Happy Monday, friends. Today is a big day for me: this morning’s journal entry marked day 365 of journaling. I’m here today to share a few thoughts about how things have shifted for me over the last year and my journaling plans for the future.
One year ago, I crawled out of bed earlier than anyone should and claimed a little time for myself. I didn’t plan to write 365 days straight — I simply set out to see how far I could go. I began to think about shooting for 365 days by the time I got to day 100, but didn’t dare jinx it. I kept crawling out of bed, kept my head down, and kept replacing pens as they ran out of ink.
Typically, I rush through things. I’ll knit a pattern as quickly as I can, read books nearly all day long if I can get away with it, or sit down for marathon quilting sessions. Here – the script was flipped on me. The goal was to write a little bit every day, the whole it’s a marathon, not a sprint idea. I’d write 15-20 minutes, wait 24 hours, and then do it again. 365 days takes 365 days, no matter how I try to manipulate the system. This was a practice in patience for me and has helped me pace myself in other areas of my life, which is a lesson I’ve needed to learn for a long time.
There were a lot of days when I felt like I could have written more than one page, but I used restraint. I knew that if I got in the habit of increasing my goal, then I’d constantly be changing the rules on myself. This needed to be something I’d look forward to every morning – and knowing that I could easily write 1 page each day helped make that possible.
What did I write about? Really – a whole lot of nothing. The weather, what I was reading, what I was crafting, what I wanted to do about the chaos in our house, how worried I am about a whole host of things. I don’t go back to read what I wrote, the goal is to simply get the thoughts swirling in my head out on the page. Maybe even think through a little action plan for the day, which then gets filtered, sorted, and worked through in other places of my life.
Has it been worthwhile? Yes. At the very least, it’s motivated me to get out of bed early in the morning which has so many other other benefits. I’ve been able to cultivate a meditation practice (today was day 100!); I’ve been more consistent with my blog than ever; I have a stretch of 2-3 quiet, kid-free hours that my soul desperately needs; and I go to bed nice and early to compensate for a pre-dawn wake up time. And on top of all that, I feel like my worry thoughts have a place where they belong – the practice of consistently writing them down helps me find ways to successfully herd them up throughout the day and keep them out of the way until I’m ready to deal with them.
Will I keep going? Yes! Why not? At this point, I can’t imagine starting my day any other way. Let me tell you – climbing out of bed, pouring a steaming cup of coffee, turning on my desk lamp, and opening my notebook is the best way to start a day (for me). No phone, no computer. Coffee, light, paper, pen — in that order! Maybe you, too?
On a slightly different note, I want to give you all a warning that my blog will be quiet this week. We are in the midst of painting and replacing flooring and my home is in complete disarray, which activates all sorts of stress within me. To compensate, I’ve decided to pull back on my expectations and less blogging is one way to do that. I will still wake up early, still journal, and I’ll even be working on blog posts — but without any of the anxiety of editing and that tickle of dread and worry that I feel before tapping publish. So don’t worry about us – we continue to be Covid free (I hope!), we’re simply trying to push through this moment of chaos… and know that I’m dreaming of a carpet-free house with gleaming floors!
I hope you all have a great week, full of good books and happy moments.