So this week I was at home a lot. My school had lots of sickness, so much so, that our building closed to disinfect and give students a chance to go home and heal. For me that meant time to deep clean after the holidays and get some much-needed work done. I actually felt pretty crummy for a few days myself, so I pulled out several journals that I wrote years ago when my kids were little. I can’t believe the treasure that these are. In fact, I had completely forgotten how I detailed so many days of their growing up. I credit Oprah for the idea of the gratitude journal ( I realize it wasn’t her original idea either), but although I wrote long before that, her shedding light on this idea made me really focus on the positives in my daily life. As a young mom there are so many struggles and you are overwhelmed so often, but keeping journals channeled negative energy and made me see things, even the bad, in a more positive light.
I wrote about all of the things that impacted and amazed me each day. I wrote about the early years of my marriage when we were building our business and how much we struggled financially and the stress it caused, but then saw how we came through it so very strong and more in love than ever. I wrote about the loss of my mother and grandmother and how much grief and pain I felt losing both matriarchs . I wrote about my son Jack’s loving care of his younger siblings, I wrote about my daughter Emma’s old soul and uncanny ability to bring light into a room, and my son Sam’s boundless sense of adventure. I was laughing out loud, and so much of it brought tears to my eyes. In one passage when Emma was about three she asked to pray at dinner and she said, “Jesus, Lord bless the prayers in our hearts, and if he hollers make him pay fifty dollars everyday!” We all laughed until our cheeks hurt. I remembered that she liked to say prayers, but couldn’t remember the specifics. It was so fabulous to be reminded of her actual words.
Writing down my thoughts each night or every few nights was a way for me to keep my sanity in the midst of the crazy, and looking back now I realize that it was and is an incredibly important part of who I am. Writing is therapy for me. It doesn’t matter if anyone else reads what I write, I mean I would prefer if someone would read it, but no matter what, it keeps things in perspective. Which brings me to my thought this week.
Life is busy, busier than it’s ever been. We have more modern conveniences, but less time. Our kids are over-scheduled and over-tired. We run from place to place like lunatics and spend way to much time worrying about things that don’t matter in the grand scheme of life. We are on technology way too much and often fail to connect on a personal level. This Christmas I was amazed at the amount of friends for-going a Christmas card. I’m not judging, I get it. It can cost money and it certainly takes time, but it brings me to my point. Writing is becoming a lost art. We are moving into a space where it is no longer valued. I love getting notes from friends when it’s unexpected and I love seeing each Christmas card that comes to my house. Even though I have thought about not sending cards in the busiest weeks of my school year myself, this year I decided I’m not going to stop. I love looking back at our old cards and how the kids have changed.
I don’t want to see writing become something of the past. I want to look back in 30 years and re-read all of the words that I wrote about my life and family and find those memories again. I want to read about our summers together at our favorite cottage and remember there was a time that we were all together without technology and things moving so fast, because more than likely this summer my oldest will stay at college and work. Taking out those journals caused me to focus on the fact that I really do get into a fairly negative head space. So guess what, I got a new notebook! I have set a goal to write again about the daily things that mean so much. I have missed a lot in the lives of my kids on paper, but I’m choosing to find the time again.
You don’t have to be good at writing to journal, just grab a pen and paper and start, it’s that easy. Write about the good, the bad, and the ugly! But at the end of the ugly, find one amazing thing each day that you are thankful for, even if it’s simply that you woke up. After all, our time is not promised and each day really is a gift. Get back to the basics and don’t let the art of writing be something that is lost. Grab a cup of coffee or cocoa, a glass of wine, or snuggle up with a sweet puppy and get your “write” on! I look forward to seeing if you challenge yourself. It is a game changer. Now I need to go text this entry to myself…just kidding!
That’s my dish!