My Journaling Experience

I have a slight obsession with journals, notebooks and diaries. If I’m out shopping and happen to see one with even a semi-cute cover, I snatch it up like it’s going outta style.

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 that pink pair from J. Crew 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.

Morgan + Justin = true ♥ 4 eva

I ♥ J.G.


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: Justin 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 pink heels from J. Crew and someone to help me dust all my crap every once in a while. IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK!?”

Without fail, I become terrified that another pair of eyes might see these crazy rantings. In order to fix their perception of me, I’ll end the entry with something like, “but I’m just PMS-ing or something, haha! I’m usually very chipper and happy, go ask anyone! No really, go 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 pink shoe fetish. But at least I ♥’d their grandpa, even if he didn’t help me dust the living room.

16 thoughts on “My Journaling Experience

  1. You crack me up! I have to say, (and I’m not even a little bit exaggerating) that, that is almost literally my journaling life experience also. Except that I finally stopped buying them because I know I will never fill it up because I suck,and that I will just make lists and write my own name in 3-D blocks, but the journal section of every Borders, Target and Office Max STILL call to me!!

  2. Ha ha! That’s pretty close to my journalling experience too :) My husband cut me off from buying new ones until I fill all the ones I already have. It hurts my heart ….

  3. Nearly every journal I’ve ever started, which is a lot, has the exact same intro:

    “I bought this new notebook in an attempt to document my thoughts and feelings and hopefully keep myself a bit sane. Here goes…”

    Glad I’m not the only one! I realized after several attempts that I’m much more of a list person. So whenever I get in the journaling mood, I stick to Top 5 or 10 lists (ie Top 5 things I loved today, Top 10 things I’ve been avoiding lately, etc.)

  4. I have to admit, i too, am a sucker for those beautifully bound journals. The idea of writing your inner most secrets, thoughts or actions onto those crisp white pages calls to me. Then when you go to write, nothing comes out quite like you pictured it…you just feel silly.
    On another note, i have been stalking your blog for some time now…creeper, lol. But i finally had to tell you how fabulous it is! Not even kidding you, when my kids are driving me CRAZY and Its time for mommy to take a time out, i pray you’ve posted something new so i can have a laugh and a “I’ve had that happen” kind of moment!

  5. HAHA you crack me up. Journaling is about writing down all your deepest thoughts …. and also so your grandchildren will know who you were …. but wait, those goals are totally contradictory!!! I’ve thought about getting rid of my (many) filled-in ones because I’m not too excited about anyone ever reading them. At least if anybody ever does I’d better be good and dead. :)

  6. It is hard to set aside time for everything! And I completely understand asking for a little help around the house and getting NONE! Ughh must be a man thing :)

  7. I am so glad I am not alone! I too have millions of journals and will continue to buy more, yet the only thing I ever write in them is TO DO listsm grocery lists, and cake scribbles for orders coming up. Bummed that my attempt in my blog is going the same course, but I am going to do a 2nd attempt sometime soon, maybe, when I am less stressed… when is that exactly going to be, who knows! Someday I hope! lol :)

  8. You, my dear, are pretty much too adorable for words. You should also “accidentally” leave a sexy picture in your journal so when your grand kids find it, they’re like “Holy crap, my grandma was a total Hottie McHottingpants!” Or whatever kids will call hot women in the future. Actually, never mind, that’s kind of creepy, just stick to letting them think you were crazy and loved their grandpa and had a potty mouth.

  9. Hello! I totally endorse your journalling. I started my journalling adventure in Feb. 1994, when my boys were just over a year old, and barely 6. They are now 23 and 19, and I am just so glad for those journals. I write from front to back, and I paste special items, things the kids made me, quotes that I find, etc. from the back to the front. There are huge gaps when I just didn’t write anything, and there’s one journal that I filled non-stop dialy while I battled multiple surgeries, including one with suspected ovarian cancer (which it turned out not to be). I spilled my fears, joys, frustrations, accomplishments, shortcomings, and just anything I was going through, all over those pages. I pressed the memories of my sons’ childhoods between those pages as well, and they represent my journey as a mother, woman, wife, friend. Please journal, you and your children will never regret it. And my best journals are those with covered bindings that lie flat, definitely lined.

  10. Haha! Morgan, you are not alone. Apparently you are a girl’s girl, pretty much every experience you write about on your blog is something most of us can relate to. I used to buy cute diaries, and write about the boys I liked, but I really need to find them and throw them out because gosh that would be incredibly embarrassing if my children ever found them. My problem with starting a new one is that I always think “Oh I’ll start a fresh new diary when I get engaged (didn’t happen), when I get married (still no), when we’ve been married a year (nope), or how about when I get my first job (nope).” At least I still have the first child milestone to try to journal about. :) Your blog is helping me procrastinate…

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