I am office supply obsessed. I almost get the shakes walking into the stationery section at a store. The sign pointing the way to the school supply aisle seems lit up like a Friday night football stadium, enticing me to come…indulge. I’ve spent over 15 minutes shopping for the perfect pen.

But then there are the journals.

My name is Linda and I am a journal junkie.

Spiral bound, hard cover, composition books, moleskin, leather, dark, colorful, bland… If I’m strong, I keep walking. If I’m weak, I pick one up, feel it, fan the pages.

To justify my journal fetish, I have kept several separate ones at the same time: a prayer journal, one just for sermon notes, one for keeping story/blog notes, one for school planning, one for a diary. And every single one of them has more unused pages than used.

My name is Linda and I am a non-journaling journaler. If good intentions counted, I’d probably set some kind of record.

Then this year at a workshop, someone shared her “annual journals.” In these books, she kept everything – notes, diary entries, memorabilia like movie tickets, pictures… My insides buzzed. This was it. This was the answer.

And here’s the question: What does it say about a person if they constantly buy journals, but don’t use them? I have envisioned upon my demise, my children finding my diaries and, holding them as if the very Shroud of Turin, tearfully opening the pages, curling up with a cup of tea, and reading into the night, discovering new and fascinating things about their mother.

What they would actually find is two or three dedicated pages, then another entry days or weeks later giving an apology or disclaimer about the gap and either enthusiastically recommitting to the journal quest or bemoaning my failure.

But they won’t see those because I’ve either torn those pages out or thrown the whole journal away.

So this year, the Annual Journal seemed the perfect answer – a more fun response, something I was sure to keep up with. Everything all together. One book fits all. I shopped long and carefully choosing the just-right journal. I found an oversized one – black hardcover with a ribbon marker. I took it to Starbucks, got a latte, found a comfy chair, and could practically hear the violin music as I opened it for the first time, the cover creaking, and began…

One month later I tore out the two pages I had written on. I’m now using it to write my first draft of this blog entry.

Sorry, kids. Mom has finally admitted her limitations. I guess posterity will have to remember me through oral tradition, a few sporadic blog entries, and personal memories. And when I’m gone, there will be a beautiful stack of unused journals for you to divide amongst yourselves.

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3 thoughts on “Dear Diary…Goodbye

  1. My oh my, how we are alike! From the time spent searching for the perfect pen, to the many rarely used journals, to the “what if someone reads this?!” Want to start a support group? I’ll meet you at Starbucks. Perhaps we could take notes in one of our awaiting journals!

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