Joy

Keeping a Journal and 52 Stories

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I’ll be writing in my journal about how much snow we got today and how the boys went outside to sled and play in it. This was just a couple hours after snow-blowing our driveway and sweeping off my son’s truck.

I was a very good girl last year and kept a detailed journal from February through December. In the past, my journaling has been rather inconsistent, but I’m confident my sporadic efforts will add up nicely to give a sweet picture of my life for my future great-great grandchildren, especially if I keep the habit up and add childhood memories as I go.

There are many benefits to keeping a journal. For me, writing in a journal is therapeutic. It’s like a friend who is always available to only listen and never judge! I’ve also found that writing down special moments or occasions soon after they happen keeps those memories fresh and accurate. When my kids have read my childhood journal entries, they’ve realized that even with our generation gaps, we have a lot in common (such as peer pressure). But most of all, I’ve come to recognize and appreciate many of my blessings, big and small.

  • A journal can be as simple as a spiral notebook or you can find pretty or themed journals at bookstores such as Barnes and Noble.
  • Always date each entry.
  • Write from your heart and be honest. Share your ups and your downs of life.
  • You never know. Your trials and mistakes and the way you handle them or learned from them might inspire or help someone years from now.
  • Get detailed! Saying you had a fun day won’t mean anything unless you list the specific events that made it fun.
  • Write both first and last names of people you mention, and add their relationship to you.
  • Don’t worry about spelling or perfect penmanship. If you make a mistake, just cross it out instead of ripping out the page and starting over. Cross outs and doodles give your journal personality! I’ve even glued paper items into my journal, such as a turtle drawing my niece made for me or a ticket stub.
  • Think outside the box if you want. I created a type of journal by printing out personal email conversations I had years ago with my sister and my closest friends, while I lived in Peru. I put each printout in protective sleeves and compiled them in a binder. Bloggers who journal in their posts can turn their blog into books with services such as blog2print.com (I’ve never used this so I can’t vouch for it.) 

Today I came across this article on familysearch.org that has a challenge, called, the 52 Stories project, which I’m going to do this year. I’m hoping some of my readers will join me. The idea is to record (in any form) one life story each week of this year. The best way to do this is by random memory. If you don’t know where to start, try asking yourself one of these questions.

Here is a snippet from the article that stood out to me:

“On nearly every headstone, no matter how plain or ornate, is carved one universal symbol. It’s a simple horizontal line—a dash—separating two significant dates. The first marks the day one precious soul entered this mortal life. The second marks his or her inevitable journey onward.

A well-known poem by Linda Ellis, “The Dash,” speaks of this symbol:

“For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.”

We are each, right now, standing somewhere in the middle of our own individual dashes.”

♥ Do you keep a journal? If you decide to participate in the 52 Stories challenge, let me know! ♥

 

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15 thoughts on “Keeping a Journal and 52 Stories

  1. I detail journal when we travel and are on holidays. For years, I’ve thought about doing it daily but figure it would be boring reading and therefore never got around to it. I often wish I kept track, especially when the family was younger. You have stirred the idea in me again, thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Travel/vacation journals are a great way to keepsake those special times. I hope you do try a daily or weekly journal this year. There’s more than just the mundane to write about. Thoughts and memories will be sure to find their way in. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve tried journaling off and on for as long as I can remember, but while I start out good I always trail off to writing nothing. My life is ho-hum that I began just jotting down grocery lists/costs of things, and petrol pricing as I find that interesting when reading journals from earlier times. That didn’t keep interested enough to keep doing it though. I’ve tried travel journaling too. Now I’m trying a watercolor journal, and my photography is sort of a journal I suppose in a loose way.

    Best of luck to your and your 52 stories endeavour! I hope you’ll share some here too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Grocery lists, petrol pricing, that’s funny! I’m sure your posterity will find even those things interesting! Love the watercolor journal idea. That will be beautiful! Your blog is definitely a journal of delightful photos. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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