Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Journaling

As a stay at home mom, my "job" starts from the moment I wake up in the morning and I don't get a break until Dallas gets back home from work.

The thing is, even when he does get home, I still have to make food, pick up toys, clothes, badger Archie with his homework or respond to the kiddos many requests at all times. Also when Dallas gets home, they are jumping on him to play and so instead of peace and quiet, there is literally screaming for at least an hour. Like the kind of screaming that makes you wonder if the neighbors will call the police. The kids like to run to me so I can "protect them" from the Daddy tickle monster.

Nothing about this is bad, its actually pretty freaking awesome and there is nothing I would rather be doing. Seriously. Otherwise I'd be doing it.

However, I sometimes need to feel like I can walk at my normal speed, or run without holding back or just having a moment to think without knowing I will be interrupted mid thought. I don't need it all the time. But I need a say a thirty minute period during the day when I can have my own space where I can not have something requested of me. Where I can go to the bathroom without a peanut gallery.

When I talked to Dallas about this last week when I was having a bad day, we worked out a plan. That he would put the kids to bed at night so I can go to bed and then wake up an hour early. With the time change, the sun is up at this time. Then I can just have an hour or thirty minutes of peace and quiet.


Having done this for a little over a week, it has helped me put myself in the right frame of mind in the morning. At first I wasn't sure what to do with my new free time.

A new friend of mine, who is a writer recently suggested journaling. We talked a lot about the benefits of journaling in my writing class, but you know how it is, once the class was over I forgot all about it.

One of the big reasons I started this blog is because I wanted to make it a habit to write every day. I firmly believe that the only way to become a better writer is to write. Writing helps me organize my thoughts. However, the nature of a blog is that I cannot share every stray thought. To post on the blog, I need to have a beginning, a middle and an end to share it, otherwise it is just rambling with no point. The thing is, that most days are spent in the middle of a story. I can't come to big conclusions every day!

Somehow my friend's advice about journaling came right when I needed it.

One of the first things they teach you about writing is about the SFD. Shitty First Draft. In writing if you try to write a perfect story the first time, you will kill yourself and never make it to the end. You need to get the ideas that are swirling around in your head, out of your head and onto the paper (or computer) by writing a shitty first draft. From there, you can walk away from this shitty draft, mull it over in your head, forget about it for a while and then come back later with new eyes to edit, re-word and edit again and again until its perfect.

Journaling, I feel, is basically applying this same concept to life. You have these feelings or emotions and things going on in your head that you don't understand and you just need to get it out of your head, write it down, no matter how grammatically incorrect. You can just get it out so its not building up and getting ready to explode in your face. You can evolve from your initial reaction.

I have also found it very grounding. It puts me in the moment because I am using my hands to write with a pen, something that is almost old school in this day and age but is comforting. Seeing my own writing is seeing myself. My life, my thoughts, written on a page in my own hand which is not like anyone else's.

In a way its art. The story of your own life from your own perspective. It doesn't hurt if you get some really cute journals like the ones they have at anthropologie. Just sayin'...

My friend also talked about having journals for different things, like one for her daughter and one for personal. I might start doing this too. One for everyday, one for the kiddos and one for travel. Or I could do them all together? I haven't decided yet.

I also have been thinking of writing letters as part of my journal. Even if I never can send some of them. Its all about getting it out of my system.

My journal would also be a good organized place to write down my creative ideas (as opposed to the backs of receipts and grocery lists :). I like to write little stories for Winnie and have always wanted to write a children book, so I can jot these things down if I feel like writing or doodling.


I've had this Fujifilm instax camera for a while and I usually use it as a fun party prop, but now I'm thinking of using it for journaling too. The uneditable, in the moment photos I think would be a nice touch for the kids to look back at one day when they are all grown up.

Its like having your own little space in a little book. 

4 comments:

  1. Loved reading this... I don't have kids yet, but I'm as introverted as they come, and I absolutely need some alone time to feel like myself / sane and survive the day to day basically. I used a journal till a little while back, and I found it to be really fulfilling... I think I need to get back to it. Good luck with your journaling...

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    1. Thank you! Good luck to you too <3 <3

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  2. Being a stay at home mom can be so hard! I wish I was a morning person, this seems like a great way to center yourself and get your daily writing in. Have you ever seen The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron? I got it about 3 years ago and swore I would do the daily writing exercises, but I didn't :( Gues I need a partner in crime to be accountable. It's hard to carve time out with the 1 1/2 year old and the 9 year old. Sounds like you're finding a great balance. Keep posting on this please - tips and tricks!

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    1. Thanks so much for reading! I'm totally not a morning person either!
      I hadn't heard of the book. Sounds really interesting. I saw this book called Art Before Breakfast which looked really good too. I'll have to get them both at some point! Thank so much for your encouragement and I send mine to you as well! Happy Holidays!

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