01 November 2014

365 Days of Journaling [UPDATE]

Although we did "Trick-o-Treat" last evening, today our family celebrates Halloween/Samhain. We get to top off the holiday with the last football game of the season. It is also Senior Night, which means new halftime show! I thought this would be a good time to reflect back on more than just my ancestors as we head into this fall season.

If there is one thing I have learned about myself and 365 days of journaling, it is that short of breathing and occasionally eating, I really suck at doing anything on a regular basis for an extended period of time.
Setting aside time to journal each day is not a hard task. It doesn't take more than 15 or 20 minutes. It doesn't require a great deal of forethought in order to start writing. I have come to decide I like paper journals and electronic journals. I can write in the morning. I can write in the evening. I can even write on my lunch break. What I can't seem to do is set aside the time each day to make it meaningful.

I prefer to only spend about 20% of my time just writing to write. 

I would rather have a purpose to my writing, such as clearing out my thoughts, organizing the chaos of my mind, venting on paper instead of at people, or planning plot/characters/adventures for my books and topics/lessons for my curriculum. 

However, to make it meaningful, I need to carve out that time in my day. I have not been so successful with that. I always plan to spend some time each morning, while my mind is "new and fresh" to journal about life. Then life actually occurs and I oversleep, or have to run  before school errands, or I simply decide to spend more time eating or meditating and less time writing. Therefore, my writing is spotty and sometimes nonexistent. My good intentions are replaced with typical reality.

I have learned to accept this. 

Like the random stray thought that crosses my mind while sitting in meditation, I acknowledge it, identify it for what it is, then allow it to move on. Long about March or April I stopped beating myself up for my lack of success at daily writing. Instead I started to enjoy the days that allowed me a moment in my life to just sit and write/reflect. I appreciated the ease of technology for a lunch break where I could unwind my mind. I felt "old skool" when I could pull out my Moleskine journal and write down some of the one million thoughts running rampant through my head. I celebrated completing my first month challenge on 750words.com. And from this acceptance, I grew. I began to recognize how my mind needed that release. I started to notice trends and patterns in my daily writings, such as mood swings, or emotional growth...or even how the weather effected my thoughts, and feelings, and writing.

Although tomorrow will be the first day of November, and I have been through 10 months of (mostly) daily writing, I feel each day is new and different. I am glad for this continual growth and newness. On a scale of 1-5, I would have to give myself a "well done," and reason that I can't put a number or grade on growth. It merely is exactly what it is.