the importance of keeping a diary

This morning I awoke convinced it was Saturday (it’s Tuesday.) The days just run into one another, which is why I’m keeping a diary of these extraordinary times. Actually, I’ve always kept a diary. Chronicling grounds me. It allows me to write freely and let my thoughts and feelings (and fears) ramble. At the same time, it helps me to focus, keep track of goals, see my progress (or not) and, best of all, look back to see what I was doing years ago. A diary is a marker of time. Bloggers do the same with their blog posts. It’s good to look back and review.

But what we’re all doing right now is reminiscing. Reminiscing about our past freedoms, travels and insouciance (lack of concern; nonchalance). Remember the days when we blithely jumped on a train or plane and travelled to wherever we wanted, whenever we wanted? Remember the days when we stepped outside, sans mask, to blithely go about our business outdoors? To go shopping or to the hair salon, meet up with friends, go to restaurants and parks? 

Here’s an excerpt from my diary at this same time five years ago, April 2015:

Soooooooooo relaxed sitting at home chilling coz as from 5 pm today I’M ON VACATION!!! It was a good idea to leave on Sunday instead of Saturday. That means I can totally chill tonight then do everything tomorrow.

I’m off to NAPLES and then to Capri. I hope it’ll be FAB FAB FAB. (No, it wasn’t. It was AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL and you cut your trip short.)

Thank you, universe. Thank you for giving me good health, a job, an income, a brain and two legs to walk on. I am truly grateful.


The following year, April 2016, I blithely jumped on a plane and flew to New York.

April 2017 I blithely jumped on the Paris metro and made my way to Shakespeare and Company bookshop to attend a reading of Karl Ove Knausgaard. To get there, I walked past Notre Dame cathedral which hadn’t burned down yet.

April 2018 I could not jump on any train because France was crippled by train strikes, and I had to cancel my trip to Lille.

April 2019 Notre Dame burned for two days, the 15th and 16th.

How will we look back at April 2020? A month from hell, of course.

A few people have asked me why Naples was so awful. Here’s the story here, entitled See Naples and Die:

9 thoughts on “the importance of keeping a diary

  1. Indeed. Thanks for this, thoughtful as always. There is light at the end of the tunnel, we will come out of this, stronger and wiser.

  2. What a neat way to travel down memory lane. I’ve tried (and tried and tried) to keep a journal and it doesn’t stick. But I take photos constantly and really enjoy the Google photo memories that pop up on my phone each week. Not the same, but it works for me.

    • I understand, it’s not for everybody. I’ve tried and tried to keep an expense journal – you know, writing down in a column how much you spend each day? Impossible. I like to write, so that probably helps. Take care.

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