Dear Diary: Never Say Never

mint-tea-and-elephants-journal-three

You’d think by now, I’d learn to never say never. At the end of 2016, I was so very sure that I’d probably most likely never journal again. I wasn’t feeling the awesome feelings everybody said I should experience and I was tired of struggling to feel those good feelings. I didn’t think that 2017 would yield any journal entries. Surprise, surprise, I wrote 57 entries. 57! My scribbles vary in length from literally one line to several pages.

By mid-April 2017, I’d doodled enough to finish my second journal and justify investing in a new one. Buying that third journal showed me that even though my heart wasn’t in journaling, my head recognised that there was something useful here.

From January to March 2018, I was on a roller coaster of activity. I battled insomnia, and most mornings I woke up with a body that felt as if it’d been run over by a double-decker bus. I had no time or energy to blog. I had to try to relax. Writing for and fiddling with the blog helps me to stay calm but since that was missing from my schedule, my journal unconsciously filled that void. In the midst of the madness, I was writing in my journal with greater regularity.

Tonight, I read some of what I wrote and hell if I know what I was going on and on about. I don’t remember some of the stuff that I did or that happened to me (old age comes to us all, don’t laugh)! Makes me wonder why I fixate on stuff as long as I do. Note to self – do not fuss over ish that you will most likely forget in a few months’ time.

My journal is part gratitude journal; part complaints bureau; part romance novel; part register of random, nonsensical thoughts; part dream journal; part vessel for venting my frustrations.

I employ the free writing technique in that I do not stop to correct spelling, grammar or punctuation. I scratch out the words that I don’t want and keep going. For a neat freak like me, that wasn’t an easy habit to adopt. Also, my words have been recorded in the most awful penmanship. Another horror I had to get used to. There’s no stopping for proper cursive when my brain is moving faster than my pen. Much of what I say is annoyingly repetitive but I guess when I’m really over something, I’ll stop “talking” about it.

Things have been going so well, I decided to name him. Yes, my journal is a boy. The name popped into my head and I Googled its meaning. I was elated to see that the meaning is intimately connected with my spirit and the direction of my journaling and thus I christened him accordingly. His name is our (his and mine, not yours and mine 🙂) little secret.

I still don’t journal daily. I journal whenever my spirit demands it. One of these days, I’ll brew a gallon of tea, get comfy, and start reading my entries from the very beginning. Can’t wait to see what stories they’ll collectively tell.

33 thoughts on “Dear Diary: Never Say Never

    1. Thank you! I’m actually journaling more than writing for the blog these days. I still call it writing though. It has made me much more creative than I’ve been in years!!

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  1. Lol, I feel anyone who spends time writing a post deserves a proper comment to do it justice. A one liner is not me. I’d rather just like it than do that. I know other people think differently, but it’s just my way of thinking. “Letting go” is often hard to do. When you can it becomes very liberating. Immensely positive in fact. Not easy though to begin with.

    I do have a question though… relates to tea. I was looking at a blog earlier debating the merits of reviewing samples. You mentioned gallons of it….I’m curious do you have a favourite go too brew?

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    1. I confess, Gary. I’m very picky and rarely venture out to try new food/drinks. I tend to stick to what I know I like. My go-to brands for mint/peppermint tea are Twinnings and Dilmah. I went to a meeting recently where the peppermint tea was the BEST I’ve ever had and I forgot to make a note of the brand. That’s what happens when you’re talking too much! Lately, I’ve been drinking bayleaf tea. We have the trees growing in our yard. I brew the tea with the fresh or dried leaves depending on the intensity of flavour I’m in the mood for.

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      1. Same hear. I’ve tried quite a few, but still return to tested ones I’m happy with. Camomile tea is up there with me. Mint, as I said, has never been a favourite. Never tried bay leaf tea though. Sounds quite aromatic. Definitely no wood though, charred, burnt or otherwise 😳

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  2. Fascinating insight into your journaling habits. Drew a smile knowing you’d not only named it, but guven it a sex AND googled the meaning. The hardest part of any freeform writing, whatever the name… stream of conscious, pantsing…whatever, is letting go of learnt habits. Checking, grammar, spelling, tautology, sense…everything. Letting go of all that opens up a whole new dimension on the imagination and how it interprets reality.

    I use pantsing in novels. First draft is just throw the story down. Editing is afterwards. I imagine it’s not too different from your journaling method except not going back after to correct things. I bet it’s fascinating reviewing them later.

    Not only that it gives a brilliant outlet for pent up frustrations. Really fascinating hearing your take on it too.

    Apologies as well. I saw this link on BUYB yesterday, but ran out of time!!

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  3. I relate to all of this so much! And I am definitely with you on free writing – as a copywriter my instinct (and preference) is to write, proofread, rewrite, and nit-pick. It took some time, but I’m now able to turn off my technical brain when I’m just releasimg thoughts into the pages of a journal – which is of course a lot more soothing in times of reflection.

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    1. You understand! Academia, as well as YEARS of writing formal reports, ruined my ability to just let words flow. I have improved so much! Let’s keep working on this. I think once we can separate the work from the journal, we’ll become even more creative.

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  4. I’ve never really journaled but it seems like a great way to get things out or appreciate things. This year I started a 5 year ‘line a day’ book. It will be great to look back on.

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  5. So I’m not the only one with slopy handwriting and the brain is moving faster then the fingers? That is partly why I blog b/c I’m a pretty fast typer. That is amazing you are keeping up with the journal! Now I want to know the name of the journal! Is it Bob? LOL!

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    1. Funny story – I had a colleague who’d come into my office to see me type. I’d type so quickly that when I took my hands off the keyboard, the computer would still be catching up. My colleague said it was like watching a ghost typing! If I’d named my journal Bob, I’d see Bob Pinciotti from That 70s Show every time I sat down to write! Thanks for the laugh. 🤣🤣🤣

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  6. I used to love journaling and then we broke up. I filled up page after page of thoughts. And I remember those thoughts being important, profound even. But when I go back to read them they read like most journals do–less compositional excellence more stream of consciousness ramble. I think in some way that disappointed me. But, upon reflection, I think that might be silly. As you point out, a journal isn’t supposed to be a work of literary art, or filled with profundity. It can just be an externalizing of what’s happening inside my skull. And I think naming a journal–a thing you have an intimate relationship with–makes perfect sense. As does keeping his name all to yourself.

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  7. Journaling is an excellent way to relieve stress and a gratitude journal is one way to train your mind to focus on the positive and not the negative. Whenever you feel stressed and don’t think you have enough time to write, think of it as a way of self-care. Remember you’re important, too!

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      1. I find it to be a great stress reliever. It changes my focus from my frustrations, usually other people’s behavior, which I have no control over, to creating something which gets my mind off of what’s irritating me. 🙂

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        1. Sometimes, I write about what’s irritating me and then I get irritated all over again. Ha! One thing I’ve learnt, journaling really is a very personal and individual thing. We all do it differently so it’s nice to hear other people’s take on it.

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