There is no truth. There is only perception.
I'm enjoying a morning at home. The Y is open every day, isn't it? How often does one get to enjoy a morning at home? Alone?
This is what I'm telling myself as I sit in my favorite spot - my bed. I have this view to my backyard if I just lift my head ...
And this view, if I look to my right.
Well, there is that svelte body the Y reminds me I want. And the gratitudes I haven't written yet today. I'm also in need of a new journal for this morning I finished my old one and once again it is time to make a new one.
I've long been an advocate of journal writing, dedicated to the cause, anxious to write in it every day. Not only does it provide an avenue to bitch, but also a place to share my ideas, joys, novel notes, New Yorker covers, stickers ranging from tea cups to birds. An email or letter from someone I want to save. A hatred I want to rid from my brain. An event I want to remember. A plan to improve myself. Another plan to improve myself.
Yes, my journal pages are personal. I don't worry about what I've written for I'm fairly certain no one will ever read them. Anyone willing to peruse the pages would probably die of boredom and if they perchance came upon that one little nugget here and there, most likely they'll have flipped past it while yawning.
For years, before children and with children, I started journals. I don't know how many I had with only a few entries before I forgot about it. Five entries seemed to be a magic number before I no longer remembered the dedication I'd sworn to uphold. Finally, finally about 15 years ago I began a much more defined foray into my thoughts. I'd read where if you did something 21 times in a row, it would become habit.
I passed my newfound knowledge onto my mother as I sent her another pretty blank book to collect her memories and thoughts. "Twenty-one days in a row, Mom. That's all we have to do." (I also used that method to entice her to wear her seatbelt. Twenty-one times, Mom. Then it will become habit. "I just don't like being confined.")
Need I add that when I cleared my mom's house I found most of those journals I'd sent - complete with empty pages. However, there were many a plain old spiral notebook filled with incredible gems of her thoughts and past.
To each her own in the type of journal, but I digress. The point of this story is that I didn't get to the Y because I wrote my three morning pages in my journal this morning and I finished the last available page. Twas time to put it up and create a new one.
I keep old journals on the top shelf of a bookcase in the bedroom.
Up there on the top shelf. That black binded stack. Here's another reason why I know no one will ever read my old journals. None of the men in my family would look up that high. My husband sleeps in this room every night for sixteen years and he probably doesn't even know there is a bookshelf in there. Even though that's his baseball signed by somebody famous on the second to top shelf. (Okay, he probably knows that is there but chances are that is all he sees on that shelf.)
That's my Michigan State football music box. Go Green!
Anywhoo, when I went to add my newly finished journal to the shelf I discovered the stack was crammed to the top. Therefore, I needed to move that stack to this box in my closet (which I'm also certain no one in my family knows is there. See, you all know stuff now that those closest to me don't.)
Before adding them to the box, I spread them out on my bed and leafed through a few of them.
What I found surprised me. Even though it was a healthy stack of writing, the journal I'd completed before this one today encompassed almost two years of time. That the one I had finished this morning only the past year. That the other sixteen covered the three years before that.
I knew that the last few years I'd become remiss. That events in my life had left me cold for words. That those years, although filled with many joys, had been hampered by a few deaths. But still, so few words during a time of such activity and emotion.
I blame my Midwestern upbringing.
Something about stiff upper lips. Something about don't brag and, most certainly, don't whine.
Okay, I get that. But it never occurred to me that that thinking would transfer to my personal thoughts in a journal. That the times that rang high through graduations and weddings I couldn't translate into words on my morning pages. Having too much fun. Or that the events and emotions leading up to and after the deaths of my parents wouldn't convey either. Much too painful.
Perhaps it was my Midwestern upbringing in regard to the bragging. Perhaps I was just a chicken shit for the whining.
At any rate, it is time to make a new journal. Obviously I make my own. Here are my ingredients:
Empty pages - spirals, black-spotted line or blank book
Paper - either scrapbook paper, old wrapping paper, newspaper, whatever appeals on the day
Construction paper for inside flaps
Ribbon for a placemarker
And there you go. A new journal.
Here are my choices today, always based on mood, for my next journal.
Butterflies. For new beginnings.