by Sara Marchessault
The first day of summer isn’t until mid-June, but every year we mark Memorial Day as the kick-off to our season of fun in the sun.
We go to the beach. We cook on the grill. In my community, and many others, we prepare for the end of the school year.
This weekend we have one entire extra day to spend getting into summer mode.
Why would it be a super-cool time to be a journaler? Here are a few reasons.
Memorial Day is about stories. So is keeping a journal. Memorial Day started in the late 1860s to memorialize those who gave their lives in the Civil Way. As the years progress, we use Memorial Day to remember those who died in the service of other conflicts. These are big stories that effect the course of human history and have contributed to where we are today.
When we take the time to write in our journals, it’s like having our own mini-Memorial Day. Your personal story may not be one that inspires a national holiday, but who’s to say that it never will? When you write your story in your journal, your contributions, your thoughts and dreams, you capture your life on paper, memorializing the experience you live day-to-day.
Memorial Day is about gratitude. Gratitude is also a common theme in journal writing. Ten years ago I was living in Burlington, VT, across the street from Battery Park. On Memorial Day that year, I was eating a quiet breakfast when the sound of Taps being played floated in through the open window.
A group of veterans were gathered across the street, paying their respects to fallen soldiers at a memorial in the park. I walked out on the porch and could hear the words they were sharing, mostly in gratitude for the actions of others. It was a beautiful reminder that the spectrum of gratitude reaches far beyond being thankful for little things.
Memorial Day is about taking time out. Many journal writers use writing as a means or method for taking time out. When the words, “I’m going to write in my journal” pass my lips, that’s my way of saying, “I need ten or fifteen minutes of quiet time – please leave me alone.” When we take time out, we can be grateful, recharge, and prepare for what’s coming down the road.
Taking the time to be with loved ones, and squeezing in a few minutes for yourself, on Memorial Day, is a practice worth the small effort it takes.
Like this article? Please feel free to use it on your own blog or newsletter. I simply ask that you please include this blurb:
Sara Marchessault is a coach, writer, teacher, and mom who helps busy women use journaling to create more space in their life for being productive without feeling overwhelmed. To learn more about Sara and her work in the world, please visit joyfulbydesign.com or saramarchessault.com.