Saturday, October 16, 2010

Journaling

Last June, I walked into Target with $20 in my pocket, to purchase a navy blue bathroom rug for our house. I walked out with a bucket of sidewalk chalk, a “Thomas the Tank Engine” DVD, a package of pens and a notebook. The destiny of the first three items should be rather obvious, but there are quite a few options for a notebook, so I shall tell you. This lovely green and pink striped notebook, with a somewhat vintage appeal, was intended as a journal. I’m sad to say that now, on this chilly autumn day, five months later, the journal is nearly as empty as it was when I purchased it. I DID manage a few entries, but none of them were finished.


Now, I had pretty much given up altogether on the idea of keeping a journal, before that sunny summer day, but a blog update came to my email earlier that week. I don’t know the author personally, but fell in love first with her photography and beautiful children, and later with the pieces of her heart that she shared with hundreds of readers. She inspires me; challenges me; makes me laugh. Through her blog, written many miles away on the opposite side of the country, she has touched my life.

The particular morning I am refering to, she had copied out a large portion of a journal she had kept when she had only three children (two toddlers and a newborn), and oh, it was very funny. I laughed, actually. But what really struck me that day was how nice it must be to look back on a day- a bad day, at that- a decade later, and be able to remember life in such detail. And that she had written it by hand! In a notebook! After a bad day (did I already say that?)! I felt at that moment, that my excuses for not journaling were very small and pathetic, specifically the “I don’t have time” excuse.

So I bought the aforementioned journal and with the noblest of intentions, I began writing. My first entry was short and sweet. My second one a little longer and more detailed, but I was sick that night and so very tired, that I found it necessary to put the notebook down and get a few hours of sleep. A week went by and I was too sick to pick it up again. To my credit, I did as soon as I was able, and my third entry was an out-pouring of my heart and soul. Then following day, I entered the first day of a long, three-month period of back spasms and I honestly couldn’t move from my chair, other than to put Joshua to bed at night. Journaling was no doubt out of the question.

Then one warm, sunny day when my spasms seemed to be gone for good, I took lunch outside that day, along with Joshua’s trains for him to play with in the backyard, and I set about eating and journaling some more. I filled a page, and then another, and still I hadn’t finished all I had to say. After all, what’s the point of journaling if I am constrained by time to short, empty updates that outline the skeletons of my days with no flesh to add interest? Well, Joshua didn’t seem to understand the important task I had at hand, and I ended up packing my little office away in the plastic grocery bag I was using to transport it, and set about to teach Joshua that flowerpots were for flowers, not choo-choo trains, and that my flowers would never grow if he didn’t take the matter to heart. My nasturiums never did come up that summer, and I daresay I gave my lesson a little too late in the season.

Well, perhaps after all this, my “I don’t have time” claim was valid after all. Maybe I’m a slower cursive writer, or even a slow thinker. I DO tend to overthink things. The notebook became a space for storing menu plans for the week, and to-do lists for the month, and once again, the days go by unrecorded and soon-to-be forgotten, or if not forgotten, hazy and indistinct with time.

Because I have a very random thought process, or maybe just because it was an obvious solution, I have turned to my blog as a place to dump my thoughts and memories and little bitty tidbits of random information, probably significant to only myself. I just thought I should explain the possible shift in my blogging intentions (if my intentions are genuine as I believe them to be- which, unfortunately, they often are not), and why there might be more lengthy posts that are seemingly random, trivial and unnecessarily boring. Ha, maybe you already thought I was being random and trivial and boring! If that’s the case, you will either find my future blogging to be more boring than ever, or, perchance, more interesting, because I will not be trying so hard to restrict myself to what I personally found to be boring-to-write updates. If you prefer my blog the way it was before this fateful day, look for the posts with pictures, because writer Ashley has given herself free reigns on her bloggy.

Ps. I don't know why I am explaining this, except that I felt like writing, and journaling was what was on my mind.  I guess this makes the first for random, as I would never have posted this before today. 

1 comment:

Amanda Piechnik said...

Blogs are great for journaling - sharing your random thoughts, just like that other mom (who, I daresay, is other-worldly gorgeous and makes me a little sick by it but I love her pics and writing anyway!). Write away! Your rambling is heartfelt - that's what matters.