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Smile Every Day, Then Write Down Why

Life is one of those things that is tough, I think most will agree. Whether you're an angty teen or drowning in the waters of #adulting I think most of us find that we all have struggles and half of that struggle is searching for a way to just be done struggling.

"Can't I just smile and breathe for a moment?"

But there's no time for either.

Life was really tough for awhile. Eating, writing, working—all of it was a struggle. I spent my days dreaming of sleeping. Because when I sleep that's the only time I don't have to feel, to remember, to do anything (I'm one of those lucky people that sleep easily and never have dreams to bother me as I sleep).

But . . . I didn't want to sleep my life away. And I didn't want to live it depressed, either,

It was so hard, but every day I had to want this over and over and over. It was exhausting. And sometimes I wondered if it was worth the effort.

But I pressed on. I did a lot of things. I prayed more. I cared less about stress. I drank tons of water (now that I drink around a gallon of water a day I haven't had migraines in forever!). I ate better. Walked more. And started pursuing old and forgotten childhood dreams. All of these things helped tremendously.

Yet, there was something else I decided to do and I believe it helped the most and is the reason 2018 was the best year of my life.

I decided to calendar journal. I had tried to write something I was thankful for every day in my regular journal, but that proved to be too hard. So instead I brought a pretty calendar and decided that at the end of each day I'd write something that made that day worth living and special.

I was inspired to do this through seeing all of my friends bullet journaling. But I think this is still a bit of a different thing? I don't know? I've looked around and I haven't seen anyone else doing this.

Though when I was eleven a girl that I wanted to be friends with but didn't like me also did this as a form of journaling. And I talked about that in my post The Art Of Journaling.

I'll admit sometimes it was really hard to find something special to write about (and some days I had a hard time choosing between several things!). On the hard days I'd search harder. Did someone say something funny? Did I say something funny? Did I try something new? Read a quote I liked somewhere? Start a book (reading or writing)? Finish a book? 

Did I have a thought that whirled around all day? 

Did I see something unusual in a familiar place?

As you can see, I managed to make every day special. Because, after all, every day is special. Even on the hard days I found a reason to smile. 

And that's why it was the best year ever! 

That little calendar was for my work hours—all the houses I cleaned! I won't bore you with posting those pics here, but if you're actually interested check out my Instagram because I shared all my calendar pictures monthly there ;D

And colored pens. That's one of my favorite parts of journaling! Something I stole from Lydia, I think. 

I don't plan to stop this calendar journaling. I'm so excited about this calendar I bought for 2019. It's full of German fairy tales and beautiful illustrations. I bought it from MerleMadeTales, an Etsy shop that has gorgeous artistic work.

So what do you think? Can you read all of those little days between the blurriness and my awful penmanship? If you can, share with me your favorite entries! 

And can you tell my penmanship became worse as the year progressed? Guess that means I'll need to work on penmanship this year. 

Is this something you'd do? Or have done? Share with me! 


  1. Wow, this is such a great idea! (Do you mind if I begin doing this? 🙂) I agree - coming up with something to be thankful for that’s different every day just doesn’t work for me. Great post!

    1. I would totally not mind if you do it! In fact I'd be so happy if you did - make sure to let me know how it works for you!

      Yeah, it's good to be thankful every day, but it's nearly impossible to be creative about that every day haha! Thanks ;D

  2. Ooh, Keturah, what a beautiful way to practice gratitude, and to tuck a year away as something beautiful and wondrous! This is such a great idea, I may just have to steal it... :)

    1. Thanks, Megan! I hope you do steal it and then I want to see how you like it on your blog! ;D

  3. Wow, I love this! Amazing idea, Keturah!! <3

  4. This is such a fantastic idea! Back in September, I started writing down something I'm thankful for everyday in a folder of notes on my phone, but I love this idea as well! I think I'll start doing it myself.

    And all your calendars! *heart-eyes* So pretty!


    1. Wow, you must be good at finding things to be thankful for ;D I'd love if you were to do this, too! It's too much fun not to have everyone doing it ;P

      Thanks so much ;D ;D

  5. Wow, I had never thought of this! That is a great idea!

  6. This is cool! I always like to go back on calendars and see what I wrote on them. Mostly stuff I needed to remember to do or for 4h. What I notice is that my hand writting gets messy the more I write. :) cuz I'm in a hurry.

    1. Haha, I noticed my handwriting got sloppier as the year progressed, too. But yeah, it's fun looking through the calendar ;D

  7. I've actually been doing this for years. I don't actually write down what made me smile, per se, just what happened on that day. Sometimes it's just "work" and others days the entire square is full. Probably since 2015, I think. Maybe 2016. I'd have to check. But I love your idea about writing down what made you smile!!

    1. I'll admit, it's not always something that made me smile. Just the highlight or special thing of the day. But that's so neat that you've been doing it so long! How'd you think to do it?

  8. That's so cool! I'm going to have to try this type of journaling! :D

    Lovely post. <3

    Lila @ The Red-Hooded Writer

  9. I absolutely love this! Such a great way to find and acknowledge positivity in every day. It's so hard sometimes.

    I'll definitely have to give this a try in my bullet journal. Maybe that's what those monthly spreads I've been spending so much time on but not really using are for. xD

    1. Thanks - you are right, it is so hard! I've never done a bullet journal, but I've heard so much about them. Thanks for the follow!

  10. Hello, girl! I'm the first time on your blog and I've already loved it! :) Your idea is amazing! Some time ago I wanted to do something similar and write down in a notebook what made me happy each day. I haven't done this yet but I'm going to. Everyday is special and we should appreciate that. Lovely post!! :)

    1. Hey! Ah, thanks so much for your kind words - I went to look at your blog, and you look like so much fun! Creating a blog to practice English is such a great idea for learning - I'm half tempted to do that for German now ;D I hope your writing down the special moments works for you!

  11. What a fun idea!

    I have a few calendars here that I wasn't sure what I'm going to do with them. I may have to see if I can do this for the rest of the year even though I'll have half of January missing.


    1. Oh, yes! Don't have to start January 1st ;D I hope you enjoy the experience! Thanks for following :)


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