I’ve been cleaning and clearing and making space in my life; read what Stacy writes about ‘clearning’. I’m working my way through my procrastination list one item at a time and it has been tremendously satisfying. There’s one item has been on my list for years actually— what to do with my old journals. Since mom moved in I took the crates out of the closet and left them sitting out in the living room so I would see them every day. Now what?
I’ve saved thirty five years of diaries and journals—what do I do with them now? There are a few that I will treasure for ever: my first when I was ten; the one I wrote in 1983 when I met Jeff; the ones I wrote while pregnant and several I wrote for Brin while she was a baby. The others reflect a woman who no longer exists.
I’ve been journaling since I was ten years old, check out this treasure:
A few years ago my writing friend Kathy shared that she had a bon fire celebration and burned all her old journals. Am I brave enough to let them go? Jeff suggested I seal them and bury them for future generations to discover. Once I’m gone I don’t really care who reads them—my secrets will be safe but I guess I feel my life hasn’t been all that exciting that future historians might be interested in my lil’ ole words.
I borrowed a shredder which is sitting next to the huge stack of books and notebooks, waiting.
Do you save your old journals? If so where how do you store them? If you’ve let them go I’d love to hear what action you took and what it was like for you to let them go.
I love writing longhand when I journal, the words and energy flow and I feel creatively connected in a way I don’t while using a keyboard. For those of you who prefer typing and are smart to save electronically for posterity I highly recommend Life Journal. This simple software allows you to write from writing prompts or quotes and save in categories and search for posts. There’s even a daily pulse to track your mood level and a section to record your dreams.
If you’re a longhand journaler please share what journal you use; is it spiral or hardbound? Fancy or plain? Unlined or lined? Where do you buy your favorite blank books? My recent favorites have been on sale at Barnes & Noble the Wire-O from Piccadilly.
However you journal I hope you write from your heart and experience exhilarating ah-ha moments and blissful clarity from putting your words on paper.
“These are but wild and whirling words.” ~ William Shakespeare
I have a ton of them myself. What to do with them? I’m afraid to throw them away, as I may lose some of me. Does that sound crazy?
I use a plain, lined, spiral binder. I usually get stock up during back to school season. I love to look at the fancier ones, but can’t bring myself to write in them. So, I give them away.
Let me know what you decide to do with them. 🙂
Dilemmas! Try shredding a few pages or even a whole one that’s not too important and see how you feel.
You said most or many were of a woman you are no longer. You’ve emerged as a new and happier person, I surmise, and this is who you really are and who you like best and who we know and love, so, ask yourself: Why hold on? What’s the value there?
I primarily use the Circa system from Levenger; I like the interchangeability of the pages. I have however used a variety of other formats and pages. I seldom re-read entries and periodically,toss. I think I journal more to capture an idea or a self-conversation about a plan, a thought, etc. In a way, it’s just a good jumpstart for my day; a chance to indulge in solitude and reflection.
I have written a treatise; this is a great topic – I’ll undoubtedly journal on it for several days.
Best of luck with your decision. I’m sure that whatever you decide will be the best decision for you.
PS. Jeff has a great sense of humor.
Would you consider giving them to your daughter one at a time. Or saving them for your daughter? In 2001 when my dad died, I found a lot of documents and letters. I learned a lot about my mom. I was like, ‘wow, Mom had a normal life!’ She went through a lot of the same things that I went through and MORE! There weren’t a lot of documents and letters, so I craved more. So instead of burying them for strangers to find, give them or leave them for people that (I believe) would treasure them. What do you all think?
LA, my feeling about journals is that each and every one is a piece of you and you may not want the “clutter” or want to make space for something else but let me tell you: when you lose a loved one, there is nothing greater than having those words, feelings, thoughts, triumphs, tribulations to get to know that person better. Think what a treasure for your daughter. Find a way to save them–warts and all–for her.