Day by Day #41: A Year Of Thoughts

Last year for my birthday, my older brother gave me a commonplace book. I had owned one before, if you consider a stack of post-it notes a commonplace.

After a year, my commonplace went from being nice and shiny (with wonderfully practical magnet clasps) to being bent, torn, and without any clasps.

After a year, it’s completely full. So, I thought I’d share some of the things I wrote:

  • Play Peter Gabriel at your funeral.
  • Dance to Sunset by Kate Bush and Take the Long Way Home by Supertramp.
  • If it doesn’t help you glorify God and enjoy Him, don’t do it.
  • I can hear that you’re visibly upset.
  • Find a wife.
  • Being creative is the skill of locating things that have already been stated and putting them together.
  • Listen, but most of all, be interested.
  • “Friendship lasts longest when both feel they have a slight advantage over the other.” -Benjamin Franklin?
  • Woes unite foes.
  • An unhappy man’s cart is easy to tumble.
  • Isaiah 40:29-31
  • “Only the learned read old books and we have now so dealt with the learned that they are of all the men the least likely to acquire wisdom by doing so…When a learned man is present with any statement in an ancient author, the one question he never asks is whether it is true…To regard the ancient author as a possible source of knowledge…would be rejected as unutterably simple-minded.” -Screwtape Letters
  • People are always making assumptions.
  • What is the point of speaking if your words aren’t completely earnest?
  • “If there were no God, there would be no atheists.” -G.K. Chesterton
  • Life is a bloody affair.
  • “I believe in God like I believe in the sun. I not only see it, but by it, I see everything else.” -C.S. Lewis
  • If a man satisfies the pleasures of the flesh, they increase in necessity and decrease in satisfaction. If a man satisfies the pleasures of the spirit, they increase his strength and decrease any desires for the pleasures of the flesh.
  • “If one give an answer before He hears, it is His folly and shame.” -Proverbs 18:13
  • Don’t analyze something instead of asking if it’s true, ask if it’s true and then analyze why it was stated.
  • The point of the day is to so exhaust yourself that rest is both necessary and enjoyable.
  • Passages of the Bible can be put to a melody, so they are easier to memorize.
  • It could be no less than twice as perfect.
  • Perform social experiments. For example, see the common reaction people have if you shake hands with your left hand, instead of your right.
  • Thoughts are valuable. Keep them and trade them in for something more valuable later.
  • “When we are not engaged in thinking some definite problem, we spend about 95% of our time thinking about ourselves.” -Dale Carnegie
  • Truth is a bitter cup to drink from.
  • “Put all of your eggs in one basket and watch the basket closely.” -Dale Carnegie
  • “If there is any one secret to success, it lies in the ability to get the other person’s point of view and see things from that person’s angle as well as from your own.” -Henry Ford
  • The one that separates successful and unsuccessful is self-control.
  • The moon is flourescently illuminated in a blue sky with pink and orange clouds behind it. It’s exceedingly beautiful, but you probably won’t remember what it looks like. -11.3.11
  • Say “thank you” to your wife for being a home-maker, because she will never hear that. Also help her fold the laundry when it’s midnight. She will appreciate it.
  • Everyone is unique in the same way.
  • Once upon a time, King Melannous lived his entire life inside the castle. One day, he decided to go outside and immediately got a sunburn.
  • Life gets very boring when you attempt to adhere to an ambiguous set of laws set by yourself that tell you, “You cannot ask the woman at the check-out how her day has been going and if she would like a piece of candy.”
  • A hero is born when he’s made.
  • The fall is killing the leaves just like it killed us.
  • The sum of the matter is this: do not race to the grave. Enjoy every moment you have. When faced with temptation, resist it. It is better to live for God than to live for self. Find love and stick close to it. Love is the only thing that is holding reality together. When trials come, cry and find someone to cry with, but do not ruin your joy. Embrace change, knowing everything is in a constant state of motion. Be sanctified through life, love, and death.
  • Suspending judgment on something is limiting. For example, saying that someone has a particular attribute causes you to think about that attribute when talking to that person from then on.
  • “No one needs instruction more than the man who thinks he needs none.” -Robert Capon
  • The world would be a sad place if everyone wanted to make a name for themselves.
  • The heroes and wise sages of this generation – the intellectuals, the scholars, the elders – are all entertainers.
  • The world does not begin when you are born.
  • You’ve been in existence – in one form or another – since the beginning of time.
  • You can tell me, as long as you keep it to yourself.
  • Unforgiven wounds last forever. It is better to apologize ten years later than to not apologize at all.
  • Mere good intentions are destroyed by reality.
  • If I were to take a trip into your mind, would I be able to get back?
  • “If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him.” -Voltaire
  • When you are a parent, do not discipline with anger. There is never a good reason in any relationship to get angry.
  • “There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” -Shakespeare
  • If Christ could call us, couldn’t He keep us?
  • The sixth love language is sarcasm.
  • If you ever have enough money, rebuild the Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
  • Work toward the future and look toward the past.
  • We might wait for death, but death doesn’t wait for us.
  • “People will not look forward to a posterity, who never look backward to their ancestors.” -Edmund Burke
  • There is only darkness to a blind person.
  • Every person is important, no matter how small a role they play.
  • Suspended In Gaffa is an absolutely beautiful and true song. Beauty lies on the other side. If you see something beautiful, it always disappears behind a corner.
  • Life is too short to make relative comfort a goal.
  • There are no stars to reach for if you’re living in the city.
  • Hey you, you know that list of little, quick things that is called “to-do”? What if you actually just spent a day and did those things?
  • “It is much easier to be critical than correct.” -Ben Disraeli
  • “He has Van Gogh’s ear for music.” -Billy Wilder
  • The answer is always somewhere in the middle.
  • If every person alive in the world were simply well-rounded, nothing would get done.
  • Sometimes you get so tired, you don’t sleep.
  • Oodoob.
  • “People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but they will never forget how you made them feel.” -Maya Angelou
  • Feed someone raw potatoes as “delicious apples” for April Fool’s Day.
  • “My pleasure is all mine.” -Grace
  • Me: Annie Dillard’s prose as so poetic.
    Grace: What about her cons?
  • Buy a few acres and plant a tree for each child. It will eventually become a forest.
  • Own a lot of old clocks.
  • When companies make products, it would be interesting if the products came along with manuals that describe how the product works, why it was made, etc.
  • Words are powerful.
  • Truth is worth repeating.
  • Everything is malleable, except God.
  • There should be banana flavored soda.
  • An artist is someone who tries to express a very human feeling in the most heavenly way.
  • Good art is something you can spend hours with.
  • The medium changes, but the message stays the same.
  • “Each generation thinks it fights new battles, but the battles are the same. Only the people are different.” -David Malter
  • They should have commercials for marriage.
  • Chocolate milk and potato chips would be gross together.
  • If someone possesses an unpleasant drive, don’t shut it down, but redirect it.
  • Laughter is the deepest expression of human joy.
  • People should wear suits more often.

-I skipped quite a few of my entries, but that is mostly because I couldn’t read my handwriting.


  • Josh The Younger

    Really enjoyed this Caleb. Some of my personal favorites:

    “Play Peter Gabriel at your funeral.” MBIAC?
    “Being creative is the skill of locating things that have already been stated and putting them together.” I find this to be very true.
    “You’ve been in existence – in one form or another – since the beginning of time.” Makes you think, huh?
    “People should wear suits more often.” I keep waiting for 1920s hats to come back in style.
    And my personal favorite – “Oodoob”. Must’ve been a fun day. ;D

    Enjoy another year of thinking!


    • Hm, I don’t think I’ll play MBIAC. I was thinking more along the lines of I Grieve or Growing Up or, maybe, Washing Of The Water.

      Oodoob is actually someone’s name. Maybe this school year, you can ask Grace about it. She’ll tell you all about him.


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