2 things you love, 1 thing you treasure, and 1 thing you’ll never forget.

2 things you love, 1 thing you treasure, and 1 thing you’ll never forget.

Last month, a commenter (Hi, Jolene!) left a thought-provoking entry on a very old post about practicing self care on a daily basis.

She wrote: “Someone once told me that women should do two things every day they love, one thing every week they treasure, and one bigger thing every month they will never forget. Because we’re worth the effort.”

Her guideline is a little grander than my own bits of chunks and joy list. It also reminded me of my List of 100 Dreams I started a year ago and still only have 37 items on.

I like Jolene’s idea. Since I read that comment, I’ve been mentally tabulating the things I do that I love, that I treasure, that I’ll never forget.

I’m pretty good at self care these days, and many things that are already in my routine could fall under the “things I love” category, and I usually do two of them daily.


I have a hard time distinguishing “things I love” from “things I treasure.” I’ve been playing around with it, and right now my “things I love” list looks like:

• Reading a good book with a cup of coffee
• Arranging flowers for my kitchen table
• Reading stories with my kids
• Taking a peaceful walk
• Picking vegetables in the garden
• Volunteer at church or for a local organization

Right now, “things I treasure” looks like this:

• A happy family walk or bike ride
• browsing the library stacks or bookstore shelves
• A big family hike in the woods
• Having a glass of wine at the kitchen table with Will after the kids go to bed
• Coffee dates
• Girls’ night out
• Getting a massage (which doesn’t feel big enough to belong in the “treasure” category, except I’m so grateful for not just the time on the table, but the huge difference it makes in my well being for weeks)
• Making dinner with the kids (when everyone’s in a good mood and eager to help, that is)
• Getting together with other couples or families for meals or adventures
• Going out to eat with the kids. They’re old enough to enjoy this now, and for Will and me to enjoy eating out with them
• Talking Crazy Talk with Will or an old friend

This is what I’ve come up with for those “bigger things I’ll never forget”:

• Go to a play or show. (top of mind: we did this Sunday)
• Have a big family get-together
• Go on an outing with a good friend
• Go on an outing with the family
• A very intentional date night
• Take a big trip—New York, Chicago, Europe
• Visit a museum or cultural institution (note: not all of these make the “never forget” category!)
• Properly celebrate a birthday, anniversary, promotion, or achievement

When compiling these lists, I noticed how fluid the categories are: many perfectly everyday moments (a walk through the woods right by our house, an ordinary play date with friends, a glass of wine at the kitchen table) become big moments in my history—the kind I’ll never forget. And many of the glam and glitzy moments are fun—I love being there—but don’t quite rank as unforgettable.

Ironically, Will and I have been talking the last month (yep, late at night at the kitchen table, after the kids go to bed) about being intentional about making categories 2 and 3 (even though we didn’t frame it as such at the time) happen more often in our family life, specifically booking weekends away and pencilling a local “Sunday adventure” into our family calendar.

Making a list like this is valuable (and I’m looking forward to your ideas so I can grow my own), but the real magic is in actually scheduling these things and carrying them out. They don’t have to be planned far ahead, they don’t have to be expensive, but they do have to happen. I’m a great dreamer; now I’m working on the concrete plans to follow through.

Wish me luck and send me reminders: I need them.


What things do you love and treasure? What falls in your unforgettable category? How do you make sure you follow through on your good intentions? Share your ideas and tips in comments. 


  1. Kate Unger says:

    Wow. I love this idea! I need to be more intentional with self care. I’ve been resorting to food to fill my daily “loves”, but that’s never a good idea. I’m going to put some thought into my lists and do better in August. Great post!

  2. Ciera says:

    It’s great that you and your husband specifically talk about making these kinds of lists and making them happen. I think my biggest obstacle is that my sig. other expects these fun or memorable things to just happen. I know sometimes our best memories stumble upon us, but I’m hoping we can work on consciously putting in effort to schedule things as well.

    • Girl in Boston says:

      YES, this. My husband gets overwhelmed with planning and I am always the “cruise director”. I want to make memories but it does take intentional thought and energy to plan.

    • Ginger says:

      I was hugely inspired by something Gretchin Rubin once said in Happiness Project. I want trips and memorable events to happen to, and so does my husband, but he doesn’t care to plan. And I like to. But for some reason, I just had it in my head that we had to do it together. She reminded me that if we have a “nagging task,” just do it myself.

      Here’s a link where she talks about it (#9), but she goes into greater detail in The Happiness Project (page 43-44): http://gretchenrubin.com/happiness_project/2011/04/every-wednesday-is-tip-day-this-wednesday-9-tips-to-avoid-nagging-from-what-i-hear-from-other-people-it-sounds-as-tho/

      She also reminded me that I’m guilty of “unconscious overclaiming.” Once I started noticing and appreciating all the tasks that hubby did (car stuff, yard stuff, garbage stuff, yuk!), I realized I don’t really mind spending an afternoon with my computer, researching ticket costs to the local museum. 🙂

  3. Ana says:

    The funny thing is, as you noted, its not necessarily the things I think will be unforgettable that end up sticking in my memory! I do like scheduling intentional adventures & memorable things, but I also treasure the everyday stuff. I like the idea of one big thing/month—not sure I can differentiate things I “love” vs. “treasure”.

  4. Peggy says:

    Love to go to the library pull a stack of books and find a comfy corner and hide for a while
    Real chocolate (one piece a day is enough two is special)
    A walk with my sweetie in the cool of the night

  5. Raissa says:

    Scheduling ahead of time is essential. This past winter I scheduled a camping trip with our teen daughters and another family. The time would have been filled with other incidental events and we would have missed out on making memories.
    This week we are headed on a pilgrimage to a local area. Visiting places we always said, “Oh, we should visit…”. Well, we scheduled it and we are going.
    Talking alone with my husband is priceless time too.
    Listening to our daughters practice their music, or listening to all five kids play together. Priceless treasures.
    Blessings to all of you on the journey.

  6. Allison says:

    Right now, I am so grateful to be in a place where most everything I do is a “thing I love.” I am 55 years old, my kids are out of the house and I am able to fill my days with devotion time, reading and writing. Evenings are spent with hubby. It’s a good life!
    Because our children don’t live near us, the few times a year we ARE together become special and I treasure those moments. We have family stories of marathon Uno games, long chats after dinner, or our kids just wanting to hang out together. THAT is a treasure for sure!

  7. Sassy Apple says:

    I love this. I find when I take better care of myself, I feel better about myself. Does that make sense? Making sure I use my special body oil & perfume, getting a pedicure every once in awhile instead of DIY and keeping my fingernails nicely groomed (gardening takes a toll). I know this list isn’t for everyone, but when I ‘pamper’ myself I always feel better about me.

  8. Heather says:

    I so needed to hear this today. We are in the throws of summer business..swim lessons, soccer tournaments. We need to schedule restorative time or it wont happen.

  9. What a fun classification system! I agree that things I love and things I treasure may often run together. I like making goals for the year, and for the past two years I have had “Go on a family outing once a month” and “Have a date night (in or out of house) once a month” on that list. Because I love to check things off lists, this reminds me to schedule those events that we will never forget.

  10. Kizzy says:

    What a great idea and one I’m going to start documenting and hopefully like you, schedule more of these events into our lives. Thanks for sharing this comment I a post.

  11. Lindsey says:

    Do you have a link to your list of 100 Dreams somewhere?? Just curious. 🙂

    Absolutely LOVE this distinction. I’m going to work on putting together my lists this week.

    • Anne says:

      No link because it’s very much in progress. Hoping to knock out an actual list with 100 items on it (even if they’re terrible!) sometime this month.

  12. This is true for marriage too! I was told once that to have a happy marriage we need to set aside 15 minutes a day for face to face time (real communication, not just list reviewing while dishwasher-unloading), one night a week, one day a month, and one weekend a year. It’s so fruitful when actually implemented that it has become just as important as self-care because I feel like (for me) self-care includes support from others (primarily, my spouse).

    But I’m also living proof that one can have a healthy inner self within an unhealthy marriage. It has just been such a huge part of my continued growth as a person to invest in my marriage alongside my self-care.

    Anyway, great post and ideas. Love it.

  13. Carolyn says:

    My husband and I live “separate lives” ! I go up a ways Mon thru Thurs, sometimes Fri and “nanny” our 9-month old grandson. I have done this since our daughter went back to work. He comes up for play-time and dinner once during week. So we are together mostly on weekends. I need to be more intentional to do things like this…plan them ahead and enjoy. We enjoy just being together, but I’m itching to do “adult” things some before I get where I can’t. Thanks for pushing me! Love your blogs.

  14. Empressa Komlo says:

    This reminds me of “we get we get satisfaction and happiness out of planning and anticipating than the actual event”. At least on the unforgettable list. But at the same time, always having things to look forward to built into your days and weeks ensures that anticipation is with you constantly.
    My son starts preschool tomorrow and between your posts here and the things you shared in Mandi’s Live course, I think I might save myself some time and heartache in the future by investing in self exploration exploration cultivating this spirit of enjoyment and fulfillment now. So after I drop him off at school tomorrow I am going to grab one of my journals and explore…in the comfort of my own home because that’s how INTJs roll 😀

  15. Ginger says:

    I’m spending a lovely morning catching up on some of these great posts that have slipped by me the past couple weeks.

    A few years ago, husband and I did something so similar to this concept when we combined a work technique (timeblocking) with our values. We sat down, had a mastermind session, and timeblocked according to our values.

    We realized we SAID we valued certain things, but didn’t spend any time doing them. We organized according to daily, weekly, monthly, and yearly. Things like having a devotional, good food, caring for the home, and keeping up with local and national events we schedule daily. Other things like family and friends and volunteering need to happen weekly. Some hobbies like opera and stargazing we take time for once a month. And other things like travel and sailing, and even practical matters like budgeting need to happen, but maybe only on an annual or bi-annual basis.

    Once we had our VALUES we knew that we then had to make space for them on the calendar. It really brought into sharp focus ethereal wishes that we thought we might like to do “someday” with the real way time works. We’ve now got this system down to a science and we revisit it once a year or so. Some things fall away and new interests emerge. It’s so fun and rewarding when what’s important actually finds its way onto the calendar.

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