When I was a boy of about eleven I got a diary.
It had a green plastic cover and one of those little straps and a lock. It said One Year Diary in gold on the cover.
I must have asked for it.
I think what bugged me about the diary was its layout. Each page was a new day. It started on January 1st and ended on December 31st.
This seemed strict and unreasonable to me. I soon discovered that I didn't have something to write each and every day.
I gathered that I should write about what happened on each day in question. But this was a ridiculous task for my brain. Days would go by where I did not write in the book. Then when I got back to it, I had forgotten what of note happened the day before and the day before that and the day before that.
So I would just write the truth. It started with "Forgot what happened." All this in a blue-ballpoint cursive scrawl. But soon it was just abbreviated to "forgot."
Looking at the diary now, I see sometimes three pages in a row that say "forgot."
Funny thing is, before I actually looked at the old diary, I would have said that it was largely filled with comments interspersed with my "forgot"s. But in truth I quit writing in it before the month of January was out.
I remember feeling a lot of pressure about this. Even when I did write of my day's events, it pretty much bored me. The only thrill I felt in the whole thing was during a trip to the local library, when I had caught a glimpse of the girl I was secretly in love with. I remember the shivering electricity of actually writing her name down here on this page of my secret diary.
Other than that, it was pretty much I woke up and I did this, then I did that, then I watched Mayberry RFD and went to bed. And it bored me.
But I felt that there should be more.
I SHOULD have something to say. I SHOULD remember what I did three days ago. I SHOULD be more interested, finally, in keeping a diary.
I just wasn't.
I'm thinking of this, of course, because of my new life as a blogger. I feel a great freedom and joy about this activity. I don't have to write something here every day or every other day or every week. There is no tyranny of dates at the top of pages. This thing is not earmarked for just one year, from beginning to end.
I no longer have to write in shame: "forgot."