Tuesday, August 25, 2009

A decade of living

Our 35th wedding anniversary was yesterday, and for a splurge, we bought ourselves a 10-year journal. The whole idea intrigued me - here in front of me, pages ready for information, is a book that will detail the next 10 years of our life together.

Each page has one date, for example, January 1, and four lines for 2009, four lines for 2010, all the way up through 2019. The next page has the same layout for January 2, and so on. Of course,we’ll be starting 2009 in the middle of the year, but that’s OK. I’m planning on recording the highlights of each day; Ed wants to record the temperatures and weather conditions. It will be fun to take one date, say, August 24, and see what we did on that date through all ten years.

The journal also has a section with blank undated but numbered pages for extra room if the requisite four lines are not enough to record a special day. Each dated page has a little blank where we can write the page number to turn to for the “overflow.”

Also the journal has a special section for our medical and car upkeep. There is a page for each year, 40 or so lines, one column for medical, one column for our car. We can write down our doctor appointments, lab tests, etc., in the first column, and car repairs, registration records, etc., in the second column.

My dad was a big record-keeper. He could show you the record of a utility bill that was decades old. He could tell you what he spent on a family vacation 20 years before. I really like the idea of being able to look back on things like that.

As I opened the new journal yesterday and discovered what it had to offer, my mind just took off. Ten years! In ten years, this book will be filled with all our activities, our joys and sorrows, births and deaths, quilts/clothes I’ve made, trips, weather, books we’ve read - you name it. The future is a mystery, for sure, but this we can assume: In ten years, Caroline will be learning to drive, and Charlotte will turn into a teenager! I will be able, should I take that option, to apply for Social Security! Rachel will be in her 40s, and Matt in his late 30s, Ed in his (gulp) 70s! What will our house look like? Will we have painted inside by then? Will we finally have grass? Will we have given up and purchased a snow blower? Will I have finished Matt and Sarah’s quilt? Will we have a new grandchild in the family? What will technology look like - the technology that changes almost every day? What inventions will be the norm that we’ve never dreamed of? Will there still be newspapers? Who will be president of the USA? Will we still be in Iraq and Afghanistan? How many digital pictures will I have on my computer (since I have over 20,000 today)? Will there even be digital pictures, or will some other technology for photographs appear? How will our health be? How much will gasoline cost? Will researchers have made great strides in curing cancer and other diseases? Will I still be blogging?

Of course, after all these questions went through my head, I realized that I was sounding like soap opera teasers: "Will Debbie marry Bill? Will Amanda find her son she abandoned years ago? Will Stanley recover his vision? Will Ramona awake from her coma?"

Well, we have plenty of time to find out where our personal soap opera goes, and we will diligently write it down as the future unfolds. Stay tuned!


MissEllen said...

Congrats. I do so enjoy your writing. You have such talent. Every time I visit your blog I feel like one does when visiting a great restaurant that no one has discovered yet. On the one hand, you want to tell everyone about it, and on the other hand, you don't want to give up your fabulous secret!

Carol Tiffin James said...

Thank you so much, Ellen!


Cuidado said...

I love your journal idea. It will be so interesting each year when you look back at that day and then have the opporunity to do this ten times will be really telling.

There's a book in our family that has been passed down where births, deaths, planting times, big storms, and world events are written. It will be donated to the Universite de Moncton some day in their Acadian Studies program.

Carol Tiffin James said...

What a wonderful treasure to have in the family!