Life is full of synchronicity. Having recently written about organising my knitting hobby, and adding a link to the cataloging of one’s library, I spotted this article on logging one’s life in general.
As you will see, it is mainly focused on how we can use technology to monitor various aspects of our lives these days. However, it also hints at our inherent social and cultural tendencies towards habitually recording our lives in various ways.
Thinking about this from a creative perspective, I am very much drawn to Lea Redmond’s Knit the Sky project.
As she explains in this short video, the idea is that you knit rows on a scarf according the colour of the sky every day for a year, or whatever period you are covering. I think she is very generous to be sharing this idea so freely.
Another way of recording things is through samplers. Here is some history provided by London’s Victoria and Albert Museum about the history of samplers. What beautiful ways of recording the motifs in fashion at the time, as well as those images important to the needleworker.
Still on the subject of embroidery, I found this practice of sewing a hand-made directory of stitches to be so wonderful. Again, as you can see, there is generosity of spirit in the free sharing of pictures and method. I can just imagine how satisfying and relaxing doing something like this would be – with the result of producing an exquisite heirloom.
It is not unusual for artists to aim to sketch every day to ‘keep their hand in’. The concept of a ‘sketch a day’ is fairly widespread. Here is one example of sketches by an artist whose work I particularly like – Sean Briggs.
One of my favourite authors, Gretchen Rubin, has said “What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while” (The Happiness Project). She also said in Manage Your Day-To-Day “day by day, we build our lives, and day by day, we can take steps toward making real the magnificent creations of our imaginations”.
In the same vein, Søren Kierkegaard said “life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards”.
Keeping a log of one’s life, in total or in part, builds a record of what you have achieved. It also helps you look forward, deciding what to do next. In some cases, it avoids you having to make any decisions at all because you have built logging habits that become automatic. And so one’s life goes on. I guess the trick is to make sure we are logging the things that are important to us, and to avoid getting accidentally drawn into areas we did not really mean to spend time on. 🙂