Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Journaling


I feel like there are two types of people in this world.  Those who spend their existence documenting their lives and those who don't.  Sounds like two extremes... but I think it's true.

I have always been one who loved to document life.  It probably started through letters to my cousins I left behind in Idaho (which we laugh about now because for every 5 letters I sent, I probably received one back) and then in 5th grade it happened.  Every week we had to write in our journals.  I have written in some sort of journal once a week ever since.  That means I have 20 years of documented thoughts.  20.

So of course I always love when I hear encouragement from the church to write in journals.  It is definitely a pat on the back.  I state how much I love journaling because I don't want to give off the wrong idea that I actually do it because I am supposed to.  I do it because I love it.  But I've been thinking about why we are encouraged to journal.

I think it's kinda a strange thing to encourage.  This idea of writing down our thoughts, our ideas, our current life situations with the knowledge that no one might ever read it.  Or for me, the frightening thought that someday someone might actually sit down and read 20 years of journals.  That poor soul.

Every once in a while I go back and read my journals.  Now beyond the embarrassingly long list of guys that consumed my every thought for the past 20 years, I feel like I always gain something from reading my journals.  I think the most valuable lesson I learn time and time again when I read about days of the past is, "This too will pass."  No matter the trial, no matter the hardship, every thing eventually turns out okay.  The pain eventually dulls, the insecurities melt away.  No matter the event or trial eventually I can look back and see that not being asked to your jr. prom is not the end of the world.

Of course I bring up something so insignificant as a stupid high school dance because 99% of the world's population has the wisdom to recognize the truth of how insignificant it is.  But to that poor 17 year old girl.... it was everything.  And the more I read my journals I can see that no matter the trial nothing is worth compromising standards or giving up on God because this too shall pass.  But sadly bad decisions sometimes can't be taken back.

Journals give us wisdom of our own personal life experiences.  It's one thing to be told or advised by someone else's lessons learned.... It is completely different to see it first hand time and time from ourselves.

I recently wrote about time and how it does strange things to us.  For the good and for the bad, time helps us forget.   It's good because without it, can you even imagine how many horrible things would constantly be swirling around through your head?  Thank heavens we forget.  But also bad because sometimes with time the lessons we learned are forgotten.  We digress.

So as I'm sitting here at 4:30 in the morning snuggled up in my flannel blankie, sitting under our Charlie Brown Christmas tree, sipping on my morning drink of choice I understand a little bit more why I love this time of morning so much.  I love the time I have to reflect and write and read.  Now clearly I wish it was not at 4:30 am..... because that means I am currently going to bed around 7:30.  Yes. Totally socially unacceptable.  But in the quiet of the morning, I love it.  It gives me the meaning and purpose I need to get through another day.  It gives me the courage to be a good teacher.  Yes.  I said courage.

But that'll have to wait for another day because the gym is waiting.

1 comment:

goddessdivine said...

Ok, I won't even start at why doing anything at 4:30 AM is just wrong.

But I often think about the famous people in history who took the time to journal and record thoughts and events. We have a wealth of information because of that. Some of the stuff we know about Joseph Smith and would not otherwise know is only because of what he wrote down in a journal.