Friends – thanks for all of the support during my current reshuffling. If you missed the post last week, I shared that we’re in the midst of repainting and reflooring half of our house which has resulted in living in a world that feels upside down. My internal emotions are extremely tied to my external surroundings, so I’ve felt a bit off-kilter lately. This whole project is not going very well, so I’m trying to stay optimistic.
Today I’d like to spend a little time thinking about how I’ve been using my 5 Year Journal. I purchased it in the summer of 2018 and after a few false starts, I’ve finally been using it in earnest. It’s become a wonderful rhythm to incorporate into my evening routine – spending just a few minutes reflecting on the day.
I write about my 5 Year Journal nearly every week and it recently occurred to me that I’ve never shown it to you. I have been using the Leuchtturm1917 Some Lines a Day notebook – it looks pricey at first glance but feels much more affordable when you divide the cost by 5 – for the number of years it will be used. Here’s a recent spread so that you can picture it:
These entries are for March 26th and 27th in 2019, 2020, and 2021. Each day includes the low/high temperature and the sunrise/sunset times. I also include the phases of the moon (1st quarter, full, third quarter, and new), but neither of these days were significant in that way. You can also see that I’ve included Covid case numbers for my state on the entries from 2020 and 2021. I typically include a quick summary of anything that felt significant throughout the day and it’s really fun to look back on what I saw as “significant” on any given day. Work on the garden almost always makes the highlights.
I’m constantly considering how I can use the 5 year journal in a meaningful way. Each month, Emily P. Freeman sends out an email with three questions to help reflect on the previous month. I wrote a post based on her prompts for February this year. But despite all of the reflecting I’m constantly doing, it’s hard to answer those specific questions because I haven’t spent my time looking for those things. So I’m going to try something different this month.
I’ve written down the questions she suggested for March and have been using them while writing my April entries in my 5 year book. The three questions she asked were:
- Where did you see God? [I will substitute “God” with “Stillness” because I have all sorts of issues with this question in the way that it’s asked.]
- When did you most feel like yourself?
- What is one word you’re holding on to? [I’ll get creative with this and think of it as where did I feel stuck today? What thought patterns kept getting in the way? What did I dwell on?]
I won’t be answering every question every day, but they’re helpful to keep in the back of my mind. I’ve already found that I’ve been jotting things down in my trusty Traveler’s Notebook as I go: things to watch out for, red flags that warn me that something is amiss, and of course – always – little moments of joy.
Do you have a 5 year journal? Or another way to reflect on your day as you wind down in the evening? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!