It’ll come as no surprise to discover I’ve had a love of journalling for my whole life.
From the newsy childhood letters exchanged with my best friend, through my drama-soaked teenage diaries to my current almost-daily handwritten download of my brain, writing has always been the way I balance my emotions in my life, and discover what I’m actually thinking. It’s the best way I know to process the vast amount of things that happen in everyday life – good, bad, big and small.
Plus it’s the best excuse for new notebooks ever!
Recently, with some big things going on in my life, I’ve inexplicably found myself sabotaging my practice – finding myself “too tired” or going to bed too late; having mountains of admin that needs doing instead (of course some of it does, but I really don’t think re-filing my student loan application from 2003 is urgent, at this point in time); coming home later than planned from social things with friends and family so that I can just fall into bed without writing.
I’ve managed to just about keep up with my bullet journal, because if I don’t put things in lists then generally they don’t happen, but I’ve entirely stopped writing in the second of my five year diaries – the first ran between my 25th and 30th birthdays, the second has languished untouched since April.
Frustratingly, this appears to be a habit of mine during stressful times – periods of great sadness in my life are marked by conspicuous swathes of blank pages in all three of my daily diaries – the five year one-liner, the gratitude journal and the main notebook where I can write a few lines or twenty pages, depending on my mood.
Last night, though it was gone midnight when I eventually got into bed, I couldn’t settle to sleep, and so I put my light back on, and I pulled out my big journal, and I wrote.
And I wrote and I wrote and I wrote. There were tears, and there were snorts of laughter, and there were some moments where I had to stop and say “wow” out loud, because the insights into my brain when all my thoughts and feelings are laid out on paper never fails to amaze me.
This morning, though I’m tired as I didn’t get enough sleep, for once when my alarm went off, my mood was stable and positive, where it usually takes a massive nosedive as I emerge from slumber and realise I’m still tired, everything aches and I’m already late…!
So I’m setting a reminder (using If This Then That, and a Whatsapp group with two friends – technology is massively helpful) to start going to bed an hour earlier than I usually do, to give myself time for this practice daily.
As with any kind of creative practice, the magic is in doing it regularly and showing up even when I don’t fancy it – so I’ll see how I get on, but I hope I’ll see positive improvements fairly quickly!