I haven’t written too much on the Reschool Yourself blog yet about the key role journaling has played in my life, so I wanted to share this post. I was pleased to have it published on Create Write Now, a website by the journal therapist Mari McCarthy, who is healing her Multiple Sclerosis with the help of journaling. I’ve included an excerpt and linked to the complete post below.
Since I was around five years old, my journal has been my closest confidant. I was still getting used to holding a pencil at the time when someone gave me a little hardback journal with a metal lock and key. Even though my secrets weren’t any juicier than “I went to Disneyland. It was fun,” the important thing was that I had a place to keep them.
As I grew older, my journals changed along with me. In middle school and high school, I used thick 8 ½ by 11 college-ruled Mead notebooks. As a preteen, I filled them with boy gossip and inevitably ended entries with “I heart so-and-so forever.” Often, I listed two or three names of boys that I loved deeply. In high school, I documented my teenage emotional highs and lows, my severe school stress, and the rare fights with my best friend. My journal let me vent and cry, even when I had no one else to talk to.
Melia this article was great to read! But I have to admit, I have a love/hate relationship with journals. I realized, after picking up an old journal, that I only turned to them during difficult times and I was too busy living life and enjoying myself to stop and write down the fun moments. It was horrible reading an old journal filled only with sad, depressing entries. This year I decided to try a Do-Over. Write a journal filled only with things that make me smile or for which I’m grateful. It’s not a full-blown, “real” journal, but I love re-reading entries and remembering the simple things that made me smile one day or what I’m really grateful for during the tough times.
I hear you, Sheridan. It’s only when I get into the habit of journaling daily that I write down the victories and gratitudes. It’s much more common that I talk to my journal when I’m feeling upset and need to process.
I read a tip about journaling “100 Days of Happiness,” where every day you write down one thing that made you happy. And at the end of the 100 Days, you look at your list and pledge to do more of those things. I kept this up for a while, and they’re a good reminder of what’s important in your life.