One Second Every Day – January

Photo courtesy of

Photo courtesy of

When watching a documentary or reading a snippet about the life of someone famous or someone who’s done something noteworthy, I often wonder what happened in the life of that person during the silences. By silences, I mean when the announcer says, “This person got a job, and then six years later, they had their big break.” I always wonder what happened in those six years, months, days, minutes. What was their routine? What did they read? Who was their best friend? Who did they talk to when they cried?

The answers to the above questions are pieces of life that history doesn’t see fit to record. They are moments that history often forgets, and history shouldn’t. We shouldn’t because it is routine that is the lifeblood of, well, life, even if it’s not as exciting as our biggest victories or lowest valleys. Most of what happens to us is mundane, but in those routines, we have small variations that surprise us and, whether or not we like to admit it, we are delighted.

In that vein, I’ve embarked on this ironically app-inspired journey that I hope to continue throughout the year and beyond. I’m doing the 1 Second Every Day project (I found out about it via the Storyline blog). It entails recording a second of every single day with the intention of splicing those second together to make a sort of movie narrative.

I want to do this so that I have a record of how I spend my spare time and have a memory for each day that I live, no matter how small. Of course these days and months will be punctuated by excitement, but more than that, the reason I’m doing this is because I want to remember. I don’t want certain things to get old, like my finace kissing my hand, like my roommate doing something zazzy (a word of his own making). I don’t want to forget my drives to school or the work that I do (yes, that includes grading). I want to remember what I put my time towards. I think that’s important. I don’t know that I can articulate why, but I think it is.

I found out about this project a few days into January, so this month’s video is a bit abridged. I hope you enjoy it, and I hope you’ll consider embarking on a similar journey of recording your seemingly mundane days. I think you’ll find there is always something noteworthy to record 🙂

(The song in the video is “Pictures of You” by The Last Goodnight.)

9 thoughts on “One Second Every Day – January

  1. This is great, Michelle. I wonder if I can commit to it… and, I think it would make a good assignment, writing prompt…do this every day for the first thirteen weeks of the semester, then during the last two weeks, for the final project, write a poem/prose piece in conversation with your 91 seconds… I started writing one positive sentence at the end of each day on Jan. 1. I have fallen behind and missed some days but haven’t given up! I look forward to maybe trying this and watching more of yours.

    • That prompt along with the video of the day sounds wonderful, Lynne! I definitely encourage you to do the one second a day project. I thought I’d fall behind too, but because it’s such a low time commitment, I’ve actually been able to keep up fairly easily, even if I forget a day.

  2. I like this idea a lot, of paying attention to those everyday moments that can whiz by easily and slip out of our memory later on. Capturing these seconds in a journal — or in a video in your case — is great for revisiting them later and seeing a snapshot of those days. Often, I remember the amazing, grand events. But those little moments can be extraordinary in other ways.

    • Agreed, Dave! I understand why the minutiae of everyday life isn’t in textbooks, but there’s no reason individuals can’t document it. I had a lot of fun making this video and remembering my days this past month (I also realized I drive a lot, ha!).

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