Sunday, January 27, 2013

my self-indulgent journaling

Catching up on my #create2013 lists & prompts (fell behind during the week) 
As a little splurge on myself as the new year approached, I signed up for Karen Walrond's create.2013 online class. Part of me feels silly admitting it because it feels so... self-indulgent? But then again, that's kinda the point. I spend so much of my time and energy every day on this family of mine, on my husband (and his career/aspirations) and on my children, and while I love my roles as Wife and Mother I also know I want/need to eek out a little indulging of myself every now and then, separate from them.

So, I signed up for this class, excited but also a bit skeptical of if I'd even find time to do it justice. The class is four weeks long and is described as "a guided journaling course to help you reflect on the previous year, as well as review every success of your life, to help guide you to your best intentions for the new year." Initially I didn't think much of the journaling part, or that I'd keep it up beyond the course itself, but was mostly interested in getting a little push and inspiration in framing my goals and intentions for the year ahead.  Now, three weeks in, I'm finding I might be into this journaling thing after all.  Or, again, really.

I used to keep handwritten journals, back in middle and high school and continuing off-and-on through college.  I found my box of old journals this summer when we were getting ready to move-- reading through them was quite a trip (though I have to say I was kinda disappointed in myself, about 95% of what I wrote about for all those years was whatever guy I had a crush on or was dating.  Seriously, Teenage Me? Nothing else was worthy of writing down?).  I ended up shredding most of them because they were so embarrassingly worthless, but I did keep a few that are stashed in my closet (including the ones from when I met Zach and we started dating).  Maybe it sounds weird, but even if I'm not terribly proud of most of the content I'm still glad that I wrote those journals.  I really enjoyed the habit at the time.

When I started blogging back in 2004 it was partially because I missed keeping a journal but had lost the drive to write by hand. I thought maybe the new online format would provide the necessary motivation... and it did. I've been blogging (mostly consistently) for almost 9 years now.  It's turned into a great record of our lives-- Zach and I each go back every once in a while and read through old posts and smile at the memories of so many things we'd otherwise have long forgotten.  This little blog of mine also connected me to some pretty amazing fellow expats when we lived abroad, many of whom I'm still friends with, and also provided me with an essential outlet and means of support in my early days (and months and years) of parenting.

But...I do kinda miss writing by hand. And I miss writing without reservation. I've noticed I'm not quite as open here as I used to be, and feel a little more awkward or self-conscious about what to write and how, and whether any of it is even worth sharing, etc. For the class we've been writing two "morning pages" every day, where you're supposed to just write stream-of-consciousness for 2 pages, and then keep our journals around for recording whatever other thoughts, lists, etc may come up over the course of the day (more on that here). It's nice, because it takes the pressure off and gets you started just writing shit down. A lot of it is mundane, some of it delves a bit more deeply, and over time it all kinda becomes meaningful. So I'm hoping to keep it up.  And, I'm hoping that writing out my jumbled thoughts off-line might help me better sort and frame those thoughts for posting here. This'll be (one of?) my fun experiment(s) of 2013.

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