How Do You Forget to Breathe?

Jan 13, 2014

Over a year ago, I shared this little random fact about myself: " I am an avid journal writer. I write in it every day, no exceptions."

And I wasn't lying. I really write in it every. single. day. A few sentences or many, exciting news or boring routines, deep thoughts or fluffy nonsense, I record the events of my life.

With fourteen, perfect-record years under my belt, I thought my habit of journal writing was as secure as remembering to breathe.

But last night, I picked up my journal and found where I last left off. My pen was poised, ready to write "January 12th" when I realized there was no "January 11th" on the previous page.

Laughing to myself, I flipped back a couple of pages wondering where my dating had gone awry. I was sure I'd find two January 8ths or some other such nonsense.

But no, everything seemed to be in order. So I flipped back to the last entry I'd written, dated January 10th. I read over it; there was no question; it was written on Friday.

Up to this point, I still wasn't even considering that I actually hadn't written on January 11th. Of course I'd written! I must have just had other things on my mind at the time and so hadn't paid attention to which page I was writing on. I meticulously went through my journal, page by blank page.


And that is when it finally hit me:  I didn't write in my journal. I broke my fourteen-year-long streak. And it wasn't because I was in childbirth or deathly ill or exhausted. It was simply because I forgot.

How do you forget to do something that you've done every single day for the last fourteen years? 

I know many of you are probably laughing at this absurd post. "So you missed one day in fourteen years? Big deal. Have you ever heard of world hunger?"

It doesn't really matter. I know. I will continue writing, and January 11, 2014 will never be missed. But I guess I feel like a part of me is missing. I mean, I know I forgot. But now that I realized I forgot, shouldn't a part of my brain kick in and remember that I forgot? But no. I keep going back over the perfectly normal events of Saturday night, and I can't remember not writing in my journal.

So yes, I'm (more than a little) sad that I can no longer say "I write in my journal every day" without qualifying it with "except for that one totally random day where I forgot." But more than that, I'm worried that I'm losing my mind. When I wrote about it in my journal last night, I said, "I am flabbergasted. There is no other word for it."


  1. Haha, that's kinda funny. Maybe we're getting old.

  2. 14 years straight? That is impressive. I was a daily journaler for about five or six years. Then I got married... I tell my husband he's been a negative influence on me because now I only write once a week.

  3. In your place I would have written an entry for the missing day. None of your future readers would have suspected your lapse.

    1. I thought about doing that. But my journal-writing honor couldn't manage it. :-)

  4. when I was diligent, I would write the date and then just say -- I didn't journal this day. That way I had an entry for every day. I can understand your frustration. You have plenty of time to do it again.

  5. I take a vitamin every day and sometimes can't remember whether I took it — an hour after I took it. I wouldn't worry about it. Sometimes your mind just shuts off. But I do understand why you're upset about this. I think it's awesome that you have written in it for 14 years! You will treasure it, regardless of whether you missed just one day. :)

  6. You are more ethical or something than I am, Amy :) I would have just quickly added an entry for January 11th (before I forgot what happened!) and then continued with January 12th :) But I know exactly how you feel about losing your mind. When did everything get so busy and crazy that it became so hard to remember everything?

    1. I think if I had consistently written in my journal for fourteen years but missed a day here and there over the course of that time, I definitely would have just filled in the missing date. But where I literally have not missed writing a single day, the vacant spot of one day felt like an event worth noting and not just masking over. However, when I wrote on the 12th, I did include a couple of activities from the previous day so I'd at least have some record. :-)

  7. I'm pretty sure it was turning the ripe old age of 29 that caused you to forget :-)


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