Journal-ling

17 09 2012

I keep up a personal journal and have done so for years, decades. What is the purpose? Sometimes I have to check that question because it oftentimes seems futile. I have filled one journal after another with running statistics (when I was able to run), thoughts of events as they unfolded, commentary on world news, and a bunch of personal stuff about daily routine. I started such a lifetime project when I was in about sixth grade, but it only lasted about a year. I took it up again when I was in the Navy, and made occasional entries through out my 20’s. It became daily when I was in my thirties and continues to this day.

Within the pages of these journals is a transformation that has led to what I am today. It is not Pulitzer prize literature, but it is me, just as I am. It’s interesting reading my 6th grade entries and those special events like my wedding day, graduation day from college, my discovery of grace in my deliverance from legalism, and even the horrible time I went through 16 years ago when a neurological episode lead to a diagnosis of Cavernous Angioma.

Much of it is mundane, but it allows me to reminisce of particular attitudes and feelings that I had at different times in my life. I have hopes that if I leave them to my kids or grand kids after I am gone, maybe they could get to know me. I never even met one of my grandfathers and the other one I did not know well. Perhaps they would be inspired or challenged. Then I think, nah, they will just be bored and the journals would end up in a dusty attic or landfill. Sometimes I am tempted to throw this set of handwritten books away because cursive is obsolete and they are all written in cursive. I am considering editing most of it out and saving only key events.

Is journal-ling for everyone? Probably not. A more appropriate question is, “is journal-ling right for me”? Give it a shot, it is a discipline that may long outlive your journey here on earth.

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