Who Knew........?

Regina, Saskatchewan
January 11, 2012 12:59am CST
In leap frogging back and forth through last year's journal, I nearly threw it through my window in disgust at how whiny I sounded. Instead I threw it across the room where it landed and stayed behind the couch. Yes, last year had brought more than a reasonable share of worry, heartache, pain and grief into my life; and I recorded all of it in fits and starts of emotional verbiage. For nearly a month I have kept pen off paper, convinced my random thoughts didn't deserve any attempt at posterity. SUCH a depressing feeling for someone such as I. And then fate intervened. I ran out of something to read......... When at loose ends and overloaded with cabin fever, I move furniture around. Not having anything to read certainly leaves me at loose end. Not having the company of a living breathing human being for weeks on end gives me cabin fever. So of course I found my journal again, but this time I read it from front to back without leapfrogging. It was rather a revelation at how my tiny little mind works. The entries between my emotional rantings painted a very different picture to that of the passages written in the throes of anger, pain and just plain whining. I realized that the balance of my nature, the determined eclecticism of my mind, that I had spent over 50 years nurturing, was a very fragile state of being indeed. When it came right down to the basics of the human condition....especially love and death, my sense of self was not as fixed as I blithely believed when not under stress. I have always considered the journey of birth to death a series of phases from which we learn about ourselves and the world around us, and therefore grow in understanding and hopefully, tolerance. Certain facets of our character and personality remain immutable in maturity and determine the quality of our lives if we recognize them as such. All the rest are like leaves in the wind, blowing in one direction or another as circumstances demand. We are none of us so fixed in WHO WE ARE that we cannot change ourselves if we but try. I have always believed that and will continue to believe it. However, what my journal of the past year revealed to me, practically in capital letters, is that underneath the surface of my conception of myself, I am nothing more than an unanchored boat drifting around the ocean of my life allowing occasional riptides to batter me in ways I thought I had more control over. At first this really pissed me off. After all, I'm old enough to be a grandmother! I should know better. I should be more mature in my handling of my life. I should, I should, I should. Well the-hell-with-that! I've spent too much time and effort controlling myself, trying to live up to the social lessons pounded into my head when I was young. That is not to say they had no value, but they certainly stunted the growth of the ME that longed to be recognized as worthwhile simply as I was. Unruly tides and all. Last year was one of the most difficult years of my life. On the surface, I handled it rather well. I lived up to the expectations of others. But in the final analysis, I know that I let myself down. I retreated too far into myself and withdrew too far from the contacts and relationships that shape the joys of my life. The fact that no one else really seemed to notice doesn't excuse me from the responsibilities I abdicated. I am more convinced than ever now, that a person true to themselves, never really reaches that state of being 'grownup' wherein the world makes total sense and the bumps in the road of life are manageable. We can control our reactions to circumstances. What we can't always control is the circumstances themselves that require action and reaction. Optimism is the most valuable tool we have at our disposal as we weave our way through the labyrinth of life. In re-reading my journal I also discovered it was not all tantrums and self disgust. That was just the affect on the surface of the words. The most encouraging and consistent thing I found while reading my journal was the thread of optimism that wove it's subtle way through every entry. And seeing that, feeling it,and reflecting on it now, has centered me and made me understand that it is that very thing, that optimism, that is truly the anchor of my life. I am not as adrift as I first perceived. My journal is back on my private bookshelf in my office where it belongs. It will never again end up ignored behind the couch. If you don't keep a journal, you are missing so much of yourself and your journey through life. I suppose for some, the lot is kind of journal. Is it for you? Have you learned anything about yourself from it? Have you even tried............
2 people like this
13 responses
@Lakota12 (42602)
• United States
11 Jan 12
had been thinking of you and looked for your phone no to call you! and Icant seem to find it any where and I just know I put it in my book where I keep all nos. grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr Been so wondering how your son is. and how you are now I see I should have tried to get you here. I dont keep a jounal used to but not now Dont know why lol as I like to rerad the old ones once in awhile now I need to find them as we have moved and every one that helped us move put things every wehre we have stacks of boxes still need to go thru yikes!!!!!!!!!!!! could you pleas pm me your phone no again? HUgssssssssssssssssssssss and you are a wonderful person to me!
2 people like this
@Lakota12 (42602)
• United States
11 Jan 12
do you know any one else with area 702 in phone no? lolol hugssssssssssssssssssssssss
2 people like this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
11 Jan 12
Not that I can think of. We don't have that area code in Canada that I know of. So if I see that code on my phone, I'll know it's friendly. lol Thanks.
1 person likes this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
11 Jan 12
Will send you my number asap. But you'll need to give me yours too so I will recognize it when the phone rings. I don't answer calls of people I don't know. I've missed you too and send mega hugs right back to you dear friend.... I'm glad you journal and hope you find your missing ones.
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@bunnybon7 (50975)
• Holiday, Florida
11 Jan 12
i have also tried many times to keep a journal. then i find i get busy with so many other things i loose track of it and end up trying to find another note pad, etc. to put things down. also, ive moved so many times through my life and have tried holding on to them and end up finding them yrs later. its not easy being a pack rat on the road believe me but in any case ive not succeeded in a complete journal ever. plus people come accross them and its at times embarrassing to have them read by someone that is surprised at what you say and you know them personally. here at least i can have some save face with people i kind of know but dont face. not making any sense i think so i need to just post and go on sorry, im still on meds from the hospital.
• Regina, Saskatchewan
11 Jan 12
I like you on meds! lol You made perfect sense to ME. Here's a tip about keeping a journal. Keep it in your purse. It doesn't have to be a large book you know. I always keep the one I am currently writing in, in my purse. That way, wherever I am, it's handy but not open to public view. And it doesn't have to be written in every day either. Hugs sweets.
1 person likes this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
12 Jan 12
My memory sucks too, so for every day stuff I keep a pad on my fridge....
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@bunnybon7 (50975)
• Holiday, Florida
11 Jan 12
thanks i need to try that. right now i have 2 sort of journals going to keep me updated on bills and my meds. i find i have to put down what ive taken and when, because later, i will be wondering if i already took it or not. hows that for a crappy memory but the personal stuff yes that could be a purse notebook.
2 people like this
• United States
12 Jan 12
Well milady, Mee-Lady what can one say when in the throes of the storms of life? You find what ever anchor rope you can and if you find that the religious factions have thrown you a rope with two loose ends you will have to find the right rope and anchor that lifts you out of the seas that attempt to swallow you whole. I set out on my journey once again, faster and faster turning left and right, but don't let them catch me unless I wish them to be my captor. In that case, may I be of service to those whom I love to serve. The gift in serving, not just words. Peace and Blessings, Sincerely, George (aka. Gary) :)
• Regina, Saskatchewan
12 Jan 12
HELLO GEORGE! So good to see you. Again, I bow to your wisdom and agree with you totally.
1 person likes this
@royal52gens (5488)
• United States
11 Jan 12
I used to keep a journal. I did it as part of a counseling session thingy. It was self-revealing and at times, scary. The Lot is sort of a journal also. I can look back at my postings and see my state of mind at the time.
2 people like this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
11 Jan 12
I find a kind of comfort in the scary parts that are now on paper. Seeing them there relieves their influence on my pysche. Good to see you sweetheart.
1 person likes this
• United States
12 Jan 12
I wish the archives worked better... They seem to be missing something...
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@Hatley (163781)
• Garden Grove, California
12 Jan 12
hi oh my gosh Its sparky glad to see you back.for the first year I was here I did keep a journal.I alternated between what I was feeling and what I thought of my fellow residents here.I was bitter, amgry,lost and afraid.we had been rendered homeless when my adult som lost his job.we ram out of money and were thus evicted back in the tail end of 2008.so we were evicted and made homeless hence my son worried for my health at my age got me in here at Gold Crest a retirement center and he got help from , house America to get into an apartment with another guy He now has a full time job. I am still here in gold crest,its paid for by my social security and ssi checks each month. When I got my computer back and my monitor I stopped journaling but I think I have probably used mylot a bit as a journal too.I have found that I have learned to be more self sufficient as my son was not right in the next room if I had a computer problem and he talked me through several problems. I did learn how to reset the modem and router if the cable internet service was stopped by power failure. this is an old building and has periodic power failures.lol.Optimism, and hope have helped me keep my sanity here hoping one day my son would again make enough money to get us back into an apartment.Anyway life throws us curves and we can go under or we can survive. maybe its not just what we wanted, but its what we must do for the time being and make ourselves happy each day as opposed to sitting and being sour and miserable. I think I will start journaling again as its a great way to keep onself centered and reasonably happy. good discussion sparky.
2 people like this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
12 Jan 12
Hello sweets. It's good to see you too! And yes, I would say you have used the lot as a kind of journal. I've followed the ups and downs of your life from your postings here as if I was reading your diary. And that's not a bad thing. You have brought such joy to my own life. I was talking to my hubs today about journaling as I bought him a couple for xmas and he has begun to write in one the memories of his childhood right up to the present and the other as a more personal one. The one that will in effect be a biography he is writing for his son, to pass down to him so that his son will have a chronological record of anecdotes of his father's life before his son, and after his son came into it. I think it's a lovely idea and am thinking of going through my own journals and separating certain things from them to put into journals for my own sons. So begin a new one Hatley. It's great therapy and it's a valuable legacy.
1 person likes this
@celticeagle (156234)
• Boise, Idaho
11 Jan 12
Well, hello again Spark. I haven't seen you on here for months. I am a believer in journaling. Have done it off and on all my life. Helps to balance us out and show us where we are in this life. I use it as a time keeper also since my memory is shot. Does this life ever really make total sense? Not to me. Ah, and optimism. I would love to have more of that in my life. Hope to see more of you.
2 people like this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
11 Jan 12
Hello sweets. Good to see you. I wish that I could reach through time and space and the matrix and infuse you with more optimism. It is a powerfull force. All I can do I guess is be here more often for my friends, feel less sorry for myself and focus on others. I'm glad you journal. You have the right 'take' on what it can do for you....
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@celticeagle (156234)
• Boise, Idaho
12 Jan 12
Always nice to see you on here. I even have a book on journalling.
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@patgalca (18138)
• Orangeville, Ontario
11 Jan 12
I have been journalling since high school when it became a requirement for my creative writing class. I find it very therapeutic. But now I keep several different types of journals, which I write about at Triond. Currently I am taking The Artist's Way workshop. Some members of our writing group are doing it on our own as one member has done it enough times she can moderate. It is a very eye-opening experience. It consists of writing morning pages, 3 pages, every morning. This wasn't easy at first (I don't journal EVERY day), but as they say it takes 21 days to make (or break) a habit. I have my morning routine which consists of getting up, getting a cup of tea and a muffin and crawling back into bed to write my morning pages. While answering the questions through The Artist's Way I have discovered a lot about myself, have opened myself up to new ideas, and most importantly have discovered the reasons my creativity is blocked. One can do the Artist's Way on their own; just buy the book and do it. If you'd like to follow my journey through the Artist's Way (I'm currently doing week 9 of 12), you can read about it (or the different types of journals I write) here: http://www.triond.com/users/Mary+Patricia+Bird. Be sure to read The Artist's Way review before reading each week by week review. I hope people will find that in reading my discoveries they will want to take this journey too. You have certainly come to some self-realization over the last year and I applaud you for that. It is a wonderful feeling when we can come to self-understanding and proceed to make changes that will benefit us.
2 people like this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
11 Jan 12
What a wonderful, heartening response to read here! Thank you for the links too. I will take your advice.......... SO good to see you sweets and so happy you are so involved in this project through Artist's Way. Well done and keep writing.
1 person likes this
• United States
15 Apr 12
My journals have been here, on MyLot, and on my Facebook history (or at least what I haven't edited). I'm amazed at how much I've changed, but honestly, I needed to. I stubbornly insisted that others were the ones that needed to change, but in the end, it WAS me. First thing I needed to do was to start over. Broke off a number of unhealthy relationships in my life in 2010, and began a new love relationship. Moved 60+ miles away from everything and everyone I knew and started over. I needed that. It was intensely hard because I crave being around people most of the time and I tend to hate change. I'm still heavily mourning both of my parents, but I expect that to take much longer. I'm still wracked with regret and anger because I let my ex block me from my mother's final week, one where she was sitting upright in a chair and visiting with family. And regret because I couldn't visit my father during his final weeks. I can't forgive myself. My daughter and I were the last family members to hear her talk. My father had a massive stroke and was found on my birthday. I constantly beat myself up because I feel like I failed them. I'm the older child. My adult life has been a mess.
@ElicBxn (63187)
• United States
11 Jan 12
I guess I've never figured out how to journal, when my life is crazy I don't have time to write stuff down and the rest of the time my life is so boring I don't want to write it down. I know, journaling is supposed to write down thoughts and feelings, but I just don't seem to do that, I feel them, but I don't really remember them. In a lot of ways, the lot is sort of my journal, since when I have time (and this is the first thing I've written in DAYS) I do record my actions and often how I feel about them.
2 people like this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
11 Jan 12
When I first started journaling I used to do it every day. Now, I only write when the need to clear my mind or record something of importance comes upon me. That way, the words flow and remain honest. I don't have to force words upon the page. In being a member here though, I have learned so much about so many from their discussions, that I find reading them enough of a 'peek' into their daily lives that it's like reading their journals. I don't have that kind of courage. The minutiae of my everyday life would bore most people to tears. lol It's good to see you sweets. Keep mylotting.........
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Jan 12
We can try and change ourselves all we want, but the basics are always going to be there, of who we really are. We can attempt to deal with things a bit better for the benefit of others that we love around us, and for ourselves, too, that is accomplish-able....sometimes.....with much effort. I know, I've tried. And YOU have been a superior influence on me in THAT regard, my dear. I have leaned on you considerably and you have never let me down. You counsel me, prop me up and send me on my way towards yet another life challenge, confident in the fact that I have someone who loves me looking out for me, who is trying like heck to point me in the right direction so I will not be a total failure in life. That is what LIFE is...1 challenge after another and all we can do is deal with each one the best way we can and continue trying to move forward. When we stagnate is when we get into trouble. Your problem is, that you are alone too much for your liking. You belong in a rich, diverse, challenging environment and that is NOT where you are right now. You are capable of multitasking like nobody else that I know. It is an awesome acheivement to see you in action. You are capable of managing several different things all at once, without neglecting any one, and having them all come to a culmination as they should, successfully. Right now, you are a caterpillar, waiting for the transformation to come (selling the house) so you can 'get busy' again. You are happiest when you are busy. And unfortunately that is NOT what is happening right now...so you feel stagnant and that does NOT make you happy. You are horribly bored and I am wondering if a hobby would help. How about a little mini garden inside?
• Regina, Saskatchewan
11 Jan 12
One of YOUR mini-gardens? wink, wink, nudge, nudge. lol My dear Annie......as long as your heart beats, so does mine. Thank you. Don't want to get mushy here....but you know how I feel. 'Nuff said.
1 person likes this
• Canada
11 Jan 12
I don't know what you are insinuating.
1 person likes this
@savypat (20216)
• United States
11 Jan 12
I have a book for you that will either scare you totally or give you a glimmer to what it's all about. It's Andrew Cohen's Evolutionary Enlightenment, the foreword is by Deepak Chopra, that is what attracted me to it in the first place. I got my copy on Amazon. I generally buy the used, like new books from them. Many times I have tried to keep a Journal to no avail. By the end of the day I usually have nothing to say. After reading your discussion I am thinking maybe this is a good thing. Blessings
2 people like this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
11 Jan 12
I have that book somewhere......... Journaling is not for everyone, I agree. But it can be a powerful self learning tool. See my response to Elic above.....
1 person likes this
@RitterSport (2451)
• Lippstadt, Germany
14 Jan 12
hi my sweet and wonderful friend, my first reaction to this post came after only a few lines, saying I got to tell her no no no she is not whiny but she is so strong in mastering all she did as far as I know of these trials and bad things happening in life. And you cant know that I was worried about you when I didnt hear from you for a long time but I thought I better not intrude into what ever it is but I thought of you often. as I am only home for the weekend and somehow am under too much stress during the work week I am not able to keep a journal really regularly but after a really difficult loss in 2011 I started sort of journal for the person who had passed away and whom I miss so much as if she could still read it. I believe this has helped me cope with the situation. Hugs to you........
1 person likes this
• Regina, Saskatchewan
14 Jan 12
Hey sweets, good to see you. I've always found writing things out to be very therapeutic. No matter who we write them for. I'm glad yours helped you.... As you can see, I'm still here and feeling much better now. Email me any time ok? Sometimes I only need to hear from a friend to lighten my day and change my mood........Hugs and much love to you.
• Lippstadt, Germany
14 Jan 12
compared to your difficult life in 2011 I am almost ashamed that I have such a good life since last late spring, early summer, you know???? Still regarding the day as a gift lets see what there is in it. It wont go well snd smooth all the time but this one general good change in my life has made such a huge difference that even two friends I met recently, first time after 6 years, noticed said change to the better. lots of hugs to you how are your moving plans by now?
@shiesse (306)
• Canada
11 Jan 12
I kept a journal a long time ago, but threw it away as like you it seemed to be whinny and full of self-loathing. My journal truely was self-pity though with very little to no optimism, and when looking back over it I realized all the things which were complaints and my whinniness were all very small unimportant things. Even though I did not keep mine, I still see it as growing from it as I realized that I foucused too much on things that really were not that important to me and ignored the more rewarding and wonderful things in my life. I strive every day to keep these joys in my mind now and address the small things right away instead of keeping my complaints private. I do not regret leaving the journal behind, as I do not regret writing in one in the first place as I still learned from it.
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• Regina, Saskatchewan
11 Jan 12
The important thing, is you learned from it. That's more than most people can say, so kudos to you. Life lessons can be hard to digest, but I think you have done very well!!!
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