January 16, 2021

A year of journaling

Every morning, I try to write down what happened the day before. I do this with a cup of coffee. I used to write in a physical journal, but I’ve found I don’t stick with this as well. So I have a global emacs keybinding to pop me into a new journal entry: C-c C-j, which opens an org-mode file at ~/journal/YYYY-MM-DD.org. If the file exists, it adds a new entry to it.

Yes, I journal on the computer. Yes, it’s lame. In any case, I guess it’s nice to know that in 2020, I wrote 177 entries, and that there are some 7k+ lines:

~/journal % ls | grep 2020 | wc -l

~/journal % ls | grep 2020 | xargs cat | wc -l

I admit it’d be nice to point to a notebook and say I wrote this many pages.

Looking back over them now, they seem a little boring. 2020 was a strange year, shouldn’t daily life have been interesting? Perhaps the truth is that lockdown is just dull. No going out, meeting new people, seeing new things.

It is nice to find little moments I had forgotten about: zoom dating (fun), zoom Spanish class (less fun: no one had quite figured out zoom etiquette yet), my roommate and I getting in an argument about washing hands (that used to seem so important), becoming obsessed with Hamilton in August.

My favorite thing about journaling is finishing the entry. I hit C-c C-c to write the org file, the buffer closes, and I’ve saved one more day from being lost in the eventual cloud of forgetting.