At the beginning of 2019, Theresa and I created a list of questions to ask each other at the end of the evening, questions to help us capture and review our day and to aid our individual growth. At the top of the list was: What do you most want to remember about today?
It didn’t seem like a particularly revolutionary question to me when we chose it; I had been answering that question almost daily in some form or another in a five-year journal that I’ve been using since September 2016. And yet by asking the question more overtly, I found that my thinking about the day (and my entries in my journal) shifted a bit, from more of the logistical or minute bits of life to the more ephemeral or overarching.
From entries like: Packed day of meetings! Dinner with Wendy!
To reflections like: In the midst of this challenge, I noticed that while I reacted, I caught myself sooner. Progress.
And reminders to self like: When you’re bent out of shape, you’re probably not playing enough.
And unresolved questions I imagine I’ll continue to mull for quite some time, like: What is the nuanced difference between wallowing and being with?
If you’ve ever read an old journal or calendar, you’ve probably noticed that some event that felt critically important or wildly meaningful has since faded into a vague recollection of that event or person, or no recollection at all, as I’ve found from time to time.
(One particularly embarrassing look back that comes to mind involved a middle school-era journal and scrawled pages detailing an apparently intense crush on a person whose name sparks nary a flicker of recognition now.)
Don’t get me wrong: I enjoy the entertainment value of these Easter eggs I’ve unintentionally hidden for myself in my reflections. What I’m more invested in, though, is how I might aid my own evolution ongoingly.
In this way, What do you most want to remember about today? is shorthand for, “What about today will be most valuable to remember in a year, or five years, or a decade, as best as I can guess now?”
So, friends: What do you want to remember about the person you are today? The lessons you’re learning? The way you’re growing? Your beliefs, ideas, and hopes?
Theresa and I ask each other a total of four questions each night; I made a nifty printable card of them for the Bigger Badder Community. It’s an informal community of folks who get my weekly email, sometimes attend our weekly community gathering, and like to think about the same stuff I like to think about. It seems like you might just be our kind of person; join us here.