Ten Bests of the Day

This blog is inspired by a history of journaling, a tradition of lists, and a conversation with a dear friend.
"May you live every day of your life." - Jonathan Swift

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The concept

This blog is meant to be a companion to my original SnoutBeagle blog. As mentioned in the header, it is inspired by a history of journaling, a tradition of lists, and a conversation with a dear friend.

The Conversation
I was having lunch with a good friend the other day when she mentioned the sweater she was wearing made her list that day. I knew for some time that she keeps a daily list of things she's grateful for. It's always struck me as such a simple and positive thing to do to keep things in perspective. That particular day I must have had blogging on my mind because it suddenly seemed to me that a blog specifically for the purpose of keeping such a list might be a nice thing to start.

The History
That same afternoon the idea of a companion blog to SnoutBeagle continued to formulate. I have a history of journaling. Since I was seven years old I kept a daily diary. Every year for Christmas my parents would give me a diary for the following year. I would fill it up with all that was important to me at that time of my life - my pet gerbils and our dachshund, Cocoa; the neighbor's horses; my high school best friend; my first boyfriend - the list goes on and on. I kept a daily diary religiously through high school. When I graduated, my dad gave me a card where he offered the advice that I continue keeping a diary. That meant a lot to me as I figured he didn't really notice my diary-keeping when in reality it must have made quite an impression on him.

I did continue journaling through college and beyond but not as a daily ritual. My journals went from being small locked and dated books to blank journals. The blank journals made longer and more in-depth entries the norm and therefore not as realistic on a daily basis. I stopped all together shortly after I met Mark in 2003. Keeping in contact with my new husband, then boyfriend, via e-mail across the pond became a new form of journaling. I wrote to him in the same depth I would write in a diary. I even scanned a journal entry and sent it to him at one point.

The SnoutBeagle blog has become a welcome way to express myself through writing again and it's a shameless way to dote on our dogchild. However, there have been a few times where I've wanted to blog on a topic that didn't have a beagle link (although, surprisingly, most of the time I can find a link in rather unexpected ways). So beyond the list of ten bests of the day (whether it be daily or not, I don't know) I will probably carry on some as well.

As far as my diaries, I still have them all in a box in our bedroom closet and if the house was on fire I would consider that box a priority to rescue. After the beagle, of course.

The Tradition
In 1995 I started the tradition of sending an insert of "Ten Bests of the Year" with my Christmas cards. This tradition was born of sheer laziness. I had been sending out quite a few Christmas cards prior years to college friends and past coworkers that I rarely saw. It seemed like a cop-out to simply sign my name so I was handwriting messages to each of them telling them what I had been up to that year. It was tedious and repetitive so, inspired by the form letters people often include in holiday cards, I decided I would put my graphic design skills to use and design a nice-looking list of the best things I experienced that year. Sending numerous Christmas cards was no longer a chore and the lists received great reviews from my friends and family.

Along came Mark and the tradition which was very "me"-oriented somehow seemed less appropriate. I discontinued the lists after 2002.

Life is different now anyway. Our "bests" are less glamorous and we have "bests" everyday. Which is exactly what this blog is all about.


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