Have you ever thought about keeping a diary or a journal? Many people keep a diary to remind them of events, but there is so much more you can do with them.
- Keep a short description of what you do each day
- A description of events such as a holiday or special occasion
- Just write down your thoughts and feelings
I’ve done all of these, and in 1972 I received my first ever diary as a gift from my Nana. I was fourteen years old, and there was one entry inside:
August 6th ‘Auntie Bitch Rutter’s birthday, send one ounce of poison.’
Now, I honestly thought it was one she started using and then stopped. I assumed she had a new one and gave her old one to me. I had no idea what that meant anyway.
I have a photographic memory for birthdays. Every year on the 6th of August, my mind automatically says, ‘Auntie Bitch Rutter’s birthday, send one ounce of poison.’ It’s like a mantra that doesn’t really mean anything.
Many years later I realised two things:
- Auntie Bitch Rutter was a person
- Nana had written that especially for me
Auntie Bitch Rutter was actually called Kath Rutter, and she was my Nana’s sister. They fell out and didn’t speak for seventeen years. Nana was always highly strung and eccentric, and so I imagine her sister was similar. The two had clashed over something we will now never know. When they reconciled we had five years together before Auntie Kath suddenly passed away.
The whole thing was very sad. She was a lovely lady and we lost all that time with her and her husband over what was probably a petty argument.
Over the years, I kept different kinds of diaries. In my teenage years, I wrote about going out with friends, how I felt, and later, the pubs, clubs, and dates with boyfriends I had.
When I met my husband, I stopped writing. I started again when my children were small. I typed out events, such as holidays and visits to my grandparents. These were often quite hilarious, given that my Nana was eccentric!
In 2002, I got my first five-year diary. Five boxes to a page to write in. I wrote every day regardless of what we did. There wasn’t much room to write, so I kept to the basics of life. I didn’t know if I would even complete it.
Today, I’m on my fourth diary, that’s twenty years of my life chronicled. It tells of my children as teenagers, and how we got through the difficult times, and of the deaths of older family members. Things I had long forgotten were written down and over the years I’ve referred to them to find something out.
If you’ve never considered keeping one because you think you have nothing to say, you’re wrong. Even the mundane things in life are interesting as life moves on and changes. It will give a sense of you, who you were, and what made you the person you are today. As our lives progress we forget the little things that shaped us.
So why don’t you start one today!
This is a beautiful one with blank pages that you can store your thoughts or anything of importance that you wish to keep and look back upon.
This one is good for private thoughts and feelings. If you live somewhere that others could see it, you can keep it locked.
This is the one that I currently use. It is short and to the point. It was a gift and served its purpose well. I never locked it, but the strap did fall off a couple of years ago. This year I will choose my own and think I will go for something similar but with an attractive cover.
This one is lovely. It’s a diary and a planner combined in an attractive layout.
This one is a possibility for me. I like the shiny padded look to it. This suggests importance. Plus the layout is the same as the one I have.
Learn more about Dear Diary day here.