I like to call it journalising, because I can. And it sounds British.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve tried to journal or keep a diary, something. I always failed. Because if you know me – or knew me – you know that if I couldn’t do it perfectly, I put it down. When learning to play a sport or a musical instrument I thought differently. I could try, try again the next day. But writing…well, it seemed like an attendance issue. If you weren’t showing up *every* day, you should put it away.
I wanted to chronicle our lives in Shelton, how things had changed, the kids, etc. I started in earnest once again when we moved in 2006. Here are those journals.
Did I keep them and write in them, devotedly and with much love, every day? Nope. In fact, one year I only wrote in it 21 times. Of course, when your kid is a toddler, time to yourself comes at a premium. Clean or nap? Exercise or nap? Nap? Zzzzz.
I remember reading an interview with Nicole Kidman when she split from Tom Cruise. She’d kept journals of their life together. She didn’t want to keep them. She made a great, personal bonfire of those books. She said it was so personal and she didn’t want their adopted children to ever come upon them. At the time, I remember thinking, Really?! What about you? Wouldn’t you want to keep those Cruise-Kidman anthologies? Wouldn’t you like to review them and remember what happened? I got her point. Now that I’m older, I truly understand. If you write down your innermost feelings and thoughts, often ugly things emerge. The thought of someone else’s eyes on them can make you feel a bit squeamish. You can worry about hurting them. I say do it anyway. Okay, hide it somewhere up high or down low. Putting life on paper helps to process the emotions and racing horses running around your brain. Then you can move on, and avoid the danger of saying hurtful things. Like, “No, orange is not the new black.”
It’s January 2. I want to offer encouragement to those who have struggled in the past with getting their thoughts down. You don’t even have to write every day. I’m setting you free, right here and now. You can work towards that goal if you want, be “in process”. Also, you don’t have to be a writer. Plus, nobody will read it. In my case, nobody can read it, anyway. Wicked bad penmanship.
Writing every day can become a discipline, like brushing your teeth or washing your face. You’ll find as you do it more regularly, you crave it. Not like chocolate, because that would be a lie, but from a deep place. I say that deep place dwells within all of us. You don’t need to push it down anymore or be ashamed of it. It’s the creativity God gave each of us and it longs to be expressed. So…write! If by chance writing’s not your thing, then dance. Sing. Draw. Do something with your inner spark in this new year. You won’t regret it.