I don’t write in my journal everyday.
I know what you’re thinking. All that stuff about journal writing on my website and I don’t write daily? What???
But no, I succumb to the daily hustle and bustle just like anyone else. I stay up late to get projects done. When that happens I don’t get up in time to go to the gym, never mind write in my journal. And the next thing I know, the day feels like it’s out of control and I can’t get anything done. I can’t write. The dishes are piled up. I get behind on my many projects (some are mommy-work and others are work-work).
But on my good days, like today, I get up and go to the gym. When I get home, I sit down, and I write. Sometimes I’m inspired to write an article, like today, because three really cool things happened.
1. I didn’t watch the clock the way I do when I wake up frazzled. I wrote in my journal, drank my lemon water, and then got my coffee. When I checked the clock it was right at 7:30. And sure enough, like an alarm clock, Jude started to call my name. There are some days when I bristle when the kids wake up. It’s never because I don’t want to see them. The mornings are my favorite time with them. Despite that, I still need to have my time to clear my head, to wake up calmly, and take just a few minutes of quiet for myself. I find that quiet in the pages of my journal. And when I’m “there,” time seems to slow down and just let me be there.
2. I got really clear on how my day was going to go. Priorities poured out onto the page and I was able to easily translate them into tasks that not only needed to happen, but could happen more easily in a logical order. The balance of taking care of the kids, getting my end-of-semester grading completed, and making sure I had time to do a few important things for myself all sort of fell into place. As if the pen is a magic wand that offers the gift of clarity…
3. My kids and I had a fantastic morning! We have almost two hours together before my daughter goes to preschool and there are definitely some days when it is two hours of chaos and a little bit of mommy hell. But not today, or any day when I start out with journal time. The yogurt all over my son’s shirt doesn’t seem quite so yucky and my daughter’s desire to wear her princess dress to school doesn’t get on my nerves as much. It seems so simple to say this, but it just feels better.
So far, the rest of the day has been smooth sailing, including making time to write you this note. And that leads me to the big secret about journal writing.
Lot’s of people these days are talking about being proactive verses reactive. Or better yet, creative verses reactive.
The idea is that we can be the leaders, the ones who decide what we’ll do and how we’ll respond to external triggers. We even decide what’s most important to us and where we want to put our energy. When we do this, we are being creative. We make things happen.
Or we are reactive. We sit and wait, then respond to what comes our way. This is a place of feeling like you have no control in your life. This is the place where you are convinced that things happen to you. It can be a downward spiral that is a dismal place to try and get out of.
Writing in your journal is a creative endeavor. It is a time, however brief, for you to pull your attention away from the external stimulus, process it on the page, and start to come up with what you can create with what you’ve got.
It’s a beautiful cycle that works. Over and over again.
Give it a try! Create something in your life starting right now. All you need is something to write with and paper. And I swear if you use them regularly, you can change your life.