Thursday, 10 May 2018

Keeping A Journal

I started using this A4 size notebook as a journal back in 2006. I've never been very good at keeping up with diaries, starting out with good intentions to write an entry every day, but I've come to accept that there'll be periods where I'll write something every day for a week and then there'll be a lapse of a few weeks.


I included Keep a journal at number 1 on my 50 Before 50 list hoping that I'd be able to increase the number of entries to a few each week, and though I'm still not quite there, I definitely am writing in it much more frequently.

My blog is a diary of sorts, I like to write about the things I've done or the places I've been, however, I find that I write more personal things about my feelings, fears and anxieties in my journal and it definitely helps me to work through them.

Do you remember my Dear Mum post about the book which Eleanor bought me for Christmas 2013? Dear Mum from you to me - journal of a lifetime.


The idea is that I fill the book in and then pass it back to Eleanor so that she'll have lots of information about my life, my memories and my thoughts.

I've already completed some of the book but I'm making an effort with the rest of it now. There's questions on each page and photos can also be added along the way.


I wish I'd done the same with my mum, it's only when memories begin to fade that you realise they can never be recaptured. Not only would it be a nice thing to have myself but it might have helped my mum to remember some of the things she can no longer recall.

The best thing about keeping a journal for me is being able to read back through the entries years later. I find it really interesting looking back on my hopes and fears from that time and seeing how things have changed, or not as the case may be.

40 comments:

  1. That book is a great idea and a good way to pass memories on.
    I haven't kept a diary for years, I love the idea of a journal and have bought notebooks in the past thinking I would start one, but never have.

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    1. I'm really pleased that I started my journal when I did, though I wish I'd started it from being young now as I love to look back on old entries.

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  2. I had a recent conversation with my youngest daughter about how much she knew of my early life, we chat often, it's a good book.

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    1. There's lots of things I wish I'd asked my mum before her memory deteriorated so badly. I think a book, such as the one I'm filling in for Eleanor, is such a good idea.

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  3. This is a great idea. I often wish I had asked my Mum and Dad more questions about their lives but didn't.
    Your daughter will treasure this when she gets older.
    My fabric journal is going to my daughter and hopefully to my Grandson when she gets old.
    Briony
    x

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    1. I spoke about my mum's younger life with her when I was researching the family tree, but it's only now with her memory so bad that I wish I'd found out more. Your fabric journal is something your daughter, and eventually your grandson, will treasure.

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  4. I like the idea of a little book for the children, so that they can know us better :-)

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    1. I think the Dear Mum book is a great idea. I know Eleanor's keen for me to fill it in for her, she doesn't know I'm half way through doing it so it will be a surprise when she eventually gets it back complete.

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    1. I think it's a lovely way to pass down information about our lives, I wish I had books from my own parents and grandparents.

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  6. I don't keep one, and diaries tend to be mostly unused. xx

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    1. I've got such a bad memory that I definitely need a diary, well, I use my Filofax for that. A journal is something totally different for me and something which is nice to look back on.

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  7. It's a really special gift which will be treasured so much.
    Lisa x

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    1. I think it's something which Eleanor will be glad to have, I wish I had something similar that my own mum had filled in for me.

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  8. Lovely idea, I always seem to be telling people to write down their memories etc, helps keeps those stories alive when things begin to fade xcx

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    1. That's so true. The lovely thing about the book is that you're free to write little anecdotes, it's not all about facts and figures, things which you can never get back.

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  9. The book is a wonderful idea to pass on your memories. I've never heard of them before. X

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    1. There's lots of questions in the book, things that perhaps you'd never think to tell someone, so it's good in that way. It's actually a fun thing to fill in.

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  10. What a lovely book for you to fill in for Eleanor - and all subsequent generations!

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    1. I think it's something which will be lovely to look back on in years to come.

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  11. Well done Jo & hope you can keep jotting notes in it. It is something I've never done, thinking no-one would ever be interested in my life. I've often wondered about the people who were part of my family, but alas there is little to go on, only the usual birth dates, marriages etc. Take care.

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    1. I think tracing my family tree awakened an urge to write things down for future generations. I look at all those names and dates that have gone before me and wonder what they were really like, it would be fascinating to read their journals.

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  12. A very special gift from your daughter, I really like that. You have very lovely handwriting.

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    1. It's quite an unusual gift, I'm enjoying filling it in and I'm sure Eleanor will be pleased to have it. Thank you, I think my handwriting is a sprawl but others seem to disagree.

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  13. That's a good idea. I'd find it difficult to write down thoughts and feelings though but the blog is invaluable for jogging my memory!

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    1. I thought I'd find it difficult too but it tends to flow once you get going. I've often looked back at my blog to find out when something happened, though I do use my Filofax as a diary too.

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  14. Like you, I often look back on my blog posts to see what I've been up to and is partly why I keep one. I like the idea of a written journal for more personal notes but doubt I'd keep up with it.
    I kept a baby book for both my daughters with the details of time of birth, milestones they achieved, things they liked, etc. and stuck photos in so that will take them up to around 5 years old with their own lives. Like my own Mum did, I'm always banging on about things that have happened to me - whether or not they've ever been listening I'm not sure ;)

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    1. I don't think you have to be too strict about when and how much you write in a journal. Once I got past the idea that I had to write in it every day it came much easier. Now I write in it when I have something to say, which can be every day some weeks and much less often others. I never kept baby books for Daniel and Eleanor, I wish I had.

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  15. Such a good idea. I tend to do scrapbooks which record events but it would be nice to have a record about how you felt and such.

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    1. I've been saying for a long time that I'd like to do Project Life and make some scrapbooks but it's fitting in all these things we want to do, it takes much less time to sit down with a pen and paper and jot down a few things. I enjoy reading back through what I've written years ago, it makes for an interesting read.

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  16. I do love the social history element of this idea, lovely.

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    1. I think I became more aware of keeping a record of things when I started researching my family tree, how I'd love to read the journals of those who have gone before me.

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  17. I the habit of writing what happens on a day. Later i used to read it. That makes me to think about the sweet memories...

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    1. Reading back through a journal does take you back to the time when you wrote the entry, there are lots of memories captured. I think it's worth keeping a journal for this alone.

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  18. Jo a few years ago my daughter gave me a box that was to be used as a journal. I started it; but quickly it went by the wayside. I applaud your efforts. Perhaps I should try and start again. I've forgotten what the system is called and must ask her. I'll try to get a photo of it later to show you. I've added you to my blog list to make visiting easier.
    Sandy's Space

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    1. You should definitely try and give it a go again, especially if your daughter gave you it, perhaps it's something you'd be able to pass on to her like I'm doing with the book which Eleanor gave me. It's only as I've got older, and especially now that my mum has dementia, that I've realised it would be nice to document some areas of my life. Perhaps someone would be interested in years to come.

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  19. That is such a lovely idea, how lovely to think your kids can read your thoughts, hopes and fears, it's always good to be remembered for who you are rather than an older person down the line. I wish my parents had completed such a journal. I always think of my blog as a diary of sorts, but as you say, really personal stuff never gets mentioned.xxx

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    1. I think parents are often a mystery to their children, they can't see them as being young themselves and often don't realise that they've experienced many things they don't know about. I write my journal for myself but I can see that my kids may be interested in it in years to come. I'd certainly be interested in any journal that my own parents or grandparents had written.

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  20. What a lovely idea ...

    All the best Jan

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    1. I'm sure it will be a nice thing for Eleanor to look back on in years to come.

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