When some people want to change something in their life, they may buy a membership at the gym, join a like-minded group, enroll in a class, or get a therapist.
Me, I buy a notebook.
Me, I buy a notebook.
This is a collection of my notebooks. In the interest of full disclosure I will say that this is not all of them. All have been acquired within the past 3 years, with the exception of #12, my wedding notebook that my Aunt Shelly sent to me back in 2001 when I got engaged to my husband. She knows the power of the notebook.
I have always wished that I were the type of person who could carry around a moleskine notebook and jot all of my thoughts and ideas into that one place, and when I was done, file it and buy another exactly like it. And when I needed to refer back to something, a genius thought or creative idea-- of which I have many-- I could simply crack the moleskine. My inner creative life could be documented in a linear way that would create a beautiful pocket of order in my universe.
But that's not me. I am addicted to the new beginning a fresh notebook represents. When I decide I need to make a change in my life, such as getting more exercise, a new notebook must be purchased (#15) so I can use that notebook as a way of tracking myself. I can't write down my daily exercise in notebook #10, which holds my grocery lists and menu plans, or notebook #21, which lists all the annoying household things that need to be taken care of, and certainly not notebook #9, which lists my studio to-do's for the day. Crossover creates confusion.
And it's not just lists of things that I like to have going. #14 is my daily journal (always spiral bound and college-ruled). #13 is strictly for pottery ideas and drawings, while #3 is for other creative ideas, like papercuts. #4 is dedicated to happiness and happiness resources á la Gretchen Rubin, and #7 stays in my purse for moments when I am struck by inspiration when out to dinner or a museum (empty except for notes on directions and places to eat). #3 was for when I decided to start doing sketches with little stories underneath, of which there are two in the past year (sketches, not stories), and somewhere in there is a notebook related to money, but I'm not sure which.
I'm going to confess what you probably saw coming from the beginning of this post: the only notebook that regularly gets any use is my journal, my day planner, and my sketch books. In large part, the rest of the notebook are testaments only to my ambitions, desires and goals.
For people like me, who believe in the strength of words and writing, notebooks and paper hold a powerful sway over our psyches. As I was writing this post, and reading about notebooks and moleskines, I found this notebook, and my heart started beating a little faster. Maybe this is the ultimate notebook. Maybe this is the one that can change everything.