Keeping a journal is a really good idea. Quite aside from the discipline it gives you and the delightful consistency of turning to the journal on a regular basis, no matter what's going on in your life, it serves as an important historical record of your life. Things you think you're always going to remember actually fade. You might not forget that your brother won an Academy Award, but you might forget how his brow furrowed when he got the call that he was nominated, and how you, being his sibling, immediately knew what was going through his head -- "Who, me?" That's the kind of thing a journal can preserve.

If you need to you can go back in time and read not only what you wrote, but how you wrote it -- your diction, perhaps using a word you don't use anymore; your very handwriting, perhaps shakier, perhaps bigger, bubblier letters, perhaps caffeine-scratch at a cafe -- and put yourself into your old shoes. I tell you, it's better than therapy.

And if you're feeling immensely cool having just had a new born child, you could keep a journal for him for a couple of years, or more. Your child wouldn't be able to keep a journal until a certain age, so you could do it for him until he/she was 13 or something. And once you had given them the journal, you could read it whenever you like, because you wrote it. It could be about you and your child simultaneously. Imagine how awesome it would be if your father turned to you this christmas and said "for christmas this year, I'm going to give you about 15 notebooks that say what you did everyday of your life until you were 12 years old."

If you're going to keep a journal, why be selfish? Give that time to someone you kind of like. Besides, your kid isn't going to be doing too much without you for the first 10 years, so what you write for him or her is probably going to be what you did too.

Think of all those random childhood memories you have, but they're too vague to recall. Think how much would come flooding back to you.....

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