“Look at this! It’s a new journal with a purple cover…and look at this….STICKERS to go with it!” Imagine that sentence in the voice of a three year old who is absolutely thrilled to pieces about getting a new journal with plenty of stickers for placing meticulously onto the crisp, clean pages.
Yup, that’s my girl.
Her excitement really got me thinking. When I get a new journal, it usually feels like a serious moment. I imagine myself using it to write down my deep thoughts, process my emotions, capture my ideas, and eventually pass it on when I leave this life and let my kids decide whether or not they care to review this serious record of my existence.
I start my new journal by choosing the perfect writing utensil. I sit up nice and straight to key in important details on the inside first page. My name, the date, where I’m living at the time, what job I have, the name of the pet goldfish I flushed down the toilet when I was ten and my great-great grandmother’s social security number.
Just kidding about the last part. J
And about the goldfish too. But in case anyone wants to know, my sisters and I called him Fred. We honestly weren’t sure if he was a boy or girl, but it was the one name all three of us agreed on, so there you go.
The journal and the stickers actually came in a gift basket with all kinds of other things. She could just as easily have seen the journal, started writing in it with a pen, and used the stickers to decorate her belongings, or the walls, which would lead to an afternoon of cleaning up I think she and I would both rather avoid.
And she has written in other journals. (You know when I say “write” in regards to my three-year old I mean “scribbled all over at a rate and speed that covers ten pages in the time it takes me to write a sentence.” She is of course brilliant, but not quite ready to pen the next great American novel.)
She didn’t see this particular journal as a place to write. She didn’t think about capturing her deepest moments, her wildest dreams, her monkey chatter (shrieking squirrels), disappointments, successes, lessons learned, etc.
She saw those pages and the stickers as a perfect marriage. The cheese to the macaroni, the salt to the pepper, the ketchup to the fries…you get the point.
Instead of stroke after stroke of “big ideas” and “important thoughts,” her journal is going to be a place of colorful splashes where each sticker celebrates the moment she finds it a home and chooses it’s final resting place.
Remember when the Grinch realizes that “Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more?” I feel a little like my heart’s grown a size or two (or at least a light bulb has gone off) to teach me that my journal does not have to be filled with deep thoughts by Sara.
I could instead fill it with bright colors, splashes of paint, quotes from my favorite movies, or all the things that make me laugh in one day. This idea gets me so excited that I want to get a brand new journal just for this purpose. Maybe one of those cool silver sparkly almost-paint type pens. And my own pack of stickers to jazz up my celebration journal! Sounds like a project!
I love that I could use a journal as a space to capture everyday things to celebrate and that someday when I really need it, I can flip back through it and appreciate the joyful moments I’ve experienced.
I also love that at some point in the future, if my kids want to know me at a deeper level, they can look in that journal and learn more about me. Some of what they read will confirm what they already know. Some of what they read will surprise them.
Either way, the journal I want to start that is inspired by my three-year old will serve to keep me connected to a sense of wonder. Ahhh, the process of journaling and the end result. The thought just makes me smile…wait! I better put that in my new journal, right next to a happy face sticker!