I read a story yesterday about a woman who has kept a pen-and-paper diary of all the dinners she’s had for the last twelve years. She started it as a planner to get ready for future dinners and along the way it morphed into a record of past dinners. She didn’t do it to count calories or analyze meals or to reach a milestone, she did it because it became a habit and tangible log of “gold stars” showing that despite the chaos of it all, she made and enjoyed a dinner.

It’s a little nuts to write down every dinner you have for 4300+ days. I’m all for recording great recipes, perhaps in a binder of plastic sleeves. But her commitment struck me.

I’ve never been able to maintain a journal of any kind – poetry, thoughts on the day, interesting quotes or insights, even a list of books I want to read. For Lent one year I chose to write a letter to someone every day…and let’s just say I didn’t make it the full 40. I don’t know if it’s because I have a short multi-tasker attention span or if I end up focusing on the obligation rather than the release of a creative habit. I get so excited by the planning and the forecasting of an end result (or a mid-way result multiple steps down the line) but too often those aspirations die before I take any action. I talk myself out of them. Or get too nervous to share them with anyone and they go dormant.

I have a few ideas right now that are spinning around my mind (distracting me from real 9-5 work…) and I’m hoping I can actually do something with them this time. I’m not expecting anything major, just a start would do.

But back to the article, which also reminded me of this story about a mom who plans dinners for an entire year at a time. She says it saves money and reduces stress, but I say she’s missing out on a lot of spontaneous foodie fun.