is a five-year journal, you ask? It’s a bound book with five sections on each page, one section for each year and a page for each day.
It takes five minutes at the end of the day to jot down five or six thoughtful lines about what happened. After doing this 1,825 times, I can now look back through this cohesive book cataloging the most recent events of my life. The days span three jobs and the biggest transition I’ll ever experience. These notes predate my life as a mom, telling the story of my pregnancy and the early sleepless years of keeping my baby alive. It keeps a log of the greatest adventures of toddlerhood. One thing is for sure, my life was dramatically different five years ago. For a brief moment each day, I sat still for reflection.
Something you should know about me: doing one thing at a time is really difficult. All the chronic multi-taskers out there know what I’m talking about. At this very moment, I’m half watching The Marvelous Mrs. Masiel and half writing this blog. It’s taken me three nights to complete this post and I only understand half the jokes on my show. I make the multi-tasking sacrifice because I feel a time crunch: I do two things at once because I don’t have the luxury of time to do them separately. In an effort to get better at NOT making this same mistake over and over again, my new year’s resolution is to focus.
In search of self-care and stress-relief, I enrolled in a 200-hour RYT (registered yoga teacher) training at the local yoga studio in Antioch, Trillium. While the classes and reading teach you about how to better a physical hatha yoga practice, the pursuit of mindfulness and enlightenment tunes your mind toward the important things in life: be present. Live in the moment. There are many different ways to practice yoga; posture-based movements are only one of them. Writing is one way I practice the other facets of meditative and spiritual yoga.
To be truly conscious about the activity I’m doing, it is necessary to slow down and be present. Minds tend to wander, thinking about what time do we have to leave, did the laundry get switched over and how many rolls of toilet paper are left? We spend so much time fretting about the future and worrying over the past, we miss the present.
This Christmas, my husband generously bought me the second volume of my five-year journals to start the new decade. I’ll continue to take a few moments each day to pause. My written word captures the present so I can look back on the past every day and know I’m living a life well-spent. But you don’t need a fancy journal to do this. You can pick up a post-it and put your thoughts on paper. Time moves so fast, it’s impossible to remember what you did every day. I love looking back and feeling the moments I captured.