While I’m not very consistent about doing it myself, I’m a firm believer in keeping a notebook with you and writing down your thoughts throughout the day. It’s a great way to capture random ideas and help keep track of them. It also helps you preserve memories. You can think of your notebook as a backup for brain, your own little personal Carbonite.

Since I’m not very diligent about following this advice myself, I suspect that I’ve lost untold numbers of random ideas and memories over the years. While most of the ideas were probably pretty forgettable on their own merits, I wouldn’t say the same for the memories since memories are one of the few things we can hold onto in this world. This point was brought home to me recently after I browsed through a previously neglected notebook.

I came across a note I had made. I was a quote of something The Girl said one morning while I was driving her to daycare. I had noticed that she was staring out the window almost like she was in a trance or something. Normally she’s pretty animated on the morning ride, so I asked her what she was doing. Her response?

I’m looking at the beautiful world.

The world certainly looked a lot more beautiful to me at that moment. Naturally I wanted to remember what she had said, so I jotted it down in my notebook once we got to her school. Sadly, I didn’t think to record the date at the time.

While I didn’t record the date, I do know that she made her observation sometime in the last year. Yet despite how recent it was, I had completely forgotten about it until I stumbled across my note. Had I not written her words down that memory would be gone for good. This realization makes me appreciate journalling even more. So I’m trying to put pen to paper more frequently now. Because sometimes if you don’t write a thought down, you’re just letting it go.