earlier this week my LitHum professor introduced the class to “commonplace books” before we read Montaigne, and i’ve been keeping one lately—it’s quite handy! it reminds me of grandpa’s notebooks and journals, the ones where he jots down bits and pieces from newspaper articles and daily reflections. i remember peeking at them when i was little and running my fingers over the coarse imprints left by the thick ink of Bic pens (which i’ve begun using again, and they’re an absolute joy).

one of the tips for restructuring life with mental illness is finding a new hobby, or something to return to consistently. on the first page of my commonplace book, i have a list of “weird small loves” that begins with ballpoint pen dimples on thin paper. i’m pretty happy with that.