Last December, I posted about the notebooks I planned on using in 2016 to organize my life and my thoughts. It was nice to sit down at the end of a year and think ahead to a fresh start and what all was going to happen.
2016 was my first year with a Hobonichi Techo, a page a day, A6 notebook with Tomoe River paper.
Because it’s a page a day, and because of its smaller size, I decided to use it as a gratitude journal – a place to write down three (or one or a few) things I was grateful for.
We’re just over half-way through the year, and so I thought maybe an update would be nice, especially as 2017’s Hobonichi’s are barrelling their way down to us from Japan as we speak.
The paper is Tomoe River paper, extremely thin but very good for fountain pen ink. It’s some of my favourite paper, a bit crinkly and with some show through – I love that feeling of a notebook full of pages with words.
I didn’t quite make it everyday – there are a few pages here and there that are blank. I used a few of the blank ones for doodling or writing out a quote that I really liked, or used it to make note of some ink in my pens.
There are a few things that I’m laughing at reading over, like the satisfaction of getting a really big booger out of Caleb’s nose, or finding a spare fudgsicle in the freezer behind the peas.
For the most part, though, a lot of the things I wrote about were events or things that aren’t really so memorable – so much so that I almost can’t even remember that specific visit to the cafe or that trip to the park with Caleb.
I read somewhere that one important thing about gratitude journaling is identifying why something happened. If you’re grateful for a visit to a cafe, is it because you planned ahead and worked harder during the day to make it happen?
This sort of reflection is supposed to make you more aware of what you have control over and what you can do differently, and I sort of tried it to also make note of it. As you might be able to tell from above, though, not all of the things I was grateful for or happy about necessarily had any long build-up or planning – at least not on my part.
I think gratitude journaling for me was more about the process of taking time out to look back on the day, and it was nice to find three things that were fun, or sometimes something I’m looking forward to.
You can tell when I’m looking forward to a shipment that’s going to bring a new ink or pen for me, because everyday for two weeks, it’s the same thing at the top of the page.
There’s not as much pressure on what to write, because it’s just one page. It’s something easy to bring out to a cafe and just jot down a few ideas, or something I could do at the kitchen table while dinner is on the stove, in between negotiating climbing on tables and cleaning up spilled milk.
And sometimes it was nice to just have something to write. A structure already in place for me to keep up with and to fill up the pages with, day after day. There’s certainly a bit of satisfaction in feeling the thickness and crinkliness of the pages before, getting thicker and thicker as the weeks pass along.
One that that changed was that I had initially thought I would use the monthly calendar to record inks, but it didn’t work out that way. I don’t typically do a big clean and flush, and then re-fill of all my pens at once – I wait until it’s written dry, and then whenever I get a chance, I flush and re-fill.
Using the monthly calendar to make note of when I filled it didn’t quite work out because I wasn’t very good at remembering to go into my Hobonichi after I inked up a pen.
Instead, every once in a while, I sat down with all or most of my pens and did a little scribble. There’s a blank page at the front of every month, which was perfect for me, as a monthly record of all my inks is just about right for me.
The Hobonichi is actually a fairly small notebook, so it’s easy to slide into your bag, or even your pocket, if your pocket is large enough. I loved having a leather cover on mine, and I’m hoping to collect a new Hobonichi each year onto my shelf, and have my leather cover age with me.
I used the Midori A6 goat skin cover. I also have the A4 for my journal for Caleb, and I’m thinking very hard about whether or not I need an A5 one.
My leather cover has held up well, although I had someone once comment that my leather looks exceptionally pink. The leather does start out pink, and gets a bit darker and browner over time – in the photo below you can see a bit of comparison around the edges.
You’re able to tan it a bit browner in the sun, but even when I take my Hobonichi out, it’s typically just in my bag.
I also did a post last year on other ideas you could use with a Hobonichi.
The timing for this post is good for a mid-year review, and a bit of a boost to keep it strong for the rest of 2016, but it’s also because we’re expecting our 2017 Hobonichis and new covers to arrive sometime in mid-September. I’m already feeling the crisp fall air and the smell of fresh agendas.
We’re doing a pre-order, something we don’t do very often, because we’ve had so many questions about the timing of when it’s going to be arriving.
We’ve ordered a good amount, and don’t expect disappointment, but especially for a few of you that may have missed out of 2016’s Hobonichis, or those of you who are sure you want one again this year, you can pre-order yours with or without the new 2017 covers here.
In other news, we now have a bunch of cat toys for the cat. I previously subscribed to the philosophy that Chicken is a cat, who is supposed to be “playing” with the rodents and prey he kills.
However, we (i.e. Jon) had enough attacking of ankles and feet as we walk around, and a friend told me that we either need to get him some toys to play with, or another cat. So we got some toys.
Super has already maimed about 25% of them, and Caleb broke the two motion-detecting balls with lights in them, but the remaining have proven to be excellent!
Jon can’t believe I paid money for what is essentially a long piece of felt attached by a rubber band to a plastic stick, but both Caleb and our lion beast are now entertained for upwards of 45 seconds at a time.