Tracking Your Life—5 Years at a Time

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I am a devoted journal keeper. My friend Sue told me about this book a year oh so ago, and I thought, “Well, that’s great. Good for you!” I like more space than 1 inch, and like to put in tickets from plays or trips, cards or mementos I have received so it’s like a scrapbook. My oldest daughter, Nikki, was doing it that way and I liked how it was a placeholder for all the memorable stuff in my life.

I also knew that two of my other daughters really liked this format and had their own 5 year diaries, writing one line a day. I wasn’t swayed though, I liked how I was journaling.

Then my youngest daughter, Sophie, wrote from her mission, to her brother Cameron.

“Cam! Remember the Boundary Waters! Five years ago today, we were hauling those heavy canoes while the old ladies sitting by the river told us to get the lighter aluminum ones next time. They were eating blueberries from the forest and we didn’t even know where they got them! That was so hard and we were so tired!”

The penny dropped for me. Actually a big mechanical cog inside me clicked into place with a shudder.

When the student is ready the teacher will appear!1


I realized the beauty of this journal was after you wrote your whole first year down, you could look back as you were writing the next year and see what was going on exactly for you the year earlier. My extensive journal keeping is valuable to me but doesn’t do this tidy little task. Sophie had been doing it for five years and her keeping track on a daily basis brought that really hard day on the Boundary Waters  back into the present for my son and I as he read that part of her letter to me. We had a shared appreciation for making it through a canoe/portaging family trip and how much we learned. I was hooked from that moment.

When my daughter Abby asked what she could get her Dad for Father’s Day, I said solemnly, “The Book”. When I unearthed  my son, Chase’s journal that he wrote when he was 12, he said “I can’t believe I wrote all of that and I was that kid!” Because it meant so much to him to see that adorable part of his life,  I suggested the 5 year diary for him. He ordered it off Amazon and reported a few weeks later that “It was really cool” to write in. I finally ordered one for me and Cameron at the beginning of August. It is quick, it is easy and I have fitted it in right after my scripture reading in the morning. I write about the previous day. Cameron has reported that he writing in it faithfully every night. Think how great this would be for any age child. It’s a small amount of space and they could even see their writing improve over 5 years.

So if you want an easy way to keep track of the highs and lows of your life, and to be able to measure how far you have come from a colossal challenge, or once again savor a special event, try the “One Line a Day, 5 Year Diary.” Here is the link:

Disclaimer: I am making no money off of this—it’s just a really cool product with a retro look!

  1. The origins to this quote are obscure. It is not a quote from Buddha as some suppose. I couldn’t find a definitive source.



2 thoughts on “Tracking Your Life—5 Years at a Time

  1. Pingback: An Essential Habit | "Peace Like A River…"

  2. Pingback: Spiritual Windshield Wipers – "Peace Like A River…"

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