Although I’m sure I kept some sort of journal in my high school years and earlier, I have none extant to show for it, and don’t remember it being a major focus. The earliest journal I still have is one I began when I went away to college at BYU right out of high school. It was a hardbound red volume and I tried to use it for my deep and cerebral “college” thoughts–haha!
Since then my journals have taken various forms:
- A monthly newsletter called “The Park Herald” mostly documenting the amazing accomplishments of our children to inform their doting grandparents.
- Four large hardbound journals I kept from 1984-2010, writing at least once a month.
- From 20111-2014 I used an online journal called Oh, Life. They closed down in 2014, so I had to copy and migrate all my entries to a Google doc.
- Since 2014 I’ve kept a daily running journal in a Google doc. It’s been a great resource to the whole family who invariably will ask me, “When did we….?” or “Where was that place we went….?”
- I’ve kept a blog since 2009, which is somewhat like a journal. I started at Blogger.com, then moved to WordPress after a year. I kept a separate blog for the 14 months we were serving our mission.
- I have several “special” journals that are for specific purposes:
- A dream journal
- A scripture journal
- A favorite quotes journal
Total Investment: Time, and the cost of the journals, though many of them were gifts.
This is a “thing” I hope I can continue up to the end! It gives me an outlet for creativity, a sounding board, a place to blow off steam. It also is a memory keeper–Family members have forgotten some amazing experiences that they neglected to record, but because I recorded those events, the experience was not lost, and was brought back to them with a renewed impact.
The spiritual nature of many of those experiences has meant that the record of them has become a type of “scripture” to our family–a record of God’s tender mercies and dealings with our family. Reading them renews our faith and strengthens our testimony of the reality of God and his love for us.