Hello Friends, and how is it the middle of June?
I’m convinced that Doctor Who was a little more than right:
“People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint — it’s more like a big ball of wibbly wobbly… time-y wimey… stuff.”
Recently, one of my home visit nurses was astonished by my almost daily habit of journalling. I struggled to understand her intrigue and the most I could offer was that my family knew that my journals were mine and that they are off limits. Her curiosity was a bit like when someone asks how you have mastered English. If you, like me, have grown up speaking the language, you don’t really have the perspective to explain your English ease.
I have thought about Nurse Amanda quite a bit since her visit. I don’t have anything that feels authoritative to offer about journalling – but I have come up with a few bits that might encourage you to find a journalling path that works for you.
I have journaled with regularity since someone bought me a cute locked diary in elementary school. I have shelves filled with journals from across the years. I thrive on the hunt for the best journals (right now, Compendium) and perfect pens (looking for input please).
There are books and blogs and Pinterest pages all about journalling. There are lots of social and health reasons that support a journaling habit.
The thing that has allowed me to journal as a long-term habit is that I have been flexible in my practice. I listen to myself as I write. I explore and try different ideas. Different seasons of life have opened up different methods of journaling. Just like humans want a variety in their meal plan, so do we need to listen when it is time to change up our habits – like journalling. It is only when I get legalistic with the practice that journalling loses joy and value for me.
Most often, my journalling happens in the morning. There are some years when a journal entry starts like a letter – ‘Dear God, Dear Journal, Dear Emily’. Sometimes my handwriting is very neat and other times barely read-able. Sometimes I have a topic that I am trying to untangle. I have used journal prompts. An approach called Morning Pages (Julia Cameron) served me well for a couple years. I have included gratitude practices and affirmations. I have copied long and short passages from books. I have included family history and stories.
Journaling has made me a better human. I do not journal with the intent of sharing them with my family or ‘the generations’. My family knows they are my private space and that they are to be destroyed when I die.
This is how journaling works for me. And it is up to you to figure out how (and if) it will work for you. Stay gentle and flexible. And please share your pen recommendations.