Ian RuderMarch 13: What better time could there be to start a journal than in the waning hours of Friday the 13th? What could go wrong?

Back in March, when the magnitude of the pandemic was just settling in and stay-in-place self-improvement resolutions were all the rage, I decided this historic period would be a perfect time to start keeping a personal journal.

Understand that I’ve tried to keep a journal too many times to count and I’ve always failed. Always. But this was going to be different.

March 28: Two weeks and still going strong!

COVID-19 seemed to present the perfect opportunity: an unprecedented global event, complicated emotions, constantly changing circumstances and, perhaps most importantly for me, lots and lots of time. With months of lockdown looming and no social events, dinners out or trips, I was bound to have plenty of opportunities to document my day-to-day.

All of those predictions proved correct.

April 6: I ventured out for the first time in three weeks today. I didn’t like it — everything feels like a threat.

The world is crazy. Emotionally I’m all over the place, and I have tons of newly-free time. After five months of journaling, I wish I could tell you my endeavor lived up to my expectations, but in keeping with COVID-19 trends, the reality is more complicated.

On the one hand, I finally succeeded in sustaining a journal and have grown to enjoy composing my daily entry. On the other, staying in place and pandemic living don’t