I have a tradition - on January 1st I take out all of my journals and re-read those treasured pages again. I have been journaling off and on since I was twelve years old, for 46 years.
Writing down my thoughts, worries, hopes, prayers, inspirational verses and the adventures life put on my path is important to me.
Paul reminded me recently that when we first met I entrusted him with one of these dreams: to write children’s stories. I have no memory of telling him this and yes it is a dream of mine.
Written language and I have a love hate relationship – I love to write and my learning disability means I frequently butcher the English language despite my best efforts.
I never edit myself when I journal, I write with abandon without a thought to who might read them – they are messages from me to me and I will leave instructions on what is to be done with them upon my passage from this life.
You might think that after reading my first journal writings 45 times I might be tempted to skip over the writings of my 12 year old self - No. With each passing year her words, bring new meaning to me and challenge me to grow spiritually.
I have come to understand myself through my journals. There are themes within those pages that I need to pay attention to. Worries and fears that must be tackled again and again with each New Year. Dreams and goals that I have been put off too long.
My yearly tradition has netted me some very positive gains over the years. For example, my dream of going back to school and indulging in my love of knowledge: I journaled about this often between my 15th and 18th birthday (I dropped out of High School at age 16). I was encouraged by my own words written on those papers to go back to College and get my Nursing Diploma at age 18, then years later at the age 24 to attend University where over the next 15 years I earned my Bachelor of Social Work and again five years ago when at the age 51 I returned for my Masters of Social Work.
Teaching my grandchildren the value of writing down their thoughts, hopes and expectations of themselves and life is important to me. Writing and encouraging children to write is a theme that appears often in my blog.
Instead of making New Year's resolutions I sit down with the past and embrace the self-awareness, love and encouragement that I find there. I listen to the younger Marjorie, and honour her struggle. I review the paths that life has taken me down and I turn around secure in my ability to meet the new adventure that the coming year will bring.