Have you ever kept a journal? From the time people were able to communicate, they have kept some recording of life. Maybe it began in a cave with pictures scratched on the cave wall. Whatever the case, people have always let other people know what was happening.
Whatever you want to call it – a diary, a journal, a bio, a log – it is a recording of thought, activity, and events. When I was very young, I remember having a diary was “the thing” to do. Some of them came with a lock and key so no one would know what we had written. They might be hidden in a drawer in our room, certainly not out where anyone would read them. They were personal, they were ours. To invade someone’s diary was a real invasion of privacy.
Naval people keep a journal which is called a log. This must be kept daily, not a personal thing, but for the record.
The journal I’m speaking of is a personal one that you keep of the events of your day and your thoughts and feelings. It can be as long or as short as you want. My journal-keeping routine began as an outgrowth of reading the many diaries, or journals, that my mother kept over the years. After she passed away, I read over those years remembering when she came to visit me and my family, events that happened to family and friends, and even references to what the weather was on a particular day.
My own journals have become for me a reflection of my day – feelings, concerns, prayers – and a time to review the good, the bad, the routine, and their meaning to my life. I look forward to this time at the end of each day to reflect on what is happening in my life, how I might improve, and where I need to let go of some things. The biggest enjoyment I have found in journaling is looking back a year or two ago of the same day and remembering what was happening on that day compared to the present day. There have been some surprises. A year ago, I may have been “down in the dumps” for some reason, and today I am feeling quite differently. Events change, feelings change. We know that. We need to be reminded of it.
Another great joy I have found is journaling a trip. I have been privileged to go to some wonderful places – Switzerland, Italy, sailing in the British Virgin Islands, a surprise trip to New York City where I had never been. To read my own account of these trips over the years has been a double pleasure.
The best thing is that a journal can begin at any time, at any age. It is for the youngest child to the very oldest person who certainly has many thoughts and feelings to relate. It only takes an inexpensive little notebook and a pencil or pen to start. You might want to give it a try!
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