Photo Diary

This morning at The Happiness Project Gretchen Rubin wrote:

I wish I could tell my younger self: Make a photo diary before you leave this place! You think you won’t forget, but you will! Instead of taking photos of unusual sights, take a photo of the most usual sights. In the future, you’ll be a lot more interested in seeing a photo of your dorm-room closet or your laundromat than seeing a photo of the Louvre.

How about you? Do you ever wish you had photos from ordinary days in the past?

…and it’s been driving me nuts all day because I knew I’d written almost exactly the same thing once upon a time but I couldn’t find it—Snark Zone? no. AB article? no. Blog post? no. Random musings in some long-forgotten writing file? no. And then blam, just a few minutes ago, I realized what it was. First Communication paper I wrote back in 2005. Bingo, in the section titled “The Value of a Diary”:

Once, perusing an old photo album, I noticed I was spending more time looking at the background of the photos than the foreground, looking beyond the smiling faces to the bits and pieces of life accidentally captured in recording the “big” life moments. I suddenly felt that this record of the ordinary mundanity of life was significant—not only did it have an authenticity that the posed foreground did not, but it was important precisely because it would otherwise have been forgotten. Reading a diary is like noticing the background in old photos. It is a record of the things one did not fully notice when one was in the moment because they were just there.

Ok, now I can get back to work 🙂

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