Painting by Belynda Wilson Thomas

People who keep journals have life twice. Jessamyn West

Yesterday was a lazy day; the weather wasn’t nice so it seemed like a good day to go through my journals. My youngest sister gave me a journal for Christmas in 1974. This started my journal journey. The first five years of journals were small little one year journals with one page per day. I moved to blank page journals and I have quite an assortment collected over the years.

I was looking for a particular year and I couldn’t find it. This is what made me decide to put them on a shelf and on the spine write the year they were written. They are now on a shelf where I can see them in order by year.

My Grandmother on Mom’s side kept a journal. Unfortunately, the squirrels got into her journals and they are gone. It would have been great to have her thoughts living through the early years in Saskatchewan, the depression, and World War ll.

It was interesting paging through my journals to see what I was thinking about at various points in my life. I’m still working on many of the things I was working on years ago, my need to be right, a little too opinionated, too controlling.

We are who we are and often our circumstances may change but we don’t change that much. We can operate as the best part of ourselves or our worst. That can seem like two different people but it really isn’t.

As someone said, it isn’t one thing after another it’s the same thing over and over.  We think things in our lives are so important, poignant, we couldn’t possibly forget them. Any time I read my journals I read about a life I can’t remember, and my husband thinks I have an excellent memory. There are things I don’t find in my journal I don’t know why I didn’t write about, and things I wrote about that seem so trivial, and unimportant.

Journaling is like whispering to one’s self and listening at the same time. Mina Murray

It would be very interesting if both members of a couple kept a journal and we read them side by side to see what they thought about the same events as they went through life. My guess is it would seem they didn’t live the same life at all.

I have a friend whose father kept journals and when he died he said he wanted them burnt. That seems like such a waste. All that life experience, insights, and view of the world as it was happening, gone.

I understand we haven’t only thought and written high minded thoughts. A journal is not the same as someone’s edited memoir. A memoir in many instances is written in the present looking backward instead of a journal written in the present looking forward. It is a different perspective when you know what happened, and then make sense of what came before, then when you are trying to make sense of the now, and you don’t know what is coming.

We don’t know when we start something where it will go. That is part of the journey, if we knew where we were going, and exactly what we’d face, and where we’d end up what would be the point?

We are the hero in our own story. New adventures await at every turn.  Every day is a blank page, and even when we can’t control what happens we can control what we think about what happens. The only difference between a good day and a bad day might be our perspective.

Can we learn to love ‘what is’ and be grateful for the bounty, joy, and abundance in our lives? The paradox in life may be that we can control very little in life, yet we can control how we feel about things, and thus we have potentially complete control over our happiness.

Keeping a journal is a joy, not a burden, where we find clarity, ourselves, and peace. The best time to start a journal was twenty years ago, the next best time is today.

A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials. To bear trials with a calm mind robs misfortune of its strength and burden. Seneca

I can shake off everything as I write; my sorrows disappear, my courage is reborn. Anne Frank

Journal writing is a voyage to the interior. Christina Baldwin

Thank you for reading this post. I hope you enjoyed it. I hope you will come back and read some more. Have a blessed day filled with gratitude, joy, and love.

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The Beginners Guide to Starting a Journal Paperback – Aug 19 2016

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