I’ve been thinking a lot lately about journaling. Blogging and sharing online is definitely journaling in a sense, but typically when we write blog posts its several days after an event or trip and lately I’ve been fearing some of those very real, in the moment feelings are being lost in the mix. Over the last few weeks we’ve had some intense highs and lows. We’ve also had some conversations about our families and parents, and what they were like growing up. Just now, at 30 years old, I feel like I’m beginning to understand who my mother is and appreciate her in a whole new light. We had a rocky relationship growing up during my teens all through my twenties, but now over the last serval months we have found common ground…we know how to navigate through our daily conversations (yes, I said daily…I never thought that would be a thing), how to be respectful of each other’s differing viewpoints, and offer suggestions or advice in a non-judgmental way.
Maybe some of you are reading this and thinking, “Well of course…how could you communicate any other way?” Or…”Why weren’t you both doing this already?” The truth of the matter is, I have no idea and trying to figure out why it took us this long to get where we did doesn’t feel relevant anymore…knowing we are building something strong and looking at each other as more than just mother and daughter has been special. I was very proud to write on her birthday card, which accompanied flowers I sent this year, “I couldn’t be more grateful for how our relationship has ‘bloomed’ recently.” I thought it was quite clever.
Anyway, journaling…right? That is what you clicked into this blog post for. The other night over dinner (truly, that is when our best conversations happen) Rob and I found ourselves chatting about our parents and who they are today. For the most part, they have their routines like many of us, but sometimes we look at old photos and we just know there was SO much more to their lives then. Who were they? What made them happy in the summer of 1971, how was their Christmas Eve in 1981? What where they feeling? What were they thinking?
We often chronicle the good parts of life here. The exciting trips, that honestly we never thought we’d be taking at this time in our lives, the home renovations that give us so much inspiration and joy, the birthdays and anniversaries…but what about those in between moments? I can’t help but feel lately like I’m losing those, or pushing them aside involuntarily. In the shower the other day I found myself having this inner dialogue about why aren’t I writing these things down?! Why aren’t I jotting down a few lines each day? It may sound like unimportant details to remember, but I think those small experiences are what really shape us. Like how you interacted with a new person you shared a table with at the coffee shop, or how dropping the carton of eggs made you realize you’re trying to cram too much into your morning, or so on and so forth.
I can’t help but wish my mom had kept a journal…well, maybe she did, I don’t know. I wonder what knowing who she was at 20, and 30 and even 40…and what she was feeling during those years was like. I don’t want to journal more in hopes that maybe 30 years from now my future child will find it and know that I had a meltdown because I missed the turn on the freeway and didn’t get enough sleep the night before, or I felt really proud about doing 15 pushups at the gym because I never felt strong in my life prior to that. I mean all of that could be great, and hey – maybe it will happen one day…but I’m interested in the slowing down aspect of it. I’m interested in giving myself another way to reflect and remember…to motivate myself…to compile my thoughts and find the good and (yeah…maybe bad) in each day.
Rob and I used to share a high and low of our day each night before bed. It’s a little cheesy, but always got us thinking about what we were grateful for that day, and made us reflect on how we worked through or had hoped to work through a challenge. Maybe journaling can begin to be a new extension of that, just on a larger scale.
Maybe I’ll share more of those thoughts on here too.
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