I speak to lots of people each month about the many ways to write their life stories, and whenever they hear about the five-year journal and how it works, they get excited. They remind me of myself when I first learned about this wonderful way to record all the ordinary and extraordinary days of our lives.
My husband Bob and I married on Thanksgiving Day in 2005, and I thought keeping a journal of our life together would be a fun thing to do. I knew it needed to be quick and easy because I had started many journals before, only to have them begin collecting dust after a few weeks or a few months. Then I came across a five-year journal. I had never before heard of such a thing.
This type of diary has a page for every day of the year that is divided into five equal parts. Each section has a box for the year and five or six corresponding lines to write whatever thoughts, events, moments, etc., you wish to record.
Every night just before I go to sleep, I take my five-year journal from the nightstand and jot down whatever stood out in my day. What’s so amazing to me about this is that I’ve done it faithfully for seven years! I do it because it takes me five minutes, and it’s become part of my nightly routine.
Most of the entries in my five-year journals (I’m on my second one now) capture ordinary moments—Bob’s golf scores, outings with friends, work projects, purchases, movies we loved and hated, and so forth. And then some accountings bring back exceptional days in vivid detail—a new job, being laid off from that new job, illnesses, deaths, surgeries, trips, surprises, awards, Bob’s latest holes-in-one (he’s had four), and so on. As you can tell, golf makes regular appearances in our five-year journals.
These few minutes each evening, just before I turn off the light have become a special time for Bob and me. He always asks, “What were we doing last year?” I tell him, and then he inquires about the year before and the year before that and the one before that. We reminisce for a few minutes, reliving the times recorded in the journal and close the book on another day of our life together. Keeping this five-year journal has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life.
A couple of years ago, Bob came up with the idea of writing each year in a different colored ink, so 2011 was purple and 2012 is black. I’m not yet sure of what 2013 will command, maybe blue or green. I’m not ready for red yet. I still have leftover ninth-grade-English-teacher trauma.
For years, I’ve pointed people in one direction or another to purchase five-year journals, but I’ve never been pleased with the quality of the ones available. I worry about them not holding up to five years of daily use, so I finally decided to publish my own. I spent the last six months gathering information on paper, binding, and printing, and now, I’m so excited to have these journals available for purchase.
Especially with the holidays coming up, I can’t think of a better gift to give someone than a simple way to write the stories of his/her life. Because it’s so easy to use, I believe this type of journal is a great way to encourage young people to write. New mothers, fathers and grandparents can record the first five years of the latest additions to their families. I also love the idea of husbands and wives keeping separate journals and then sharing the experiences of their days. I’m sorry if I sound like an infomercial, but I believe so strongly in the value of these journals; I want everyone to have one.
Cost of the hardback, 370-page journal, which comes in cranberry red, hunter green, or navy blue, is $28.99 plus sales tax. Here’s how to get these beautiful diaries for yourself and those you love.
Click here to purchase one or more copies of the five-year journal and have it shipped to your home, or click here to purchase copies of the diary to be picked up at an upcoming Writing Your Life event. When ordering, please specify the desired color.
I promise you, this will be the beginning of an amazing journey for you and those fortunate few you choose to share it with.
Hardcover: 370 pages
Publisher: LifeStory Publishing, Orlando, Florida
Dimensions: 6″ wide x 8.25″ tall x 1″ thick
Shipping weight: 1 pound, 7.5 ounces
Available in Cranberry Red, Hunter Green and Navy Blue