This story was written by Sheri Robinson
Ever since I can remember, a journal has been a major necessity in my life. A collection of raggedy, spiral bound notebooks had to be on tap at all times. Like toothpaste, toilet paper, and deodorant, it was something I could NEVER do without. Over the years, the notebooks were upgraded to beautiful hard-bound journals of blank canvas – lined or not – that promised to receive - without judging or interrupting - my every thought, prayer, emotion, dream, anxiety, fear, and yes, my actual tears. They were filled to the brim . . . brimming over with “Me.” They were frayed to the point of duct-tape and rubber band repairs. They were cherished friends that I could always reach out to, any time of day or night. And as the years rolled by, my journal “friends “ transcended from therapists to counselors to mentors to surveyors of dreams and platforms for voice and thought.
Though the pressures of motherhood and career became more complicated, my eyesight not as sharp as years before, and my handwriting more time consuming and less legible, my ever-present, ever changing thoughts, experiences, hopes, and dreams still continued to expand and fill my mind, dive-bombing in and out like birds attacking mosquito larvae in still pools of water.
It became absolutely necessary to empty my head… before I changed another diaper, cooked dinner, finished that report, started another diet…before real life crowded into those sacred storehouses of “me,” and pushed them aside. Eventually, my journals transformed into “lists” scattered and hastily written on random scraps of paper – old envelopes, the back of receipts, the inside of empty Double Mint gum wrappers – anything I could find within the contents of my purse.
(As fellow multi-taskers can attest, there is nothing worse than the feeling that you were supposed to do…are supposed to do… something…really important…but you can’t remember exactly what it is because… you forgot to write it down; you simply stored it somewhere in your already-crammed memory files of to-do’s, tomorrows, and yesterdays. It haunts you for minutes/hours/days until an unsolicited trigger – a smell, a sound, a random thought – jolts you into full remembrance of what that something is…or was. The impact of that realization is like falling asleep on a bus, and the feeling of gratitude that comes when you wake up just before the driver arrives at your stop…or the sinking frustration of waking up after the driver has passed your stop…three miles ago. I’ve had both the fortunate – and unfortunate - experience of both.)
Soon, I found a neater solution: my journals became the virtual (but printable) pages of Microsoft Word, onto which I would pour both my thoughts and lists. Keyboards replaced pens and pencils, and a thought that took 20 minutes to write down now only took a few tap-tap-taps...and viola!
Then Life changed…Again. Fast forward to today. At the present, the mental demands of a career do not compete for my full attention, and my multi-tasking has gone from cerebral. (reports/meetings/filings) to physical (sewing/cleaning/unofficially designated carpool mom.) As far as motherhood goes, one baby bird out the nest, one left to fly. And all my lists…what lists?!
I’m writing, again…armed with a host of new experiences and wisdom to fill at least a dozen journals.
And, Babes, have I got some things to share with you! Stay tuned!
photo by Rennett Stowe