Sunday, January 13, 2013

A Startling Discovery

I am a person who seeks out new experiences. I'm not afraid to try new things. I'm always on the lookout for adventure. I rarely work in the same role for more than 2-3 years. I am a person who really, really craves change.

So when I started answering questions for Year 2 in my Q&A: 5-Year Journal, I was a little taken aback. My life was not as new and fresh as I'd thought.

Product Details
(Photo from Amazon)
The idea for this little journal is that each day you are posed a question and you write your answer for that year. Each page holds the space for five years' worth of answers. Innocuous questions like:
  • What is your favorite television show?
  • What was the best part of today?
  • Who annoyed you today?

and more meaningful questions like:
  • What do you think is your biggest shortcoming?
  • What would you like to say to your father?
  • Is there anything missing in your life?
I had a blast filling in my answers for 2012 and was excited to start answering in 2013 and see how my answers compared. I decided I would read the question, write my answer without reading last year's answer (so it would not influence me) and then read last year's answer. I couldn't wait to get started.

The Jan. 1 question was not very surprising: What is your mission? I answered it in conjunction with my New Year's resolution this year more than the broad life statement I made last year, but the two answers are pretty similar. Then I moved on to Jan. 2nd and chuckled at the fact that my 2013 answer was exactly the same as 2012. Kind of ironic, really, since the question was Can people change? (My answer was no, and I seemed to prove my own point.)

January 3rd asked what book I was reading that day. Naturally, that answer was different.

But on Jan. 4-7 my answers were very much like my answers from the year before and they were questions about the last restaurant I went to, and whether I feel lucky. The last restaurant I'd eaten at, both years, was in Corbin, Kentucky on my way back from visiting my son. And then I mentioned the Bengals playing the Texans in the playoffs -- both in 2012 and 2013. Was this some kind of twilight zone?

I wasn't too concerned until I got to questions about what inspired me that day (Jan. 10th) and what I felt I lost on January 11th, and my answers for 2013 were the same -- again! Frankly, I was startled and little bit disturbed. I'd thought my life was full of new experiences and I was starting to see it in a different light. If the same things were inspiring me and disturbing me on the same date a year later, was my life that unique after all?

I'm starting to get scared to open the little journal and answer the questions. I feel like I fell into some kind of year-long rut, and I don't know how it happened. I don't mind so much that the good things remain the same, but if the petty annoyances and let-downs are consistent, then I need to do something about that. I'm determined that I will not open the book on January 2014 and start writing the same answers again. But I never thought that it would have happened in the first place. It's been a startling discovery to say the least, and it's only January 13th!


  1. Hm. That's a pretty cool journal idea. Part of me says not to overreact, and to appreciate the stability of your life. Part of me says, though, that the whole point of the journal is to look at patterns (either present or lacking) in your life to help you decide what direction to go.

  2. It is a very cool journal idea. I love it. I just didn't expect to see patterns. I go more for randomness, so this has been quite a surprise.