There’s something fun about the prospect of filling each page with all my thoughts and being able to look back and read it as I grow older. I always imagine sitting down on a bench in a charming little park and being inspired to write all this cool intellectual stuff and being all poetic and deep-thinkerish. And then 60 years down the road, my grandchildren will find a dusty old stack of books up in the attic and curiously open them, read them cover to cover, stopping only to wipe the glistening tears from their eyes as they realize what an amazing woman their grandmother was and how their grandpa should have helped her dust the apartment and let her buy more shoes because she really really wanted another pair of fancy flip-flops and she deserved them for all the whiny crap she put up with, dang it.
That’s what I imagine every time I purchase a new one. I have some meaningful goals in life.
The truth is that when my new journal and I come home from the store, we have great intentions, but aren’t usually able to have our long chat at the park for quite a while. One day when there’s a quiet moment, I’ll realize, “Hey, I haven’t sat down to write with an actual pen in months! This is going to be fun!” Then I find a good pen that writes smoothly, sit down with a latte and practice signing my name in cursive for 3 pages.
When that gets old, I doodle a little.
Michelle + Bryan = true ♥ 4 eva
I ♥ B.C.
Then I’ll perfect my generic 5 petaled flower, draw an intricate cluster of moons and stars and maybe play a game of MASH or two.
I was never a very good doodler.
Next page is usually the grocery list. Then my to-do list for the week. Slowly, but surely, I warm myself up to writing a true, honest-to-goodness sentence.
Somewhere in the middle of the book, I’ll open to a clean page and begin to really write. “I bought this new notebook in an attempt to document my thoughts and feelings and hopefully keep myself a bit sane. Here goes…”
- Recent, life-changing events: “I had two babies! They’re awesome.”
- Smaller events and confessions: Bryan and I went on a date last night and I ate way too much and am still really bloated. It’s gross.”
- Large and quite vague personal goals: “I need to do something meaningful with my life.”
- Deeper, more specific goals: “After this, I’m taking all my clothes to Goodwill and then I’ll do 30 push-ups. Any maybe I’ll stop saying holy crap so much.”
- General Realizations: “There’s not enough time in the day to get everything done.”
- Detailed, passive-aggressive realizations that morph into extremely emotional, aggressive ranting: “Our friends are coming over at 6:00 tonight and I still haven’t cleaned this disgusting place. If only I had just a liiiiiittle help from someone I’m married to. Gah, I don’t get any help around this place. No one appreciates me. I should just stop worrying about it because nothing’s ever going to change. Not to mention, this place is tiny and cramped and small there’s no room to breathe with all this junk piled everywhere and no one helps me clean it! NO ROOM TO BREATHE. CAN’T BREATHE. GASPING. Holy crap, I’m stressed. All I want are a pair of fancy new flip flps and someone to help me dust all my crap every once in a while. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK!?”
I close the journal and hide it in a place where no one will be able find it. If one day, my grandchildren happen upon a box of old dusty notebooks, they’re going to think I was one insane woman with some jacked up personality disorder and an unhealthy fancy flip-flop fetish. But at least I ♥’d their grandpa, even if he didn’t help me dust the living room.