Thursday, March 6, 2014

Journal Day #3

They say hindsight is 20/20, and with good reason- looking back at something always gives us a better view. We're often able to really see how our choices and decisions then shaped our today, and examine what we would have done differently given the chance. When looking back though, we often look way back, but for this exercise stay a little closer to present time and look back just 12 months. If you could go back just one year, what would you tell yourself? What advice would you offer about everything you've experienced?

photo by Amy of Homespun Creative

This past year has been the best year of my life so far. Kind of a big statement, but I mean it wholeheartedly. You know when you feel like everything is just kind of clicking into place? That's right now for me. I think the biggest part of it is being surrounded by a great support system- there's so much love in my life and I would credit that to this overwhelming feeling that all is well. But however good that feels there was a road to get here, and that's the part I look back on over this past year and see where I could have done things differently or made things easier on myself. More than anything I'd gently remind myself that people worth having in your life should bring out the best in you- not bring negativity or leave you feeling sad. Sometimes in my quest to see the good in everything and everyone I gloss over red flags that might be obvious to other people. And even if I could go back and tell myself to keep a healthy distance, perhaps it was good to finally learn it through the doing and the realizing of it all.

There are other things too, that I would tell my one-year-ago-self. Even though I was very aware of its quick passing, I would slow down even more during those first 6 months of Charlie's life. I'd make us stay in for days at a time, hunkered down under blankets, ignoring all clocks, until I felt like we'd really stopped time for a moment. I'd tell myself to hug my Grandma a little tighter, and make those videos of her talking about growing up in New York I'd always wanted to. I wouldn't know it then, but when Nanny would pass away last summer there would be parts of me that regretted that very deeply. When I think about other areas of life though, over the past year I can see so much growth. In years past I might have wanted to go back and tell myself to work harder, be healthier, but it feels good to say that for the most part I did my best.

I think it's good that I don't feel too much of a pull to change this or that. The biggest thing of all would just be to slow down more and enjoy the now. But I think that might be the theme of every year for me. Life has a way of speeding up, and no matter what I do, and the older I get the faster it goes. There's that saying- "the days are long but the years are short-" and that's exactly how I feel. Sometimes the days drag on, and I'm wishing for 5:30 to come around and for Hank to get home and help. But then I blink and it's the weekend. And a new month. And another year.

So if I could tell myself just one thing over the past year it would be to focus even more on this little bubble I'm in- hold my family even tighter. Cherish the everyday moments more than I already do and remember to take some deep breaths every now and again too.

So, that's my response. How about yours? If you'd like, leave an excerpt from your response below, along with a link to your post. I can't wait to read it.

Read more about my Journal Day project here
Read previous Journal Days here.


  1. My post is very much in the same vein as Danielle's. I have a 4 1/2 month old son, but it wasn't easy getting and staying pregnant. I want to treasure every day I have with him. Read my complete post here:

  2. "Okay, so losing your mom at 15 totally sucks. And at the time you think about the proms she will miss, the first kisses she wont be around for, but what you don’t think about is the fact that she still wont be around when you’re 23 and scared to move in with your boyfriend or unsure of what job to take and she still wont be around when you’re 32, and 41, and 53. She’s gone forever and that’s a tough pill to swallow. It means that you will miss your mom every single day for (hopefully) over 60 years and that totally blows."

  3. I totally agree with you about time going by too fast. One of my goals for the new year is to live in the moment more and savor what I have now before it's gone.

    I took this opportunity to write out some advice for new moms because 12 months ago I was very much pregnant with my daughter and there are some things I wish someone had told me about.

    "Looking back, there are so many things I wish I would have known. There is so much advice I wished someone had told me. If there are any soon-to-be new mamas out there, this list is for you."

    Here is the link if you would like to read the whole post:


  4. This week was difficult for me, for some reason...but I managed to get something out...

    "Learn to love this season of your life. Love the time with Joe. Love the craziness of the business. Love the freedom and easiness"

  5. My post is similar to yours, Danielle. I wouldn't change much at all. But it was therapeutic to look back and come to the realization that things have been pretty great!
    So, I guess most of all I would say "relax, because you're doing a great job and its only going to get better from here." Come to think of it, I should probably tell myself that more often...

    Marissa of

  6. This project is so refreshing to me - thanks so much for taking the lead! Similar to some other gals, I reflected on the journey from being just me to being a mom. It's an incredible ride, worthy of much reflection.

    "I’ve written before that I could sum up 2013 with the words so much. So much love, so much joy, so much exhaustion, excitement, tears, adventure, learning. So much. To date, I cannot think of any other way to describe it. I think it might forever be the year of so much."

  7. In my response, I did a few different categories that I would give myself advice about, but here is my advice on motherhood:
    "If you need to go to the bathroom or make some toast for yourself, baby can wait. Use your judgment to tell when baby needs you right away and when you can finish what you’re doing in peace first.

    Watch him play as if you’re a fly on the wall. Observe him learning and discovering, and help him when he needs it. It will make you smile when he figures it out or does something silly.

    Be relaxed and he will be too"

    Emma Bauso

  8. I turned 26 on Tuesday and had been planning on writing a reflection post of sorts anyway, so the timing of your prompt was perfect! Thanks again for heading up this wonderful project, and for sharing your words with us, too :) Here's an excerpt from my post:

    "One year ago today, I turned 25 years old... Turning 25 felt pretty momentous to me at the time. I felt like there was so much potential, yet at the same time, so much that was still uncertain.

    If I could go back in time to my 25 year old self, I'd tell her to be patient just a little bit longer.

    Because as it turned out, 25 ended up being a pretty big year."

  9. Participating in Journal Day was a big reason that convinced me to create a blog!

    This wasn't quite the topic I had imagined responding to, but it was great for me to reflect on a really big year and think about what I would tell myself for the coming year as well.

  10. I feel very similarly about my past year. I'm so happy for you that things are clicking into place - such an incredible blessing!

    "This past year has felt like a big one. I've echoed this statement so often on this blog that I'm second guessing myself now as I say it, thinking everyone's tired of hearing about this year. Here I am, believing wholeheartedly in the truth behind it, though.

    Guys, this year."

  11. I'm too experiencing this feeling of the hours and days that never seems to grow only to realize that an entire month escaped from my hands without even have noticed ... "In the last 12 months there have been two major events in the our life as a family, one consequence of the other: we have engaged in a new adoption and we sold our house to buy a bigger one "... if you want to continue reading

  12. Mine is brief but it's here: Last year had some real highs and real lows, but I wouldn't go back and change it - it was all part of the adventure.

  13. "Run the course. That's what I would tell my one-year-ago self. Your goals are attainable. Just keep moving forward and eventually, you will get there."

  14. Beautiful picture! Its nice that you have such wonderful memories.

  15. Oh gosh. If I could tell last year self one thing, it would be "slow down". It's sometimes such a hard thing to do, but actually doing it makes a world of difference.

  16. Very nearly didn't do this one, until I settled down to write in the last page of my current diary only to realise that I started the diary nearly exactly a year ago. Felt like a sign to go ahead!

  17. "If I could go back one year, I would say to myself: do not put off to tomorrow what you could do today."

    I loved this prompt and I've loved everyone's responses. Find the rest of mine at

  18. Love these journal days so much! I had a few things to tell myself...

  19. "Obviously, I wasn’t clear of the rules for this game. It seemed the difference between winning and losing it all was divided by a very thin line. A game she invented to test my comfort level of this whole parenting thing, I assume. A game illustrating that parenting is about letting go, but still being there to catch them when they fall."

    This post isn't about something that happened a year ago, but rather something that happened last year. That counts, right? Regardless, this moment changed my view of fatherhood and my approach to parenting and, well, it changed my life.

    Read the full post here:

    I love these journal entry posts of yours.


  20. Really love how these journal prompts make me think!

    "Without a doubt, hindsight is 20/20, and I know looking back there are plenty of things that I would do differently, but as I’ve grown older, I’ve tried to not focus so much on what would have happened if I would have made a different decision. Everything that has happened has made me who I am today, including both good and bad decisions, and it sends my head into dizzying circles thinking about what would be different if I hadn’t done one thing or another."

  21. This prompt has been my favourite so far!

    " year ago, I was not the woman I am today. I was drained, I was scared, and I was unhappy. I would tell year ago me to not be afraid of making changes... and to do exactly what I did! Make all the same choices, think on all of the same things. I do not believe in regret, but I believe in continually making changes. You have taken the path you are on and their is no going back - good or bad. If it's bad... keep making changes until you feel good about the path you are on."

  22. My life was crazy a year ago. It created some change in me, which is good...

  23. I definitely agree with you that's it's such a good thing when you can reflect back and not see much that you'd change :) Here's a bit from my post:

    "Continue to let that feeling guide you. Be around the people who ignite your spirit. Do the things that ignite your happiness. Serve the people who ignite your purpose. Live in the place that ignites your soul. Never settle. No matter how hard it can be sometimes, you know how your heart wants to live. Follow that."

  24. Great prompt, I had a hard time writing this. Here's a bit from my post: "This is a tough one for me, because I'm so tough on me. I have really wasted my time in some respects." Read the rest:


  25. I love this journal series because it gets me to write and think even when I'm not feeling especially pulled to do so. This is an entry about my year since graduating from college:

  26. beautiful post, lady. I really, really connect with trying to slow down, and "the days are long but the years are short" saying. I recently read this blog post and it made me cry and kind of promise myself (even more) to take it one day at a time, and to really try to savor it all.

  27. I'm terribly late to this journal prompt, but I just posted mine. I feel it's a good one.

  28. I forgot to come back and post my link...OOPS

  29. I'm behind with the prompts, but it felt so good to type this post out. Thanks for the great series!

  30. Sorry, I am so behind. I hope you enjoy.
    "I have always wished and hoped to go back in time, give my younger self some piece of advice, help little me out, help little me realize certain things. Wishing to go back in time has been something that I have been trying really hard to stop doing. You can't go back in time, you can't change things. I have always been one to think about what I COULD have done, and sometimes it left me depressed. That is not healthy. However, to glance back at times that have past, with educational purposes, now I think that is necessary. To learn from yourself, realize the things that you still need to work on, understand how much you have changed. To educate, not to mourn."

  31. Still trying to get caught up, here's #3 from me!

  32. {i'm always late for everything. so here i am almost a month later...}

    "As much as it seems like a curse sometimes, not knowing the future is a pretty fantastic blessing. So, if I could go back in time just one year, I'd probably say to myself, "I'm not even going to give you a hint about where you'll be this time next year. You'll see. Till then, don't waste any time or opportunities."

    And probably, Me Next Year would say the same thing to Me Now."

  33. I just found your blog through Camp Patton and when I saw this prompt I knew I wanted to share...because I recently wrote a post about what I would tell myself a year ago about this year.

    Here is my post:


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