Journaling - The Write Stuff For You?
Long ago –okay, for me, it was long ago!- it was common for a young person to keep a diary, a place to write down the heartaches and giggles of growing up, the trials and tribulations of school, friendships, sports and activities. Sometimes it was a locked book, so that we felt secure knowing our secret thought remained a secret.
How times have changed! While I no longer keep a classic diary, it is no less important for me to write down thoughts, ideas, and heaven-knows-what, on a regular basis. Nowadays, the common name is a “journal”, and seems to appeal to every segment of society. There are an abundance of ways to do this, and so many reasons why. Although I prefer longhand, many people use a computer, and there are any number of prompts/styles/methods.
Let’s explore this together!
Do you journal? What prompted you to start? What would you tell someone who wants to start?
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I tried downloading a photo of a lettuce poppy in my garden, always nice to receive flowers! I am 66 and after visiting Mayo when I was 64 went through a huge life change with a proper diagnosis. Mayo is wonderful! I love to journal and have journals destroyed by a jealous husband. Now I write when I want and really would like to develop the discipline to keep a daily journal again. At this stage of my life, I am enjoying keeping an "illustrated" journal! I draw, paint or scribble whatever I want to and it makes me happy. I believe it is the effort that is what counts, not the results. I wish you the best with your journaling. I recently began doing a daily three things I'm thankful for in writing every night before I go to bed. It gives me a sense of peace and I'm happy when my head hits the pillow. (After I get my CPAP on)!
@woogie I had to laugh when you said you had papers all over the place . I'm the same way I have notebooks with my writings in them someday I'm going to get them all out and put them in one . Dating all of them . My Mom did this also . When she died I found quite a few of her writings and what she put down relates to me now . When young I thought she was just saying these things but as I got older I realize she is right . I'll bet a lot of us can relate
I have been a journal writer all my life. I guess I didn’t realize how good it is for your mental health. I just knew that is how I always begin my day. Only as I have gotten older have I kept my notes. I so wish I had all the notebooks over the years that I have tossed. It would have been a great story of my and my family’s life down through years.
A verbal diary of those memories could be a way of passing it on to family.
@paulalina A beautiful flower to brighten this morning!
A journal can be anything you want it to be, that's the beauty of it. Some people want to destroy their work once a year, as a cathartic ritual. Some have their work destroyed without their okay. An abusive or angry relative might hold written word as a prize to be withheld. Or a journal is lost in a move, or in a fire. I remember accidentally leaving my then-current journal behind, and was actually panicked and hyperventilating if it was to be found, for what it contained. When it was found, I have no idea who may have read it, and was inconsolable for several days, then yep, wrote about that in my journal.
@ret18 Thank you for popping in to let us know how it works for you! I wonder if you would be open to starting to write down your family stories again, and collecting them for your heirs and others to read? It might be a very interesting journey and I bet, more pages in your daily journal!
@lioness I am with you. Hmm, guess I will try to relocate everything again and place in one spot. My dad sealed most everything up in a box as he moved to his last apartment. I asked for his writings, and promised to keep the box sealed until after he passed. All I wanted was his writings and his old Remington typewriter, but did not receive them. He gifted me with a folding machete-type knife and the camp shovel we always carried in the car.
A way to use journaling is following a health condition. As someone with chronic health issues, I sometimes write a letter to my condition [pick one, any one!] and give it what-for, or report symptoms/changes. This has served me well when discussing with doctors what is going on. When doing this, my writing is very clinical, more of a report, just facts. Perhaps a section in the back of a journal for that type of entry? Color the edge of a page with a marker so you can find it easily when needed? Let me know what you do, please?
Did you write today? Are your pages showing fireworks in words or in drawings? Did you talk about what this holiday meant to you as a child?
When I worked in the law enforcement field, I worked every holiday. Since I had no kids, I wanted to let those who did, share it with their families. One 4th of July, as I got off shift at 9pm, I sat on the trunk of my car in the parking lot of the facility. Turning to my left, I could see a fireworks show going off over the harbor. And then, turning to my right, there was another display set off at the university football field. Quite a celebration.
@gingerw Hi Ginger,
Thanks for the reminder that holidays are great times to journal and write. Holidays, even the 4th of July, with its fireworks and gaiety can be times of remembrance of times past, people who are no longer with us, and the general uncertainty of the world where we reside today. For some of us who grew up with alcoholism or other addictions, this holiday was just like the others. The unfortunate time to drink too much and become abusive.
This is also a time when we can remember better days in the past where we had more energy, youth, and a more positive spirit. Losses seem to be profound on a holiday.
Well, it is time to stop posting and start writing. What about the rest of you? What will you be writing about today?
Writing down the memories is a good way to be thankful for the good times we have had.
@0616 Good thought! A gratitude journal is important. Do you keep a gratitude journal, @0616?
Just a thought based on the suggestion of @0616, does any keep a gratitude journal? If so, share a bit about your gratitude journal. Do you write every day? What time of day?
I'd love to hear more about gratitude journals.