Today I woke up to a beautiful, all encompassing sunshine. I have not looked at the thermometer to see what the temperature is like outside, but for me, for all intents and purposes it is Spring. Yes, with a capital S. I’ve been feeling this buzzing inside me, like when the bees appear and devour the first flowers’ nectar. I can even hear the sound! And one of the things that keeps this joy in me and has shoved the notorious winter gloom away is my daily log book.

I’ve recently read a very inspiring book about creativity – or rather the de-mystification of creativity – by Austin Kleon. Spread among all the tips was the idea of keeping a daily log book of things that bring you joy and happiness. A little notebook where you jot down two or three things that made you smile, made you think, brought some warmth to your heart that day. Unlike mood marbles that are meaningless colors in a jar, this becomes your catalog of joy.

I thought I’d give it a try. The first day was weird. The second day I was actually looking forward to writing. On the third I found myself taking it out on the train in the morning and at work and quickly jotting down some thoughts. By the tenth day I felt this strange feeling like I was awakening from a long bout of amnesia. Before I used to judge a day by how tired I felt and the degree of the shiz in it: moderate, in your face, up to your nose, or coming at you like a tsunami. Now I felt myself putting these thoughts on the back burner, and seeing myself focus on the long lost bits, the happy part. I’ve found myself jumping into bed, taking out my notebook and reading the pages and pages I have written and smiling ear to ear.

So what sort of stuff do I record and write about?

A movie I saw and I’d like to recommend to a friend, like Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.
Or looking out the train window in the morning and through my caffeine haze noticing a tire up on a branch for the first time. And laughing like a hyena… maybe because of that caffeine haze.
Or the joy of having a hot shower at night and suddenly tuning out and hearing nothing but the rush of water and feeling nothing but the steam as it enters your lungs and fills your soul.
Maybe a little squirrel I saw in our garden.
Listening to music that grabs and pulls strings in me I never knew I had. And then having a laugh at my rendition of a lounging lizard.
Reading a book and letting it sweep me away to foreign lands, or to space. Or looking at rocket launches and space walks and become completely enthralled with it all.

I truly feel this little book has changed so many things for me. I feel myself being more aware of the things that happen around me; I feel special, because many times I am the only one that notices them. i feel more appreciative of my life. More creative and less of a perfectionist. And before you think I have been brainwashed, yes, the shiz still happens, but I put it into perspective: at the end of the day that tsunami is noting but a tiny ripple in a pool that barely reaches my ankles.

 

Feel like giving it a try and starting your own log book? Here are some of my tips:

  1. Use a notebook that is small enough to carry around, and do carry it around with you everywhere you go.
  2. Jot down that piece of joy as it happens.
  3. There is no limit to what you can include here, it’s your journey, your log.
  4. Write it down, illustrate it, make it into a scrapbook, do as you wish. Don’t fore it, make it fun.
  5.  Make it a part of your nighttime routine to look at what you have written that day. Remember the good stuff and remember to smile!
You might think starting this log would make you a Space Oddity. but you know what? You are not alone!! Beep beep!

 

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