Happy New Year!
2007 was a year of milestone events and significant accomplishment for me and my family. Of course we all know some milestones are actually stumbling blocks, but we won’t go there now. When I go back over my journal I can more easily see meaning in the mess of the moment and, as a result, breathe a sigh of contentment and gratitude. That’s one of the real values of journaling. But journaling for me offers more than simply perspective, it helps me organize my thoughts, mine the meaning of events in my life and relieve the stress of the daily grind.
Do you keep a journal? Would you like to? There are all kinds of journals: a diary, a learning log, a special purpose journal and a travel log, to name a few. Some people write in their journals every day and some only periodically. What matters is that you keep at it over time. Here are some helpful hints for keeping a journal in 2008:
> Buy a notebook to write in. My son is fond of nice leather-bound journals made by Moleskin, while I use the simple paper-bound version by the same maker. You can use the computer which makes review much easier, but the aesthetics aren’t nearly the same.
> Find a time and place where you will not be interrupted.
> Keep in mind - no one will be grading your work, just write.
> When you sit down to write, if you don’t have something already in mind, begin by recounting events in the immediate past. Some people like to start with their feelings while others log their food intake. It doesn’t really matter, just get something on paper and the rest will flow.
> Periodically go back and read a few of your entries (be sure to date each as you write them). I once had a professor tell me the Bible is really just a journal written by God’s people - warts and all!
Enjoy! And let me know how it goes for you.