Monday, September 1, 2008

The importance of one's own notebook

To try and stay within an acceptable range of sanity while at work, I went out a month or so ago and bought myself one of those cool, creative-yet-tortured-soul moleskine notebooks. The idea behind the purchase was that I'll have a place to jot down notes of a more personal nature while at work and not run the risk of forgetting to tear the page out of the notebook I use for my job.

Things like my notes for my novel, crazy dreams I have while snoozing at my desk that one day may turn into my novel, ideas for awesome outfits I could wear for the author photo for my novel.

So far, I've written down a lot of grocery lists, titles of books I've heard about and want to read, the model and serial number of our furnace and the measurements of several walls in our house that could potentially fit a bar/sideboard. Not the most creative use, but you can't rush true genius.

It should be noted that I've also used the notebook (which is a flip-style notebook, much like a reporter would use) to jot down random, incoherent notes while dining at a restaurant in order to get better service because I look like a food writer. It works. You should try it.

Anyway, the importance to me of having this notebook that fits so perfectly into every single one of my purses is that there are no restrictions on what I can and cannot write down. Sure, I've kept journals in the past, but I put such a pressure on myself to write pithy, journal-worthy entries that eventually I gave up from the sheer exhaustion of feeling like I needed to document every little nuanced feeling I'd had over the last six months since I had last written. It got to be too much, especially on those days that I felt like my biggest accomplishment was just that my alarm clock went off 14 hours ago.

This notebook, with it's smooth black cover, grid-lined pages, handy pocket in the back and elastic band to hold it all together, means that my shopping lists, dinner plans and to-do lists fit in perfectly with hastily scrawled book titles, online log-in information, notes on what I like about my life and important dates to remember.

Some entries are dated, some I flip back to often, but all of them mattered to me at some point and none of them have to do with work.

Except for one page. I'd forgotten to bring my regular work notebook with me to a meeting out of the office and, in a moment of craziness, used this one. I regret that page and, had I not written personal notes on the flip side of the page, would have torn it out long ago. I regret that page.

I have a cell phone, a Blackberry, always on Internet and a calendar that sends reminders to my computer, Blackberry and cell phone...but this black notebook makes my day-to-day life more manageable.

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