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Do you keep a diary?

(78 Posts)
Grammaretto Thu 13-Feb-20 08:51:41

I ask because I am impressed by the way some of you can recall the precise date when you first met your partner, or moved house and so on.
I lose track easily and am often trying to remember holidays, which year we went to so and so or that person's name. It gets harder to remember as the years are added.

I do keep all my old date-a -day desk/wall diaries which say that the repair man was due or a dentist appointment. (not very interesting for our descendants)

I can remember all the birthdays without looking them up but will I always?

gillybob Thu 13-Feb-20 08:56:00

I keep a little diary in my bag, mainly for appointments etc. And I have a wall calendar where I also note appointments (DH has a lot of them) as they come in. I also have a desk diary that I carry to and from work to keep track of everything there .
I don’t keep a proper diary full of thoughts though. I can never remember dates of when we did this or that .

M0nica Thu 13-Feb-20 09:01:12

No, I do not keep a diary, but I do have a very good memory, which is generally acknowledged, although that sometimes doesn't remember events that others do, or needs a good kick to remember them.

I am also helped in placing when and where things happened by placing things in context. Having had a preipatetic childhood, I date events by where I was living at the time. the longest I lived anywhere as a child was 3 years and the average from 1 -21 was one year.

After that when I began to stay longer at each address, there are whether I had children/how old they were/were they married/where they lived.

I remember birthdays, anniversaries etc etc, with one exception, I very quickly (weeks/months) forget the precise date someone died on. My father died mid November, my mother early July, closest friend late February. I know the year and the month, but exact date - no.

BlueSky Thu 13-Feb-20 09:02:36

Since I remarried 24 years ago I've kept a desk diary with the main purchases, holidays, important medical check ups etc. It's interesting to refer back on 'when did we buy that and where did we go on holiday' and so on!

Chestnut Thu 13-Feb-20 09:28:19

I have a box full of little pocket diaries because ever since 1968 I have kept a pocket diary with brief details for that day. That means I can check the date something happened any time in the last 50 years! 📚📚📚📚

NfkDumpling Thu 13-Feb-20 09:30:59

I decided to keep a proper what actually happened that day diary when my dad and I started to have real problems getting help from Social Services and it quickly developed into my daily rant. A way to let of steam and get my head around my emotions. I continued it after he died to keep track of the same problems with my mum and Social Services.

After her death it morphed into more of a journal which I write up two or three times a week. My memory has never been good and is getting worse so I find it very useful. I haven’t yet read back those early years.

Urmstongran Thu 13-Feb-20 10:10:36

I have written in my diary since our youngest daughter was 11y and in her last year at junior school. She’s 40y this year and a teacher at that very school.

So 30y of diaries (well January next year).

What to do with them all haha! Read them one last time and throw them away? See what all my worries had been over the years? Leave them for the girls to find eventually? Something for me to ponder on.

Calendargirl Thu 13-Feb-20 10:14:52

I was given a five year diary when I was 10 years old, and have written in it and subsequent ones for the last 56 years on a daily basis! My mum always bought me a new one when the old one ran out, and since she died DS buys it for me now. Hardly the stuff of Samuel Pepys, usually weather, meals, moans about work, but if I ever get the old ones out, am amazed at what I thought about things. Very useful for settling arguments about various happenings, but you do need a rough idea of time spans or you can be searching through months and months.
DH asked me what I will do with them eventually, as there are certain things that are private just to me, so I don’t really know.

Grammaretto Thu 13-Feb-20 10:24:03

Chestnut I did that too with the pocket diaries but as life got busier I wrote just the briefest notes. One says "baby boy born 1 am" for example!

NfkDumpling your journal is a wonderful thing to keep. - and let off steam. My DF wrote a journal and after he died (very young) we treasured it. His handwriting was difficult to read but when my DB was about 40 he transcribed dad's diaries and wrote a book based on them which is another treasure. He got to know his dad through the diaries as he had been a few weeks old when DF died.

Others in the family - some of my GP and GGP wrote diaries too so we have a wealth of genealogical knowledge. Oh to have inherited that gene.

Grammaretto Thu 13-Feb-20 10:34:02

Urmstongran occasionally (when tidying) I find the pile of diaries and take a quick look. Mostly the same worries, appointments etc but I wonder now why I worried. Hindsight is a great thing.

Maybe I should begin again and write my feelings down as I did when I was a teenager.

There's a clue in your name Calendargirl grin
Don't censor them. DH's gran tore out pages so when her DGD tried to piece together her history the best bits were missing!. Does it matter who sees what after we've gone?

ginny Thu 13-Feb-20 11:53:22

Always had a diary for appointments and arrangements. Last year I decided to write a little bit each evening about my day and what had happened. Sometimes I also writ about a particular incident that has pleased me or upset me. Occasionally comment on the ‘news’. It’s become a habit now. I’m not bothered about anyone being upset or annoyed if I have written something

ginny Thu 13-Feb-20 11:55:19

Oh flippin’ heck! I have finger wobble today as posted too soon.
...about them. They shouldn’t be reading a private diary anyway.

Grammaretto Thu 13-Feb-20 15:00:34

Can't they read it after you are dead? ginny?

Chestnut Thu 13-Feb-20 16:04:23

Apart from my 50 plus years of pocket diaries there was one from 1965 when I was 15 years old. It is crammed full of details about all the boys I had crushes on! Hilarious.
"Saw Robert after school. He makes me swoon"
"Chris took me home after the Youth Club. He's gorgeous"
"We saw two dreamy looking boys at the chip shop"
And so on.... 😄

Septimia Thu 13-Feb-20 16:15:49

I kept a diary in my teens, but hven't kept one regularly since I got married.

I do keep a holiday diary, though. I started in the days when cameras didn't record dates etc, so that I would be able to work out what the photos were of. Now the intention is to match the digital photos to the diary and to make a book (to entertain us when we're too decrepit to travel). The only trouble is that it's such a tedious job I'm several years behind.

SueDonim Thu 13-Feb-20 16:25:09

I don’t keep a diary but recently discovered that a friend has done so for years. She writes a daily line in a five-year diary each morning and after she has done so, she reads out to her husband what they had done in the previous years. I thought that was lovely, though she said it was very hard to read last year, approaching the anniversary of the death of one of their children and how ill she was. sad

pensionpat Thu 13-Feb-20 16:29:54

I started a diary in a notebook with a bright pink cover when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I wrote who I told about it, theirs and my feelings, and Planned treatment. There were daily entries to start with, particularly about my feelings. As my treatment progressed successfully, the time between entries lengthened as I didn’t need it. When I was fully recovered I put the final entry. And that is when I cried.

ginny Thu 13-Feb-20 16:36:11

Grammeretto, personally I would not read anyone’s diary ( unless it had been published) even if they were dead. I doubt I will ever write any thing nasty about anyone unless they really deserved it. 😈

watermeadow Thu 13-Feb-20 19:22:00

I kept a daily diary from age 13 to 24 then, married and busy having children, I left off until I was 52.
I’ve kept it up ever since, a daily record of happenings, thoughts, feelings. Nobody will want to read them, my life has been very humdrum.
I’m a compulsive writer and have also written poetry and fiction all of my life.

SalsaQueen Thu 13-Feb-20 19:23:34

I've never kept a diary. I remember all family birthdays, and dates of when my parents were born, married and died.

dahlia Thu 13-Feb-20 19:30:36

I found a 5 year diary covering the year my son (now 47) was born, and it was both interesting and amusing to read about my younger self, who is still inside me somewhere! I have kept a diary now for the last six years; sometimes the entries are weekly, often daily. It's so handy to refer to, and as others have said, emphasises the relative importance of things which seemed so crucial at the time. I have my Mum's old diaries, but these mainly refer to "Had fish and chips for tea"! smile

Harris27 Thu 13-Feb-20 19:36:38

I keep a diary for birthdays and special appointments wouldn’t remember if I didn’t!

Grammaretto Thu 13-Feb-20 22:29:45

If nobody read other peoples diaries even after they were dead, Ginny, we would have missed much. The diaries of Captain Robert Scott (his expedition to the South Pole) the war diary of the poet Siegfried Sassoon, Anne Frank, Samuel Pepys and so on.

The diary is subjective, written from the point of view of the writer and selective but even so, it has an intimacy which is lost by editing and publishing.

Charleygirl5 Thu 13-Feb-20 22:37:51

I kept a diary when I was a teenager, my mother read it and tore it up. I think what made her furious was I had written a blow by blow account of my first period! Since then I have only kept a diary for appointments.

Bellanonna Thu 13-Feb-20 23:00:17

That’s quite sad Charleygirl. ☹️ Attitudes were very different in those days, weren’t they?
My diary is just for appointments these days.