The Joys of Keeping a Journal

I’ve journaled off and on throughout my life and the last few years, I’ve been in the ‘on’ mode.

There are plenty of cool journals set up so that you don’t even have to write much. I like the size and feel of My One Line a Day, published by Chronicle Books. It’s supposed to last three years, but for me, a single page is the perfect size for daily use.

This particular book has gotten harder to find, and I’ve ordered them from various places, including used booksellers.

This week, I was surprised and amused to find that, indeed, one of the journals is used. As you see above, April 8 was a bummer of a day six years ago for this diary’s previous young owner.

I can relate. I still have some of my teenage journals, full of angst based on whether some boy looked at me, or didn’t, or spoke to me, or didn’t. When I shared the entries with my son during his own teenage years, the drama that leapt off the pages prompted mutual, hysterical laughter.

A recent Los Angeles Times article by Marisa Gerber touts the importance of journaling in challenging times – to ensure that we’ll remember the details, and to pass the lessons and impressions on to others. And the Positive Psychology website has an excellent summary of ways that keeping a journal is a smart mental-health move, along with tips about how to journal effectively.

I imagine my future great-great-great-grandkids wondering someday what the Great Pandemic of 2020 was like, and knowing they can crack open my long-ago journal and get a compelling glimpse.

Or...they can peruse the teenage journals for a good guffaw.