Blogging Day 4 Fifty Five Years of Journaling



I have been keeping a journal since 1963 and have over fifteen filled notebooks dated and with numbered pages (at least on the earlier ones).  I am not going to digitize them.  Some of the ink on the pages has faded.  What do I do with these? 




There is a book called The Gentle Art of Death Cleansing which I haven't read yet.  But I read some articles about it and she says to get rid of journals! No one wants them.  Really?  I would love to read my Mother, Grandmother or Aunt's journals. I love to read journal books like  Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton.  My friend suggests donating them to a college.  However I doubt that they'd want it.

Just like our grandparents china, jewelry and furniture isn't wanted by this generation of young people.  I've heard and read that people are having a hard time getting rid of our Grandparents and parents "stuff".  No one wants piano's anymore.  It is a different world!


These journals tell my story about having panic attacks and anxiety and not knowing what was wrong with me until I discovered I had Agoraphobia.   I wrote about what I did to try and get rid of the panic attacks.  I wrote about different methods I discovered and the various therapies I tried.

I wrote about arguments I had with my mother and more.  It was good for me to write and I'm sure it helped my mental health.  I don't feel much like keeping a journal anymore. Blogging and emails seem to satisfy me now.

But what do I do with my journals? I'm almost 82. I doubt if I'll write my memoirs.  Who would read them? Would I have time?  Do I even want to spend the energy on this?  Probably not unless I was totally alone with no distractions.

So if you read this I would be interested in ideas, suggestions.  Thanks.

16 comments:

Shandy said...

I would read them. That’s a lot of books I’m sure. Definitely pass them on. Let the people you pass them on to decide whether they want to read them, publish them, etc.

Maybe flag certain passages you know are meaningful for people so if they don’t read them all they may read parts.

Cheryl, the jungian Knitter said...

I started journaling in 1972 and have many volumes filled. Your debTe is one I grapple with regularly.. much of what I have written has been so interior it wouldn’t mean anything to anyone else - it’s hard to tell sometimes I even have an outer life. I have sort of repurposed one into an art journal, but what about the several dozen others? I am thinking the solution is to start with the earliest ones and move forward, burning them as I go along. But that is just what I think today. Who knows about tomorrow?

Jana said...

My mom kept journals when she was young and I loved reading them. I'm now doing the same, maybe for my children to read one day. I would definitely read yours. I love reading about people's lives.

NM_Creatrix said...

After surviving my second {and last} divorce, I sat down and read what journals I had kept from the age of 12. I was amazed at how immediate all my writings were, even if they might seem mundane to others. Some were sexual in nature, so I don't know that anyone would be interested in those... but I think that I will pass mine on.

Unknown said...

I enjoyed reading your post today��. Back in my teens and 20s I wrote and filled a mountain of journals as well. And like you at one point in my 30s I didn’t know what to do with them. I had stopped journaling as much by then. Every time I was in therapy the therapist always suggested journaling........well even my doctor today suggests it but I only do it sometimes now. So back in my 30s when I had the pile of journals I thought about it a long time and then finally threw them out because I never was interested in reading them again. A lot of my journaling was cursiing rageful venting. So I think you should keep thinking about it......and praying and or meditating about it......and I think an answer will come to you❤️

Diana Riukas
My current blog is now at www.SerenityStudioArt.com. Please go there.

Judith-Ann said...

Keep them. I'm sure they are full of treasure to be mined and those you leave behind, may not think they are interested now, but their interest will increase. There is somebody from your line who will want these, and treasures these - somebody maybe not even born yet. If you feel you must clean up, put them all in a box, label the box. Maybe include a brief letter of your thoughts, now, about them.
Also, you might want to read this . . . https://reviewcanada.ca/magazine/2018/02/swedish-death-cleaning-and-the-anorexic-home/

A lot of it resonated with me because I am trying to do "the purge", but what really struck me was his comment about our culture lacking rituals around death - what is wrong with sorting through a loved ones belongings. I recalled doing this with my sister and brother after my parents passed, nine months apart with a house full of their life. It was comforting and bonding on those long evenings into wee hours of night. It made me stop and question, what is this quest to leave our children and grandchildren with the impression that our lives were only what they saw, or were so very neat and tidy, like the space we leave behind.

Just Me said...

I have always shredded my journals after a period of time. Lately, as I've been journaling in a different way, and even adding some artwork and clippings to the pages, I've thought of whether or not my daughter and her kids might someday be interested in having them. Before I did more of a rambling free thought kind of thing that would be unbearable to read. Now I am kind of consciously working on my self and writing about my observations of what I see around me and in the world. It's a good question. Something to think about for sure. xo

Pure said...

I wish there was a library dedicated to people's journals. I am always fascinated by reading about other people and how they viewed the world, what they were experiencing, and following their journey of growth.

I don't have any ideas or suggestions on what to do with your journals, but I would read them if I could, and if you gave me the permission :)

Jean Maurie said...

Thank you Shandy, I would read someone else's too if I found the person interesting or knew they overcame struggles. If I highlighted passages I'd have to go through them and re read them, or some of them. Maybe I will.

Jean Maurie said...

I know what you mean Cheryl. What we think today we may not feel the same tomorrow. Maybe what I wrote would be make sense to others, maybe not. But at least they would know how I was feeling about things, if they cared. I am not ready to burn them yet, although the shredder trucks will be at some local spots soon and I have been thinking about dumping them in there.

Jean Maurie said...

I would love to read my Grandmother's journals if she had written one. Funny thing is I found a ledger she wrote listing prices of all that she spent on her children. This was back in the 1917 on. That was interesting but why did she keep these?

Jean Maurie said...

NM_Creatrix, I think the sexual ones would be the most interesting to read!

Jean Maurie said...

ArtfullYours, do you have any regrets getting rid of those journals? When I think of getting rid of mine I get a sad feeling. That is a hint of an answer for me I think.

Jean Maurie said...

Judith-Ann, I had to laugh at this from the link you posted.."The brief is to live as though you are perpetually on the verge of popping off. " That whole article could give us even more ideas to blog about, don't you think?

I remember going through my mother-in-law's things and finding stashed money everywhere! It was amazing. (maybe I'll tape money to various pages in my journals and they'll read them..(only kidding)) But yes going through other people's things can be interesting especially if there are letters and journals.

Jean Maurie said...

Do you have any regrets Just Me about trashing your old journals? I bet your new journaling would be good reading.

Did you ever read the book or see the movie The Bridges of Madison County with Meryl Streep? It was about her two children finding her journal about that week she was with her lover Kincaide. I LOVE LOVE LOVE that movie.

Jean Maurie said...

Yes Kathleen, I think that would be nice too. Maybe there is a library that does want people's journals that we don't know about yet.

That's nice you would read my journals. Thank you.