These grim, wet, soggy, frosty, rainy days of February are not quite half over, and I hope you’re doing okay. I have been staying away from the wet snow gear piled up near the door, mittens and coats and unfinished homework and mismatched socks, surrounded by a heavy fug that even the cats have been avoiding. I suppose it is emitting a sort of steam that is adding some moisture to the arid desert biome of our home.


Instead here I am, hiding in my closet office, eating a bagel and bouncing a baby on my lap, and I thought I would offer up to the world a journal prompt.


Life will not always feel like this. …




I came across this sentence in the midst of my rummaging through the piles of things on my desk, and rifling through old National Geographic magazines for things to cut out, cup up, glue in. This one is from an article on changing times in China, and so of course I paused to read through. Life in China! Just 15 years ago and a different world. Wild how fast life moves in such a short amount of time. Technology, globalization, Elon Musk.


I stumbled across this line, true in May 2008 halfway across the planet, and still a thrum to consider today. Life will not always be like this! With the chaos, with the endless laundry, with the constant buzz of anxiety around running a stationery shop, with nap time schedules, with vet bills, with parent-teacher interviews, with a thousand parenting decisions, making the wrong choice for each one. With the shrieking laughter, with the library visits, with all the stationery I could dream of, with the turkeys jumping in bed, with the kitchen table full.


But not just for me, it’s a good one for wherever you are in life: seasons of grief; when the days are long but the years are short; when the winters are long and the summers are short; when you’ve just gotten that big promotion; when you’re planning that big vacation; a reminder to cherish the moment; to cherish your health; to cherish the people around you while you have them; in difficult and tumultuous times; in challenging times that ask you to rise to the occasion; in fallow periods of rest and waiting. Life will not always feel like this.


The thing about this prompt is that it asks you to take the time to first acknowledge what life feels like right now, to put words to it, and put the words onto the page. Life will not always feel like this—which is what?—and so…


Whether it’s golden days, a season of life right now that you want to remember, or if you need to know that things are going to get better, every once in a while, this is a good one to pull out and consider.


In any case, I shared this particular prompt with my journal club some time ago, and thought I would share here, as well, since I took a photo when I was flipping through my journal. Our journal club meets twice a week, Mondays and Thursdays at 9 pm on zoom. We share a prompt, and then we each write on our own, each in our own cosy worlds. With these regular meetings, my notebooks have been slowly filling up, unearthing memories, finding treasures from the day, contemplating my existential crises in colourful ink.



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February 10, 2023 — Liz Chan

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