Monday, March 10, 2008

A New Page

I have a hand-written journal. A diary, some may call it. I've had one after another since the third grade when I received my very first diary as a birthday present. I loved that diary. It had green stripes and pink flowers on the cover in a lovely soft fabric. It even had a little gold lock on the side so I could write about all of my third grade crushes without worrying my three older brothers would find it and tease the daylights out of me. I found out years later, after loosing the keys, that a good strong tug and that diary would spill it's guts to anyone who could read. I'm glad I didn't know that in third grade.

My journal now is just a book with plain, unlined, creme pages. No fancy and unreliable lock on the side. No green stripes. No flowers. Still, I treasure it the same way I did that first diary. And today is a strange day. I'm done with my journal. There are no more pages left. And while I am fully prepared to go out and buy another one as I have done many times over the years, this time it is different.

I've had this journal for almost 7 years now. A long time to have a journal, I agree. I received it as a bridal shower gift from a friend of mine and started writing in it that first year of marriage. No, I didn't write in it every day. There were times when I forgot to write in it for an entire month. Still, it has captured so many milestones. So many major events are tenderly written about in it's pages. My elation at being a newlywed. My nervous anticipation when we bought our first home. My even bigger thrill of being pregnant for the first time. It felt the wrath of my pregnant hormones and soaked up my postpartum tears. It has been with me through all of my pregnancies and the first year of each of my boys. It learned about my mother's diagnosis with cancer when I did. It felt my broken heart over my dad's struggle with Alzheimer's. It has been with me a long time. And it is strange to put it aside, finished, and move on to another one.

And I wonder, what will this next journal will see? Another baby? I hope so. A new house? Perhaps. I try to envision my life another 6 years from now, and I have no idea where I will be. Who I will be. Will the next 6 years bring as much change as the past 6 years have? I really don't know. Whatever the changes, I hope the new journal will see as many blessings, good times, and warm memories as this journal has. I hope the good times will outweigh the bad times. And I hope I will be as happy as I am today.

45 comments:

wright said...

That was lovely. I'm s o glad you have a keepsake like that. Cherish it!

Brittany said...

That is really great, Kathryn! How neat to have such a wonderful book of memories. I only wish I had thought of doing that. I just can't sit and write... well, I can't sit and write with pen and paper. I much prefer my keys. ha ha.

OHmommy said...

Lovely. So lovely. I wish I had kept a journal. I have forgotten so many things. That is why I like blogging.

You have thoughts of a 4th child? Wow, Kathryn! Way to go.

suchsimplepleasures said...

that was so beautifully written!!
i tried, so many times, to keep some sort of journal/diary. i would write in them, a couple of times, then cast it aside. my mom and sister are big journal keepers. me, like ohmommy, my blog has become my journal, of sorts. yet, with a real journal, you don't need to worry about what would happen if all of your entries got deleted.
and...coming from a home with 5 children...a nice even number...it's a good thing!! but, either way, i hope you stay happy and healthy!!!
xoxo

Nissa said...

Wow! I am so impressed that you still write a handwritten journal! The only time I do that is when I have terrible things to say that I don't want anyone else to read.

You should go buy a really pretty one this time. :)

krissy said...

That was so nice. I almost started crying once talking about your parents medical conditions.

And wow, a 4th rugrat! That would be awesome! Wait until I come up there though so we can drink a little! Okay, a lot!

Ashley said...

Beautifully written!
I have like 5 journals. But, I don't write in them like I should. At all anymore actually. lol. oops :)

maggie's mind said...

You touched my heart this morning. I don't keep an actual journal, but I have written my way through difficult times. I read your posts about your parents, and my heart was touched again. I loved your perspective on this whole new journal thing, looking ahead and wondering what experiences await to fill those pages. Almost poetic, that.

Anne said...

Here's to seven more years of good memories and the ability to stay strong during the hard times!

Dawn said...

What a nice thing to do for yourself by keeping a diary. I hope the diary you purchase will hold many happy memories also. This post makes me want to give journal writing a try.

Holly said...

Beautiful post. I have sporadically kept journals over the years. I have one from college, I have one that is only about my dad and my memories of him, and I have one similar to yours. I've had it for about 7 or 8 years, and while I wish I'd been more faithful, I'm so glad I've recorded what I have. Even a few snippets here and there is better than nothing!

Bren said...

Great post! And beautifully written.
I've often started journal writing but am too lazy to keep up. Good for you! What a treasured keepsake!

Kellan said...

I have always written in some form or other, over the years, but never in journals. I wish I had done that - all of my life. What a gift for you!!

Thanks for coming by today. I hope you had a good weekend. Have a good day - Kellan

Lisa said...

That really is a beautiful post, Kathryn!
I have a journal for each of the girls that I started immediatly after peeing on the stick. I love looking back through them and glimpsing into my thoughts. I am not as good with the paper and pen though, which is why I started my blog. But there is something really wonderful about reading the written word in someones own handwriting....
Pick out a really beautiful fancy new journal. Both of my girls' journals have flowers...might get you a girl for Baby #4!!!

Tracey said...

I have journals as well. Mainly written to my children, as letters for when they're older. But I love to re-read and remember things I've forgotten. Thank God it's written down...

May your next journal contain many joyful entries!

Julie Pippert said...

Kathryn, how lovely. Not just for you---to have confirmation of your life as you've lived it---but for future members of your family to know history.

Kristen said...

That is so great that you keep a hand written journal. Years down the road your children will appreciate seeing your hand writing as you wrote about such dear things.

That is so great!! Kudos to you!

anglophilefootballfanatic said...

That's wonderful K. I think you'll be so thrilled to have that later. I wish I'd had something. I only recently got a journal to write down the baby's fun sayings. Wow. Another 7 years? Who knows what that could bring!

david mcmahon said...

Wonderful post, Kathryn. My mother kept meticulous diaries - and I still have one of them in my study.

imbeingheldhostage said...

Beautiful post, and once again, your writing is amazing. I stopped writing in my journal while the hubby was deployed-- I found that I was emailing him all of the day's events and didn't have the energy to write it again. I have a new link in my side bar to a place that makes books out of your blog posts. You can blog and have a journal at the same time.

Kelly said...

Beautiful post. I'm sorry about your parents. You brought back memories of my pink journal with the gold lock. All my dreams and fears went into that. Long before I had my husband's ear to whisper in, in the dark, and you lovely people to laugh and dream with on my blog.

susiej said...

What a gift to yourself... it really is wonderful.

bindhiya said...

I hope your new diary will be filled with more joy..

bindi

RJTrue said...

When I moved, I found all my old journals - what an odd treat to go back through all of those moments.
I hope the next edition is filled with tons of life and love!

Thanks for stopping by. I needed those words. :)

Sandy C. said...

What a lovely post. So bittersweet. I wish I had kept a journal. At least in the past 7-8 years. So much has happened in my life, and so much of it isn't tangible anymore in my thoughts....I hope the new journal will be pages full of love and happiness :)

Elaine A. said...

wonderful post. i used to write in a journal and much of my relationship with my husband is docuemented that way. however, i haven't written in one in years. you really do have something special there... keep it up!

Jenni said...

Good for you keeping a journal (and blogging!).

I didn't know you wanted another baby. I'll send some pink prayers your way.

Nap Warden said...

You write so well:)

I kept a journal during a crazy time in my life. They are buried in the bottom of a drawer. I don't know what to do with them now that my life is normal...

Helena said...

Congratulations! -the journal itself is an achievement, let alone the events inside it!

Daryl E said...

Congrats on the new journal. I am sure it will contain many wonderful events. I gotta say I would be (I am often) intimidated by a nice clean blank page.. I hope you got a new pen too!

David sent me

Kellan said...

Hi Kathryn - thanks for coming by today. I hope you have a good day - Kellan

Motherhood for Dummies said...

I know what you mean about having a journal and not writting in it. My husband adn I bought one and are trying to keep a family journal for things we do as a family, things we go through, and stuff the kids can read later. We were really gooda bout it when we got pregnant and when we had her...and I don't think we have even looked at it in months....we really need to pull that thing out :)

Kelly said...

I've tried writing in a journal but it didn't last long. I like blogging better because I can type a heck of a lot faster than I can write!! I need to have a private blog just for me so I can write about all the things that I don't want anyone else to see. :)

Mary Beth said...

I wish I were as conscientious as you in writing. I found one recently from college and was immediately transported back - it means so much when you find them in the future. But in the present, I rarely write in one unless I'm on a trip.

CrazyCath said...

That is a beautiful post, and well written.

I too have kept diaries as a child, still have them. But as I grew up I stopped writing in them.

Now I think this blogging I've started does the same as the diary writing did.

Thanks again. Well articulated. Over from David's btw.

Burgh Baby's Mom said...

I hope your new journal is home to many amazing memories, perhaps even some you may not be expecting.

quilly said...

May your new journal have twice as many wonders and joys as the one you just finished, and only half as many sorrows. (I cannot wish for you a life with no sorrows, because then it wouldn't really be life.)

Keep writing. Those journals are treasures and a wonderful inheritance for your children.

krissy said...

Ummmm.....hello.....anyone there!

Just looking for my packer sista! If you have seen her tell her to give me a post!

Thanks!

FUN-ky Mama said...

What a treasure! It will be so nice to read that, years later. I too hope the new journal is full of happy occasions! =)

wheelsonthebus said...

It is so nice to hear about someone doing something so healthy just for herself. And to have a special goodbye just for you.

LaskiGal said...

What a sweet post. Journaling is so powerful. What a way to put the heart, the soul, the memories on a page. How rare that we have a chance to memorialize our life. Your children will cherish your thoughts (that is, if you choose to pass the journal(s)on to them).

So, another baby possibly? That gives me some encouragement that maybe baby #2 wouldn't be such a bad idea :)

Tonya said...

Journals are so great. I love the blog but there are just some things that I don't like to share with the internet ;)

just jamie said...

Oh, I LOVE this post. I hope the pages fill with many good memories.

P.S. I've tagged you for some homework over at my blog. :)

painted maypole said...

journals are wonderful gifts.

i stopped keeping one several years ago when it felt like all i did was write heartbreak after heartbreak. i started one especially for MQ after she was born, and that's the only one I've kept since. Until my blog, I suppose, but it's not quite the same.

the dragonfly said...

I've been keeping a journal since third grade too. :)

I have feelings like that every time I start a fresh book. What will this hold??

Beautifully written!

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson