Mine Alone
Steeped in Tradition: The Nativity

Unwrapping: Working It Out On Paper

For as long as I can remember, I have been . . . a documentor. 

As a girl, I kept secret diaries.  As I grew older, I was drawn to journaling.  As a mother, I tracked my kids' daily antics on calendars with big date-spaces.  As a gardener, I maintain detailed notes and drawings in dirt-covered notebooks.  Until recently (when I "went digital"), I documented my entire career in day-planners.  I have kept a family Christmas journal since Erin's first Christmas.  Now, I have this blog.  I'm not sure why, but I am drawn to recording my life.  Documenting my actions.  Committing it to words.  Working things out on paper.


This stack of journals (each one absolutely crammed from beginning to end) covers the period of my life from 1999 through 2009 . . . about the time I started this blog.

My journals are private.  Not that I write about private matters, necessarily.  No, they're just . . . for me.   My own space.  A window on what's going on in my mind.  My journals are much more than writing, though.  I tape in pictures and cards and quotes I especially like, or mementoes like ticket stubs and program books and postcards.


I include dreams and goals and frustrations and disappointments.  Plans and hopes and fears and wonders.  I tend to be a lot more. . . grumpy and neurotic. . . in my jounals than I am in "real life."  (Maybe that's because I get through it in my journals?)


I really do a lot of thinking . . . through writing . . . in my journals.

It's much different (for me, at least) than blogging.   I mean, I'm pretty frank in my blog posts.  I share a lot about my life and my joys and my fears; I think it's pretty clear . . . who I AM.  But.  I'm hyper-aware that this is all public.  That anyone can read it.  That anyone can know me.  So I'm very intentional about what I include in my blog posts. . . and what I don't!

Journaling -- on paper -- offers a release and a "place" that my blog just can't.


My journaling has declined since I started my blog.  Lately, I've been feeling the pull to begin journaling again - in earnest.  Not instead of blogging, but alongside blogging.

Now, I need both outlets in my life. 


After all . . . I am a documentor!




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So interesting - and I am so poor at documenting - anything! I'm actually considering doing the One Word thing for 2012 - a little journaling - a little thinking - a little crafting. We'll see! Great post Kym!


I have boxes of journals too. I only have one rule when writing in them - cross out but do not destroy. In a private journal that is not meant for anyone else to read you can be yourself and sometimes, particularly in times of stress and upset you need a place to just let rip - because you know if you did it to someone else, no matter how much they loved you, it would not be nice for you or them.

They are also a place to work out things, even if it means going over the same things year in year out - I don't go round it circles I go round in
spirals - because year on year things change slightly.

What I find incredible thought is that I haven't changed that much from my 18 year old self. I still think the same way even if age has brought along more confidence and I might not immediately do or say something that pops into my head.

I always loved the TS Eliot verse from Little Gidding (paraphrased badly) 'we shall not cease from exploration, and at the end of our exloring is to come back to where we started and know the place for the first time' - that is what my journals illustrate to me.


Am I too old to start journaling? Because it sounds like a good place to write about the cranky stuff that I don't put on the blog!


I think that's wonderful. I really admire you for keeping up with the journaling over the years. I wish I had the time and creativity to do that. These days, blogging a couple of times a week is a struggle and there is so much I just can't talk about in public.


you said it beautifully - I love journaling on paper just for me...and online for me and everyone else. the two mediums exist very well side by side and I think both are at their best when both are tended to!


p.s. to Carole - I started journaling in december 2006 - katie made me a lovely journal for my 46th birthday. it took me about three weeks to get up the courage to write in it, but once I got the courage, it's been non-stop. so...NO, you're not too old!!!


Blogging is as close to journal keeping as I'm going to get I'm afraid. I'd rather type than write long hand. You make it sound like a fun endeavour though. :D


I am not a journaler nor a diarist; the blog is as far as I go. Your children and grandchildren (etc., until the umpteenth generation) will treasure those journals if you choose to let them go.


So many aspects of my life changed once I went ditigal. Your notebook/journals are inspiring. I love the bits of color and the pictures you save as a part of the process.

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