Last year, a friend gave me two delightfully girly gifts. Nail polish for one. As a present from one mature gal to another, I did not miss the irony of the name of the shade. Forever Yummy! It is shocking fuchsia red. I could be wrong about the colour. (Remember the blog, My Cones are not Write, from March 19th?)
The other gift was a thick little notebook. A glossy metallic pink cover adorned with a huge heart-shaped stone surrounded by itsy little stones. Let’s call them diamonds. The edges of the paper are shiny silver. With the book closed and the pink chiffon ribbons tied in a bow, everything shimmers. I stroked the iridescent cover and the multi-faceted stone. Then I set the book aside. Unsure.
Journals have been a part of my life for as long as I can remember. Each time I finished a book, I would tuck it away before beginning another. Not always in the same place. Could be a dresser drawer, a shelf in the closet, or the great old leather trunk. Periodically, I would come across a journal that could be months or years old. Of course, I would always take a moment –sometimes hours−to scan through the pages. Not all the memories were good.
Actually, a few years ago I destroyed many of my journals. Memories I didn’t want to come across again. Before shredding them, I dutifully recorded the entries about my son from the time he was a baby right into his late teens. Some happenings I barely remembered, and others I would never forget. I passed those excerpts along to him for his amusement.
Often when skimming the blue lined pages of long-ago, the individual in the journal seemed like a stranger. I wondered how many transitions the average person realizes in a lifetime. My schedule was frenzied for so many years that it made me breathless reading about it. Was that really me? Honestly, if I had to do those things today, my heart would be hammering.
I like to think that everything we experience in our lifetime is part of this great plan. Everything we learn we will use; if not now, then thirty years from now.
Did my journey as a writer begin with my diaries all those years ago? Was it self-preservation or merely self-expression? Then, of course, writing is self-expression. Even fiction writers reveal more of themselves than they realize. Ooh, when I think of the horrid circumstances in the book I am working on now, I shudder to suppose what part of me I am revealing.
Bearing in mind the writings from my years of journaling, I decided to record only happy thoughts in my luxurious new diary. Very wise! Now when I skim through the book, each page brings back beautiful thoughts and memories. There are a lot of exclamation marks, celebrations and hearts, the names of dear friends, x’s and o’s, and accomplishments, however small.
Some days I jot down a single word or phrase that gives me a feel-good glow: the smell of lemons, fresh laundry, Sophie’s hair. The feel of soft towels, a child’s arms around my neck, a visit with a friend. The sound of Tiki’s purr, Sadie’s laugh, and whispers in the night.
If you don’t have an inspirational journal, think of starting one. It’s guaranteed to lighten a disheartened mood, ease a nagging headache, and bring serenity and gratification to the reader.