So it’s 2021, a new year, a fresh start, ‘hitting the F5’ key I call it, ‘refresh’… but this year it feels, well kinda different doesn’t it?
We’ve just had the news that the England is going back into lockdown again and I decided that today would be a good day to start my diary. I say diary, because, well, that’s what I’ve always called it. But these days, in 2021, it’s called ‘journalling’ – a new craze it seems. I often talk to my clients about ‘journalling’, ‘have you tried journalling?’ I often ask. Which is often met with a quizzical look…. ‘what’s that?’ they ask. Good question, I ponder to myself. Well to me, it’s writing a diary, keeping a notebook. But this year, to stay ‘on-trend’ I’m going to name it my journey journal, you like it?
So what is it? You may well ask. It’s basically writing down, usually at the end of the day, what’s happened, reflections on the day. Thoughts about the day, who said what, things it’s brought up for you, good and bad. And generally allows a space where one can reflect on the day and ‘put it to bed’ so to speak. So rather than going to bed with a head full of thoughts, the ‘journalling’ allows the process to happen – the idea being that you can sleep soundly in your bed with a peaceful mind.
I’ve been doing this on and off for years, since I was about 13 years old in fact. I used to enjoy browsing the shelves in WHSmith’s, still do – and find the most beautiful note book to write in. One particular favourite I remember was an A5 size book which looked like the front of a dinner jacket, complete with bow tie. To open the book, the right hand side of the jacket opened up, bright pink it was, with a black bow tie. I loved that book and within it, held all my inner thoughts, secrets, conversations I had with others during the day. It was a place where I could be completely me, completely … free.
As the years rolled past, I continued to write, every evening, I even remember writing after the birth of my eldest son, and that is over 24 years ago now! – (Am I that old?) Each notebook, or diary as I called it then, was treasured and I saw them as an extension of myself. I have them all still – in the loft, safely packed away. Each time we move house, I have a quick look through them, reminiscing and sometimes cringing at the things I wrote!
But it worked for me, it was cathartic you see, a bit like writing this blog I suppose. Just allowing my thoughts to run away with themselves, clearing my mind and allowing freedom of expression to take over.
In a similar way to my knitting and sewing really. For me, it’s a ‘mindful’ past-time which I have always enjoyed. It gives me great pleasure, relaxing, thinking, feeling calm and with a great sense of achievement and satisfaction with the end result.
So my aim this year is to keep my ‘journey journal’ and go back to that carefree writing where I can express myself and clear my thoughts and feelings for the day. Allowing me to drift off into a deep sleep each night. But this year, I’m going to approach it in a slightly different way. You see, I’m going to write each entry as a letter. Now that letter might be addressed to a person, or an event or anything really, depending on what has happened during that particular day. I feel it will give my writing new meaning, more focus, more direction. So this evening I am going to give it a go. On a brand new page, of a brand new notebook!
And of course, I will keep you posted on how it’s going. I look forward too, to hearing about what you decide to do. Will you keep a journey journal, or perhaps take up a new craft or hobby to allow your mind and body a space where you can be creative and at peace?
I will look forward to hearing from you, you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to let me know how you’re getting on.