Hobbling in…

I hobbled into the New Year – literally. 

We learn something every day they say and late on Christmas Eve, following a wonderful celebration with family, I learnt NOT to try to carry two bags of opened presents down slippery wooden steps in the dark whilst deep in thought! My resulting agonised scream brought the whole family to the top of the stairs and as I lay there I began to feel as if I’d landed a part in a soap drama. Whilst my ankle was carefully checked out by a first aider in the family, others brought pillows, duvet and comfort.

For those few seconds before the fall, life became clarified, intensified. As I started to fall backwards I thought, no, no way, not with my two slipped discs in my spine. Pitching forwards I remembered the wall at the bottom of the stairs and imagined my head smashing into the vertical obstacle. I  straightened and fell, landing with my right ankle twisted beneath my body.

The enforced stillness has been an unexpected present this Christmas, time literally slowed as my usual busy self was reduced to a few painful hobbles, accepting lots of help. Now nearly fully recovered the peace is with me yet, a new inner calm. 

In this spirit I turn to my first post of the year and want to write about a certain present I received prior to my fall on Christmas Eve.

img_0055The Five Year Journal is a unique form of the diary requiring only one or two sentences a day – over five years. The layout is one day listed five times on each page, each entry to be filled in one year at a time. The concept had me intrigued from the start and was a perfectly thought out present for me.

What will the five years bring for me? I see this as a time-capsule, to be re-visited…relive memories, emotions, dreams. 

Already I start to consider each and every day, what made a particular impact, what was especially emotional, what comment or quotes caught my imagination. Surprisingly it’s bringing a constructive form of reflection upon each and every day, of the ramifications of my words and actions. I wonder how my entries will evolve, what I will learn. 



Doreene Clement

The concept of the Five-Year Journal was originally created by Doreene Clement for the new millennium in 2000 although it has been widely copied since then. It is recommended even for people who might be writing a normal journal as this process is uniquely different in recording a flashpoint of events/emotions/thoughts of each day and later upon reading they can see and appreciate the real growth and change in their lives. 

As Doreene says: ‘Time is a healer and what was once hard or unbearable can now make more sense, giving us a clearer picture. Recording and tracking our lives… can actually bring relief, clarity, joy and laughter.’ 

img_0060I can well imagine that with time my journal will become a source of support and thoughtful reflection of where I have been and where I am going, already it is focusing my attention on ever-present and I’m gaining a new perspective on my life! 

Although I am not using any prompts from my entries it is possible to write each day in answer to specific questions or theme for that date. So far it’s so quick and easy to use and there is no room for excuses not for me to write at least these couple of sentences a day!

Have you got a Five-Year Journal? Have you ever started one or perhaps completed the journey? Would you consider buying one for yourself or a friend? What do you think of the concept? As always I look forward to comments and discussion.

“A writer is like a tuning fork: We respond when we’re struck by something. The thing is to pay attention, to be ready for radical empathy. If we empty ourselves of ourselves we’ll be able to vibrate in synchrony with something deep and powerful. If we’re lucky we’ll transmit a strong pure note, one that isn’t ours, but which passes through us. If we’re lucky, it will be a note that reverberates and expands, one that other people will hear and understand.” 

― Roxana Robinson

To finish my first post of 2017 I want to share a song I personally love and which came to mind on New Year’s Eve when we sang ‘Auld Lange Syne’, bringing to mind those no longer with us.

The first loss I experienced as young was an influential young teacher who along with his wonderful writing would entertain us with his guitar playing and singing – his favourite was ‘Streets of London’ by Ralph McTell. Hearing this I always remember those childhood days, my teacher’s inspiring classes, his far too early death.

116 thoughts on “Hobbling in…

  1. hilarymb

    Hi Annika – thanks for the poetry links, which I came across via Jacqui Murray’s blog …

    Glad you’re recovering and a good rest sometimes does us the power of good – that journal looks beautiful – love the colour … my aunt used to journal every 5 years … mostly about her garden and the weather … there’s 20 or 25 years … I’ve never got into keeping a diary …

    I’m enjoying my blog and learning that I can write – albeit at school I couldn’t … funny old life the way it turns around … cheers and recover soon – Hilary

    1. Hilary, so happy you found me via Jacqui’s blog. I’m all well now, thank you so much and the enforced rest was quite welcome once I could settle down to it! 😀 The journal keeping is going well so far…but I’m not sure I will be able to keep it up like your aunt for over twenty years! That’s impressive and what a precious record. I did have a gardening journal for a couple of years and wish I’d kept that going as it was fascinating to see all the changes and follow the growth of the plants. So glad you’re enjoying blogging, it was a totally new experience for me and has been such a positive experience, making new friends and sharing thoughts and ideas is wonderful. Yep, life’s journey does take the most unexpected twists and turns. Warmest wishes 😀

  2. JoHanna Massey

    Oh I do love a good journal. Mine are big sprawling things, often filling them with mementos until they are bulging scrapbooks of days.

    Oh Annika, falling is the worse. I actually do affirmations when facing snow and icy places,
    “The goal is to not fall.” How wise you are to embrace your time of rest. Rest, heal, and my best to you as you recover. And since I am reading January posts backwards I know you do!🐞

    1. I often read magazines from the back page through to the front page and do the same when catching up on posts! Thank you so much for reading and commenting on these! 😀❤️

      I think I need to adopt your mantra; that would have stood me in good stead. When going down stairs now I do concentrate on each stair and try not to rush!!

      Resting time is over (alas??) and in normal full go! Happy journaling and love the idea of them becoming scrapbooks of mementos. 😃 Not a chance with my sentence or two journal…

  3. what a great idea for a journal – but it would not work for me – I need a good full page – and sometimes three or four – but I can see the value and enjoyed the post and comments….
    and i agree with you comment above – about how we flow in and out of journals – and hope this one works for you – if it is meant to be of course – ha!

    have a ncie day

    1. It’s working very well…so far! I’ve had many diaries where you write a page a day but I always started with good intentions but often fizzled out. The free page journals are great though and I have that as well as this one…I can dip in and scrawl away at whim or otherwise leave it for days or even weeks! Happy Journal Writing! 😀

    1. Thank you! 😀 As for an update another blogger did exactly that for a post with the three entries for one day over three years – very interesting indeed! Good idea…I’ll do one next year then. Look out for it!

  4. I’m listening to the song as I write, and recalling how much I liked folk music, though I hear so little of it today.
    That journal will be very interesting as it unfolds. Journaling is a gift to oneself.

    Happy new year, Annika.

    1. Cynthia, I do that too when songs are posted on blogs, listening to them as I write a comment and am often inspired by the music. Folk music has definitely become a niche market these days but is still alive, very much so in the North of the UK; ‘Streets of London’ is a classic I feel. Absolutely, the journal will come into its own with time, especially after a year and I can compare the two time periods.

  5. Ugh, I just wrote a long long comment here, and of course – the computer went bye bye. Well, I’m back and will not be deterred. I held my breath as I read about your fall. So glad you’re okay – yes, it could have been so much worse but someone/something was reminding you to slow down, and now you’re being kind and reminding us – breathe, be calm, write. I don’t have a 5-year journal but I think it’s a lovely idea. And I’ve copied the quote from Roxana Robinson – a writer is a tuning fork — just perfect. Well, Annika, go tune away!!

    1. Oh, poor you Pam, there is nothing quite so frustrating as losing the comment and then trying to recreate that initial one – thank you so much for persevering! 😀 I know, something/someone was definitely telling me to slow down and I’m glad if I can help remind others; so often we race around without a pause – I know I’m guilty of that! The Five Year Journal is terrific and I’m even surprised myself how much it’s becoming an intrinsic part of my everyday. Thank you so much for your lovely comment, it makes my heart sing…whilst I’m trying to tune away my writing! ❤️😀 Likewise Happy Writing to you too and wishing you a great weekend.

  6. That fall – yikes! I slipped off a curb in mid September, dislocated my elbow in what my surgeon calls a terrible triad – the official name. Am still healing but so very lucky it was not more serious. I also thought deeply about my life, all that remains incomplete, everything I’m lazy about, those who love me and those who need me. I also relive that moment of pitching forward, unable to reverse the action, a whole world tumbling with me.

    I wish you good health and complete recovery, Annika.

    Thank you for describing this journal as I’ve never encountered a five year journal. I like this idea as it gives one a chance to reflect on what is past, what is in progress. Requiring only a few minutes of consideration every day, it would encourage one to gather what is really important, let go what is not.

    1. Ouch and ouch again, Sharon, what a terrible injury, it sounds horrendous. I’ve never heard of a dislocated elbow before – did they slot it back into place? Or did it need surgery? I’m glad it’s healing but guess complete recovery will take time. I do hope you can give it the rest it must need. Your shock and feeling of helpless at your fall mirrors mine – I felt this couldn’t be happening and why, oh why couldn’t I just fix it! I do hope you are soon fully recovered…hopefully, we can take the calmness and reflections of this time forwards into the rest of the year and onwards.

      I hadn’t thought about leaving aside that which is not important when considering what to write in the journal but of course, this is a direct consequence and intrinsic part of it. With only a few minutes required a day it’s becoming a part of my daily routine! Is it something you would consider?

      1. It was an awful injury – I wrote about it on my blog, Sept. 20, 2016, The Day of a Small Hurdle, but I can’t figure out how to put the post here so you can just click on it and get right to the blog. (If you want to read about the accident.) The Kaiser emergency room staff was attentive and amazing. During the period where they were shuffling me to X-rays and back to a bed and monitoring vitals and giving me drugs, about 5 people entered the tiny room, listening to the nurse, watching the monitor, and suddenly all five surrounded me. They popped the elbow back in. I guess they were prepared to hear from me – loudly. I didn’t yelp or cry. I didn’t even know what they’d done till it was done. Morphine – every seriously injured patient looks good in morphine.

        Also a four surgery a week later when my wonderful Kaiser surgeon placed a 4-inch stainless steel plate and 6 pins against my ulna, a titanium plug holding another bone together, and repaired 2 torn ligaments and a torn nerve. I am now a bionic woman of steel. The bones are fully healed, the 7-inch surgical scar has nearly disappeared, I am still in physical therapy, and will be healed in late June. Healed being the exciting and operative word.

        The helplessness for 2 full months made me REALLY appreciate the family and friends who assisted me in so many supportive and loving ways. I am a very lucky person. My heart goes out to those who suffer with illnesses that will not heal and those with debilitating conditions that demand effort just to accomplish ordinary tasks each day. It’s made me aware that I need to do more to help others whose lives are difficult, sad, impoverished, or underrepresented. I’ve always had sympathy for other people but now I must do more than just feel badly for them.

        Yes, I absolutely will get a 5 year journal, have looked online but want to see what the bookstore is offering just because it’s fun to go to the bookstore. I keep an online journal of sorts and write lots of notes in a paper day planner, but I love the idea of a journal dedicated to one pithy or observant comment a day. It’s good to pare down to a few words worth reading.

        So much fun to get to know you, Annika. Get well yourself and be well.

        1. Sharon, thank you so much for sharing your injury story – I squirmed reading about the treatments you’ve had and can well understand your frustration at two months immobility of your arm. Your journey has been long, with many months to fully recover but the love and help of your family and friends are heart-warming…and the whole experience adding another valuable lesson in❤️ life! Oh yes, bionic woman, great sense of humour and stoicism shines through. Hoping the the next few months go well and please, keep safe! Lovely to get to you know too!😀

  7. awe Annika ❤ Sorry to hear you took a tumble 😦 but glad you're on the mend! 🙂 That's a lovely sad song, which I've never heard before. And the journal is an interesting concept. It'd never work with me, but I'm sure you'll stick with it! Hope you have a happy healthy rest of 2017! 🙂 💜 Jackie@KWH

    1. Thank you so much for lovely comment, Jackie! Such a gentle warm start to my day…the journal keeping is going well although I must admit last night I could have done with a couple of more lines!! Wishing you a very Happy New Year filled with joy and creativity. 😀♥️

  8. Oh Annika, after listening to The Streets of London, I completely forgot what your post was about! Keeping a diary, I think 🙂 Must be a melancholy day for me. Hope you’re on the mend. Happy New Year, dear one ♥

    1. Tina, the song is melancholy on its own so only reinforces such a mood…I often find myself lost in the melody and words. Thank you for reading and for your lovely comment. Wishing you a lovely New Year too. ❤️😀

  9. Such a beautiful song – I love folk singers like that. Their lyrics are usually so much better than the radio songs. I’ll have to try a five-year journal out too – that’s a great idea. I was thinking of doing something along the same lines but haven’t gotten around to it yet – a Good Things Jar. The idea came from a blogging friend who no longer blogs. You designate a jar as the Good Things Jar and whenever anything good happens, you write it on a piece of paper and put it in the jar. At the end of the year, you sit down with family or friends and read through all the good things as a way of celebrating the past year. I’m glad you’re feeling better after that fall. I hope your five-year journal will be filled with all kinds of good things!

    1. Folk songs are a wonderful art in their own right I feel and so often tell a deep, although mostly sad, story and whilst others offer a comment on social situations or current events. Yeah, another convert to the Five Year Journal!! That’s great, Sheila! Do let me know what you make of it. I am becoming seriously addicted to it and of course now I’m reflecting on my day find there are so many things I want to mention – perhaps the perfect time to start a Good Things Jar! A couple of bloggers have mentioned this and I was intrigued and it all makes such sense now you write about opening and reading it at the end of the year with friends and family to celebrate the year. Lovely! 😀♥️

  10. Oh Annika, sorry to hear about your hurt ankle but I’m glad you say you’re almost totally healed. I think it makes sense that you have a sense of calmness since the fall as it gave you a jolt as opposed to the routine that we all can become acquired to.. You are a wise woman to have learned from the experience xx As for the one-line-a-day journal, wow, what a wonderful keepsake that will be to look back on, both as you write in it and many years into the future. ❤

    1. Christy, I don’t know about being wise – if anything a bit of wisdom has been forced upon me! It’s often through events such as this that I will take a proper rest and stop – I can well imagine you’re the same! The journal is proving a real joy and I can’t wait to start next year when I will get a chance to relive the memories as well as comparing them to what is happening then (if that makes sense!).

  11. I always loved that song too. 🙂 🙂 Sorry about the ankle but glad it’s given you a better pace of life. I don’t know if I’d be any good at a 2 liner diary. I find either everything happens or nothing much does and I’d get repetitious. Scary to think how old I’d be when I finished too 🙂 🙂

    1. Jo…I hadn’t thought about that; how old I’ll be then!!😀 Blimey, that puts it in a different perspective!! Oh well…as with age-related thoughts I can then reflect on the past me five years earlier and how ‘young’ I was but didn’t know it! Like you, I usually only write a lot in a journal or not at all so this has become a new discipline but one I’m managing to maintain (18 days so far!). Seriously, I intend to continue and they say after three weeks a habit is formed so I’m almost there!

  12. Anonymous


    The fall sounds quite scary and it’s so easy to injure yourself. A moments lapse of concentration (especially on polished wooden stairs!) and you can end up in a bad way. I hope you are close to full recovery now and do not suffer from “things happen in threes” disease.

    I like the idea of the 5 year diary. The only drawback I can see is only having to write one sentence per day. When faced with that restriction you just have to try and write more. Good luck with that.

    I’m going to have a look on the map now for the Hobbling Inn. I’m sure I had a pint there once upon a time……….


    1. Haha, Mike! 😀 I’m sure any place named Hobblling Inn would do great business, particularly located near mountains, dangerous sports area etc s…Scary you mention that ‘things come in threes’ as I’ve too often found this to be true! 😀 I did slip on some ice at the weekend but luckily I was walking so slowly so it was a gentle sit down! Now what else can happen?? As for restricting myself in the small space I’m gradually improving and honing my mind on what to write – an interesting and fun exercise.

      1. Anonymous

        Actually had a dream about The Hobbling Inn last night. Very medieval, dingy and murky – but at least the beer was cheap!


        1. Mike, they say good writing is when a reader cannot stop thinking about the story – this must be one step further – with your dream about the Hobbling Inn!!😃 I loved the medieval setting and could see a future story for this! Bet you wish you could visit with the beer being so cheap!😃❤️

  13. Oh dear, what a way to start the year Annika! I hope that your ankle is recovering and that you’re not hobbling quite as badly as you were. Still, it was good to read that it had some benefits in bringing a stillness for contemplation. I hadn’t heard of the concept of the 5 year journal but it’s a great idea, I can imagine what a delight it will be to read in 5 years time to look at the patterns and the differences.

    1. Thank you, Andrea I am so much better and barely hobbling at all, although running is still out! 😀 I’m not one to sit still for long so this enforced period of rest has proved very restful and reflective – once I stopped trying to get up and doing! I have wondered what it will be like looking back at the journal in five years and then started to imagine what I would have written in 2012! That alone had my thoughts flying around for ages deep in thought…

    1. Exactly, Kathy and as my default mode with journals is long and rambling this brief one or two sentence version has been quite a challenge in the first few days but one I’m thoroughly enjoying now. Thank you, I’m so much better…however, I still can’t run across the road as I found out when I tried to dash in between traffic today!

  14. Annika, its not wonder that this post has so many kind comments to you – its wonderful!!! So glad your fall wasn’t far worse. Am cheered by how others came forward to help quickly, a sort of metaphor within your carrying gifts…

    1. Daal, thank you so much for you heart-warming comment – this has me smiling and feeling blessed.😀 It’s life reaffirming how difficult events can become a positive element in one’s life…I feel humbled by all the kindness and care shown to me here in response to this post.❤️

  15. Happy New Year Annika and I’m sorry to hear about your fall. I’m glad it wasn’t more serious and that you’re now on the mend.
    I haven’t got a five year journal… but I love the concept and will look out for one.
    I write in a notebook most days. It helps to stop me from going mad!
    Thanks for a great post and a great idea for a writing tool.
    Dorne x

    1. Dorne, you have me smiling with your comment about notebooks helping to keep you sane! Oh, how true and that is the purpose of my long ones which I write in now and then when I need to ‘write’ something/anything or else I’d scream!😀

      As the days go by I’m finding myself ‘addicted’ to this five-year short version, reflecting on events and feelings through the day, considering how I’m living it. To start with I was wondering if it was a gimmick but feel it definitely isn’t – not for me at least! I hope you enjoy it and find it as useful and interesting as I do if you get one. A very Happy New Year to you and wishing you many happy writing moments for 2017! 😀

  16. Happy New Year Annika. So glad you didn’t break anything! Our family are all quite accident prone so this kind of thing is a pretty familiar occurrence. What a lovely idea about the five year journal – something to look back upon and cherish. 🙂

    1. A very Happy New Year to you Marje and hope it is a good one for you! 😀 When my son was young I was very accident prone, lack of sleep no doubt but since then have been relatively free of incidents – although I have a feeling this is about to change! On my first long walk of the year at the weekend I skidded and fell on the ice! The journal is a real treat and you’re right, something I’ll cherish.

  17. Annika, I’m so sorry to hear about your painful injury, but your ability to turn adversity into a gift is truly remarkable. This is a lovely post and a beautiful song contextualized by poignant memories. And I love the idea of the five year journal you describe. A thought-provoking idea! Sending my best wishes to you. ❤

    1. Carol, thank you so much for your thoughtful comment…I hadn’t considered it before but your phrase about turning ‘adversity into a gift ‘ sums it up beautifully. I just didn’t realise initially! The five year journal has turned out to be the perfect gift, quickly becoming so much more than I originally imagined. Warmest wishes to you too.😀❤️

  18. Hi Annika: I am so glad that you broke no bones…though any sort of injury is painful and can linger. I hope your healing continues well. My first reaction to the journal was I have no time’ but then…there is a certain challenge to a one line distillation. I think it could be an interesting and creative project…

    1. Janice, I could see this suiting you perfectly, as a poet you are skilled in being succinct and saying so much with just a few words! I struggled to start with and my handwriting became minuscule in the process. The journal has already become much more than I expected. Thank you, yes I’m healing fast (although never fast enough for impatient me!) and soon I’ll running up and down (not falling!) the stairs.😀

      1. The journal is a perfect project to start when slowed down. I’ve broken bones a few times (and once slipping on ice) and it was one of those times that I checked out the Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron.

        1. Oh no, broken bones are not good – I hope they’ve healed well. Sometimes I do wonder about the ‘body speaks the mind’ and that we just need to stop – however it shouldn’t have to be so drastic!

          The book sounds amazing, very inspiring and I’m taken with the description of the ‘course’ and all the wonderful reviews – one I’ve added to my wish list – I can see this being perfect for my Easter break. Thank you for the recommendation. I have finally had a chance to start a book that’s been on my table since September – Neil Gaiman’s ‘The View from the Cheap Seats’ – brilliant so far!

          1. Yes all have healed well thank you 🙂 That’s one advantage of having to rest — you find yourself doing things you might not have had time for before. Happy to know your recovery is progressing well.

    1. Ah, thank you for your soft words, David. ‘Heal gently’ is the key phrase indeed and I think it’s working well. Happily, no replacement parts needed – this time! 😀 And yes, the stillness has enabled some fun time writing and I’m hoping to post a small piece this Friday.

  19. Oh my goodness!! I am feeling your pain! I am glad you are okay but the ankle does hurt even when sprained or bruised.
    I fell but mine wasn’t twisting my ankle. I fell down three brick steps which had slippery ice on them. Sharp into back bone only 4 days ago. I am grateful that nothing serious happened. At the time I wished I had more padding on my tailbone. . . lost in my fifties an extra 45 lbs which may have helped in falls. 😀 Chuckling a bit to wish for “fat” back.
    I sometimes feel like my blog (which has had at least three “evolutions”) although in my fifth year has measured my growth in depth. I do have journals and yet, usually add quotes from others, occasional writing love or “crush” poetry since I am truly a “hopeful” romantic, Annika.
    Wonder why some feel “hopeless?” and why the word is connected with romance? There is always Hope! xo
    Thanks for your friendship and wonderful observations and we’ll carry on, my friend.

    1. Robin, are you okay?? Now I’m worried about you! That sounds like a real bad fall and landing on bricks is nasty. Poor you, I hope you are recovering – I really feel for you. Oh, I like your phrase ‘hopeful’ romantic and you’re so right why do they say hopeless? Great about your poetry writing and journals are ideal for quotes – my problem is I can’t never find the quote I want at a later date! Here’s to many more evolutions both personally and on the blog! Life never stands still after all. Warmest wishes to you, keep safe! ♥️😀

      1. Oh, a week later and I am so happy to pick up our conversation from the last point we were on, Annika. I see other posts so will make my remarks brief!
        I am fine, thinking having my physical labor job helps my back and my blog “feeds my soul.” Thank you for liking my coined “hopeful romantic” which I wrote a post sometime or other, so that I may get “credit” for what I like to think is a positive spin on the other often used romantic pairing. Hugs to you, dear! xo

  20. Annika, I am so sorry to hear about your fall, but am glad to hear that you are healing and doing better. I thought maybe you were lucky enough to be out on holiday somewhere. Hopefully, you got some really good rest while recovering. I have always liked the idea of journaling, but never do it. I did when I was a teenager, much more than 5 lines of angst at a time, ha ha. Alas, my sister would find it and pull it out and make fun of me, so I destroyed those journals (sure wish I had them now!) Take good care of yourself. xo

    1. Lana, I do like the idea of being out and gallivanting on holiday again, especially somewhere warm but not yet! With everything going on and school holidays my intended two week blogging break became a month and blimey, how quick that sped by! Sometimes I look through my teenage diaries and squirm at the internal anguish and sadness…really I know my life wasn’t that bad -I reckon it was good for the soul to write it out! Oh no, I feel for you about your sister finding your journals and teasing you and then you having to destroy them; that is severe. Is that when you stopped writing journals? Ever tempted to pick up again? Happy 2017!

      1. Oh I wish you could have been out having fun, but in looking at the detail of the fall and what all could have happened, I would say you are pretty lucky. It is absolutely insane how quickly time flies. I also had some lofty goals for my 2 week break and didn’t accomplish. The summer seems to go the same way. Maybe we put too much on our agendas. I guess after abandoning journaling in my teens, I did get out of the habit. It would probably be a good thing to pick up again but might be hard with blogging. I can kinda go back reading my earlier blogs and get a sense of what was happening in my life at that time. Happy 2017 and happy writing!

        1. I have actually done that, re-reading some of my older posts and I like the idea that these can be a default journal! It’s two years since I started my blog and the time has flown by once again!

  21. Oh Annika, I’m sorry to learn of your horrible fall. I do hope it was a sign of ridding 2016 out with a bang! And I love the idea of the 5 year journal, great concept to be able to go back each year and see what developed. I do hope you’re on the mend. ❤

    1. Debby, I couldn’t help but smile at your comment and wonder if there might not be some truth in it! Of ridding 2016 with a bang – it almost seems so, doesn’t it? Although I’m thankful for every day and for the life I have and ones around me, this year has had it fair amount of downs and sadness. I’m nearly fully better with just some more healing before totally pain-free. As for the journal, this is an interesting long-term project and I’m already beginning to wonder what today’s entry will be…

  22. I hope you’ve recovered from your fall. The idea of a 5 year diary sounds great as does writing only one sentence for each day! 🙂 And that must have been quite a teacher to have made such an impact on you! Happy 2017, Annika.

    1. The teacher was the one who taught me my love of writing, his encouragement was phenomenal – kind but critical where needed at a time when children’s efforts, whatever the standard, was routinely lauded. He taught us to think creatively, freely away from the rigid rules of supposed right and wrong. Fighting the system he managed to get permission for us to go on day hikes across the moors, notebooks in hand, writing breaks throughout the day followed by writing up and edits in class.

      Thank you so for your comment and I’m all on the mend, thank you Carol. Hope you’re having a good start to the New Year. ♥️😀

  23. Hope you’re back in tip-top shape, Annika! I’ve kept a journal for seven years now. Each December, I select a new one for the New Year. The 5-year Journal sounds wonderful for capturing nutshell glimpses each day. I write my menu, prayer list, thanksgiving and insightful thoughts for the day, some of which become poems. Reading, writing and music… How they keep us inspired. Have a wonderful time capturing the magic moments! ❤

    1. Thank you, Bette, I’m just about getting there! 😀😀 I love the sound of your journals, a new one for each year and can sense the anticipation of choosing that particular one. Also what a wonderful eclectic mix of writing to put into it and fantastic it can bring forth inspiration for poems. My journaling has been stop /start since childhood so I’m keeping my fingers crossed with this one – a few sentences a day and like you say so eloquently, in a nutshell! I like that! The morning hasn’t even broken yet and already I’m wondering what my lines will be for today…

  24. I figured we would hear about your “injury” and I’m glad it was only a sprained ankle versus a back injury or bashed in head! Small blessings, right? And it sounds like you used the time wisely. I love the journal, Annika and could definitely see getting one for myself. I’ve thought of starting a memory jar, or thankfulness jar along the same lines, but for a writer, a book sounds all the better. A lovely post, my friend. I hope your hobbling is done and you’re feeling ready for the new year 😀 ❤

    1. Diana, you figured right! 😀😀Seriously I am so glad it wasn’t worse and I think my glass of milk a day is paying off as I didn’t break anything. I wondered whether to write about it at all but then the first sentence came to me and the rest of the post wrote itself! I like the sound of a memory/thankfulness jar but I’m not sure I would keep that up – a journal is so natural somehow. However the idea of thankfulness is something to consider just as Jill’s five year journal is based on Happiness project! Hmm…contemplating…

  25. mrszee333

    Five lines a day sounds do-able. This reminds me of a journal I once bought my son – It was for people who were too busy to keep a journal. Each day suggested options, the journalist merely ticked the boxes. Some of the options were hilarious. It was a bit of a novelty item of course and not really a journal but sure made us laugh.

    1. This had me laughing! 😀😀 A tick the box journal, hw of brilliant! I could see this being a hit with my son who just rolls his eyes at my love of journaling, although this briefer version did hold his interest. A sentence or two seems just perfectly possible, I say with fingers crossed! At first I wrote so tiny as I hoped to squeeze more into the small space but then realised this is not the intention at all!

      1. mrszee333

        Ha, ha. That is the first thing I thought when I saw the space your 5yr journal allowed – write small. No. I can see the benefits to ones wordsmithing tho. Training to say more in less. Great tool.

  26. Well, Annika, I’m glad your back but I’m sorry about your accident and hope you’re feeling better.

    I’m intrigued about the Five Year Journal. To keep your entries at one or two lines a day? I’m thinking it might prove to be more informative and honest than a regular journal just because you’re limited to just a few lines.

    I love the quote, especially the line, “rid ourselves of ourselves”, how true is that. And the song is lovely. I do hope your feeling better… jc

    1. The concise nature of the journal is brilliant at focusing my attention and reflection on each day and yes, in the process probably becomes more honest than my regular outpourings – I can imagine it will be very interesting in time. Do you keep a journal of any sort I wonder?

      So glad you like the quote, quite sobering and profound I feel and the song is from the heart, timeless.

      Oh, I’m so much better, thank you and only some residual pain on certain movements but still taking it easy in between.

      1. I use to keep a journal but didn’t contiue as my th

        I use to keep a journal but stopped. Didn’t have enough time when I was younger. What I like about this, as you wrote, it forces attention on the day and what mattered on that day. Its almost like the old adage, One day at a time… it will be interesting to go back and re-read these thoughts of each day.

  27. delphini510

    Poor you Annika, I can feel all the thoughts chasing so fast through your mind….and that of your family and friends. Terrified I would think.
    At least you had a wonderful celebration before the Soap drama:) event. So glad you are better; do mind though and give time for healing.

    The Five Year Diary sounds fascinating, with so many thoughts spinning and events – to chose two sentences. What a challenge and how clarifying.

    I have saved the quote by Roxana , absolutely beautiful and true.
    Knew and loved that song before. Sad that it was such a loss that made it stay with you.

    Now, welcome back but go steady.

    1. I promise you, Mirja, I’m going very steady indeed! 😀 Nothing like pain to ensure I’m keeping safe and slow! Oh, everyone was very worried indeed particularly as it looked to them as I could have hit my head on the wall which was so close by.

      Clarifying, I like that choice of word and very apt indeed and definitely not easy for me to write so briefly and succinctly – slowly learning though and rising to the challenge! You could try one!😀

      I came across the quote whilst reading and this one spoke directly to my heart as I’ve been thinking a lot about writing, its role in my life and its overall purpose; so glad you like it too and of course so relevant to many of the arts.

  28. So sorry for the fall, Annika. Sprained ankles are no fun. I was in the middle of a 180 mile back trip last time I had one. As for the journal, it sound intriguing for its short entries. I suspect it would force you to think about the most significant events of your day. I journal daily and have been for 17 years. It is always fun to go on trips down memory lane and read old entries. -Curt

    1. Curt, I wish the cause of my sprained ankle had been the result of doing such a big trip instead of the more mundane stair trip! This was so unlike me and felt rather silly. Yeah to 17 years journaling!! I’ve kept them on and off over the years but this time I’m aiming for five consecutive years – with only a sentence or so a day I should keep to this commitment! 😀

      1. Possibly you should be happy you were at home, Annika. I then got to hobble along on it for another 80 miles including up and over the 14,000-foot Mt. Whitney. 🙂
        Five years is good! My journaling has become such an engrained habit, it is hard to imagine a day without it. Curt

        1. How did you manage that, Curt? Needs must and will-power no doubt but your poor foot, the pain must have been horrendous. Lots of gritting teeth…I bet you didn’t dare take your boot off until you were back. I could barely walk the few metres to the bedroom!!

          1. I think my foot just decided, “Crap, he isn’t going to stop. I may as well get over it.” 🙂 The first couple of days I had to walk flat footed, not easy when you are climbing up a steep path! –Curt

        2. Okay,Curt, now I am seriously impressed after reading up on Mt. Whitney. Wow, that is high (I had to translate into metres!) – three and a half times higher than the biggest mountain in GB which is Ben Nevis in Scotland at just over 4,000ft. Don’t know how you managed that.

          1. My foot didn’t bother me that much when I reached it, given that I had already backpacked on it for 80 miles. Also, much of the southern Sierra is high, so your body adapts to the altitude. –Curt

  29. Hi Annika – so sorry to hear about your fall but glad you are nearly mended. I fell off a scooter a few years ago (going down our driveway like a crazy fool) and it happened so fast. Fortunately I didn’t break anything but was pretty banged up. What a flash of thought while it happened! Happy writing!

    1. Oh no, coming off a scooter sounds so much more dangerous and very painful. The shock afterwards must have been tremendous – I found it bad enough just with this fall. I’m glad at least you didn’t break anything but the bruising can be bad enough. Isn’t it odd how these things happen so fast but also seem so slow in flashbacks? Yep, I’m enjoying writing just for fun and also got a couple of smaller projects underway.

  30. Ouch! Sounds like a painful way to start Christmas, but I’m glad you’ve recovered and that the fall at least gave you some peace. The Five Year Journal is a great idea! Never heard of it before; I’ll definitely have to check it out. Thanks for sharing! Happy New Year! 🙂

    1. A very painful and dramatic end to a very special evening – which we celebrate on Christmas Eve so after that a bit of ‘down-time’ anyway. I’d read about the journal before but was a bit unsure how I’d like it but after just two weeks I can highly recommend it. There are many which you can start whenever during the year so they can be picked up anytime. Hope you get a chance to find one and do let me know how you get on. Happy New Year to you too! 😀

  31. Annika, I’m so happy I “stumbled” upon your writing. I’m anxious to get to know you better.
    So sorry to hear of your fall into the new year! Seems it’s forced you to slow down physically, but what you offer by way of thoughts, insights and writing is our gain! Be well!
    Wishing you the very best, and I look forward to further posts! 😊✍🏼️

    1. Haha! I like that, Julia, ‘stumble’ on my blog – how apt and just my kind of humour! 😀The fall has definitely affected me, all for the positive although my mother when first reading the post had to laugh and remind me that this calmness was not there the first couple of days! Thank you for your comment and well wishes and I look forward to your new posts too.😀

  32. I hope you’re feeling better, and I love that you see the rainbow behind the fall. I bet you’re fun to be around.

    BTW, that song is amazing. Again. You’ve posted several that I will never forget.

    1. Jacqui, I have to giggle at the ‘fun to be around’ as I’m sure the first few days I was anything but!! After that I just accepted fate, sat back and actually enjoyed the enforced stillness and had a lot of laughs since. So glad you like the song, this one is very special and dear to me.

  33. Oh, man. At least you didn’t whack your head on the wall or bugger up your back. Get better soon–it’s nice to slow down for a bit, but I always find I get restless after a few days. That journal sounds like fun. I’ve done sporadic journaling, and I’ve gone back to read the entries, some of which just remind me how down I felt then. I haven’t journaled for a while, but that five-year one sounds like an easy way to do it every day.

    Get better soon! Spring’s coming around and so is garden time 😀

    1. Oh, Julie, I think I must be one of the most impatient people around so the first few days of not being able to move was infuriating and I’m sure I drove everyone around me nuts! Then I realised this couldn’t go on and calmed down…the peace just kept filtering into me and so relaxing not charging around doing everything.

      Why are older journals so full of despair…or are they all like that? I have two drawers full of old diaries which I used to look through but have stopped since they were just too depressing. I’m trying to work out what to do with them…

      Winter has just arrived in the UK with a dusting of snow which of course brought the country to a stand-still…the first real cold we’ve had but it looks so pretty!

    1. I’d read about them last year but must say that I haven’t seen them before, surprising since they’ve been about for over fifteen years! I’m enjoying it so far and quickly learning to be brief – not my forte! The ankle is nearly completely well, thank you!

  34. I love the format of this journal, Annika. I’ve written about mine on my blog, and I just started my third year. No matter how busy life gets, I haven’t missed a day since.
    Taking a tumble is always frightening; I’m happy to hear you’re okay.
    Happy New Year!

    1. Jill, I wonder if you wrote about the journal before I met you? I’d love to read your post about it if you can easily find the link. Yeah, I’m so glad you have found the journal such a positive experience and hearing that I’m even more sure I can keep it up. What’s it like looking back across the three years?

      The fall was actually quite a shock, so unlike me and also I felt so silly! All so much better now…in so many ways!

        1. Thank you for the links, Jill and they work fine. Of course, I remember the second one now – especially with it ending with your book contract!!😀😃 The emphasis is different with your journal as it is a ‘Happiness Project’, a concept I really like and may turn mine into that by default!

          1. You’re welcome. I’m happy they worked for you. I would have never remembered the dates of those events if I hadn’t recorded them. The fact that the journal makes me stop and think of at least one thing that made me happy that day, reminds me that even on the worst day, there’s something to be grateful for. Enjoy yours! I’ll expect an update next year. 🙂

  35. Oh glad you’ve recovered from your fall, Anikka. ‘Celebrations’ and ‘slippery steps’ fill in the blanks nicely”. 😉
    Are you familiar with Jake Thackray? I’d like to think he’s the patron saint of Yorkshire. A friend and contemporary of Ralph, I think; he left us all too soon one Christmas Eve, over a decade ago.
    I don’t keep any type of diary and am not confident I have the discipline to write even a line a day but I can see the delights of maintaining such a thing and your fine post has given me something to think about. 🙂

    1. Phil, I had vaguely heard of Jake Thackray but as usual the internet kindly filled in some gaps – his songs stories in their own right and down to earth, about the ‘normal’. I didn’t know much about Ralph McTell either reading up on his life this morning. Thank you so much for your comment and glad it’s got you thinking…that’s always a good sign and reaction to my post!😀

  36. The Poetry Channel

    I just started a journal again after many years. It will be interesting to look back and see thoughts, feelings. I never looked back, but threw them away after a while.
    Love the quote about attention and radical empathy.
    As for the fall and reflection on your 1st loss, ouch. But good that they provide perspective.
    Happy New Year, Annika.

    1. Michael, I find that one tends to flow in and out of keeping journals although this is one I hope to stick to…the idea of looking across the same day over five years is just too tempting. Did you literally throw out your old journals? How did that feel? I have so many going back since childhood and am not sure whether to keep them or not.

      The unexpected has a habit of bringing a new perspective into one’s life – whether it’s for worse or better.

      1. The Poetry Channel

        Literally deleted them every one. I never looked at them and didn’t feel the need to. I think I journal more for catharsis and introspection. Also because it’s a catalyst for writing my poetry and short stories. Sometimes a turn of a phrase (thought) spurs some of my favorite writing if not my best.
        I have never been sentimental about the past, don’t have pictures from childhood. I remember what’s important and sometimes a little too well. It finds its way into the writing as it does for.most of us.
        I agree about the unexpected.
        Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn. ~ William Nicholson

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