I was a journal-writing fiend in high school. I transitioned from a small, Catholic grade school to a large, public high school and had to make all new friends. One girl I met intrigued me in many ways: she was involved in all of the same activities (theater, band, choir) and was so poised and self-assured. She carried her journal everywhere and was constantly scribbling.
I had always loved to write, so found myself emulating her — filling journal after journal with the emotional ramblings of a teenager. If I was bored in class, I would write, cocky enough that no teacher would dare interrupt my musings by demanding my attention. My journaling was a self-important means of escape.
In college, I wrote less. Gone were the hormones and drama of high school life and I needed it less. As an English major, I was buried in the reading and writing of my coursework and writing for pleasure took a backseat.
Then a job after college. I had to travel to small towns across the United States, usually leaving on Monday and arriving home on Friday. I was so fatigued in the evenings after presentations all day long that I would usually crash in my hotel room and find HGTV or reruns of Friends.
I wrote nothing during that time, which was tragic because some of my travel adventures would have made for excellent stories. Like eating at the tiny town in Nebraska where the only “restaurant” was filled with taxidermy and the idea of a vegetarian meal was a pile of iceberg lettuce.
I began blogging in October of 2009, when my first child was three weeks old. He was a mellow baby and I was bored on maternity leave. Since that time, I have written 1,799 posts.
In 2015, I started another blog, writing about grief after two of my babies were stillborn. I am open about the ongoing effects of pregnancy loss, even years later, in the hopes of raising awareness or letting those with similar experiences know that they are not alone. 363 posts.
And I write here — writing about writing.
A friend of mine — ironically the same friend whose journal-writing fanaticism sparked my interest in high school — says that I am like the modern day Samuel Pepys. A future historian may have a field day with how much I document.
In the blogsphere though, it is always tailored to an audience. I leave out some of the boring details of my day. I write privately sometimes, using OneNote, but it is rare, and usually when I have a rant about something that I figure no one wants to read.
In the spirit of “journaling” about some of the more mundane details of my life, I picked up a Moleskine notebook at the beginning of the year. Each day has a single page, and I write, bullet-style, details that may not have been captured anywhere else.
We played Mario Kart with the kids after dinner.
Our lawn mower wasn’t working, so I hired a teenager to come and mow. She was very eager and chipper.
We tried to assemble the baby gate and ran into problems so now we have to return the gate to Amazon and the other gate never arrived…
Fun stuff. But details of the day that mattered.
A few weeks ago, I fell off the journal-writing wagon, after having been pretty good for the first five months of the year. A bit mad at myself, I am trying to fill in the days that I missed.
I also learned of the Five-Minute Journal through a Medium post and was curious. My bullet journaling did not require much thought, other than maybe trying to remember what happened twelve hours earlier. The Five-Minute Journal will have me focus on gratitude and affirmations. Perhaps that little bit of positivity will be a nice boost in the morning and evenings.