I’m on my fourth 5-year journal, so you wouldn’t be wrong if you said I was hopelessly stuck in my ways. In nearly two decades, my nightly ritual hasn’t veered an inch: brush teeth, lay out tomorrow’s clothes, slather hydrocortisone on itchy ears (long story, tell you later). And yet: my friend Tsh just recently released a twice-daily journal, and dare I say it? It’s perfect.
There’s a certain beauty in bookending your days with greater truths and small gratitudes, juxtaposing opportunities for grace, room for laughter and surprising moments all in the span of a single spine. In the time it takes to scrawl out the answers to 6 profoundly simple questions, you’ve pinned the whole of your day to paper – and that’s no small thing.
The rhythm of journaling, whether daily or weekly (hat tip, A Year of Reflection friends!) is one of the simplest, most transformational practices I know. So why don’t we all do it? We argue we’re not writers, we can’t commit to a method, we can’t find the time. But in truth: documenting your life takes just mere minutes, moments we’ve all been given morning after morning: a string of seconds between coffee brews, waiting for your turn in the shower, walking to the corner bodega, waiting for your Zoom host to join.
Sometimes, I think, it’s not about making space in your day. It’s about making a place for your day. It’s about finding a reflection practice you can actually stick to, about getting it all down on paper, writing with fury and fervor both morning and night, week by week, all in one place – a series of chicken scratches that, in good time, will carve the story of your soul.