I play this game occasionally. It’s called, “What was I doing on this day x many years ago.”
I get out a few of my not too recent past journals and happy books and look up the month and day. Today I would look up October 12 in whatever year I held in my hands.
It’s a gambling game because the potential for happy memories is fairly high, but the risk that I’ll be reading about some low point is equally high. For that reason I have several years handy. If one years entry for that day is more than I want to delve into I can drop it like a hot potato and jump to the next entry quick and easy.
This morning I played the game with the idea that I’d find something muse-like to inspire me. Y’know, jog a great memory, remind me of a great day I could write about, or conjure people from my past. But like life tends to do, what I found instead wasn’t the thing I searched for.
Here’s a few things I found while playing this morning:
- I realized I have led a weird life that makes little sense to an outsider and even to an insider.
- My experiences don’t fit in a box. I’m a rectangle peg in a round hole world.
- It’s a wonder I’m not completely nuts and committed and on heavy sedation.
- Forgetting is a healthy thing.
- Forgiving is even healthier than forgetting.
- There has to be a higher power operating in my life or I’d have never survived some of the roads I’ve taken.
- I’ve found beauty in the oddest of places and joy among ashes and destruction.
- I don’t see things the way most people do, which can fall on either side of the good/bad spectrum.
- I’m not always honest with myself even in my journals.
- The truth wins in staring contests every time.
- “Blessed” is too weak a word to describe my life so far.
- It’s a good thing I didn’t know about the obstacles in the road ahead.
- Looking back at those obstacles astounds and amazes me.
- I don’t want to have a clue about what’s still waiting for me up ahead.
For these reasons and dozens more, I’m extremely glad I’ve written down some of the stuff of my life. A review of the past like today’s little game makes me more determined to journal about the real, the difficult, the conversations, the laughter, the frightening and especially the love.
I particularly don’t want to forget a single person who’s been part of my days and hours. I want word snapshots of each one of them that, like a key, will unlock our shared time together in faded, but still clear nuances of smiles or tears, gestures, a certain look, words shared and sweet kindnesses.
The hard times give contrast and shadow to the softer ones and make me cherish the now, whatever that might bring. Honestly, reading about some of those struggles makes me pray all the more that I don’t have to face anything like it again. I’m done with difficult. Although, I’m pretty sure difficult isn’t done with me.
In journal writing or happy book writing, it’s not the historical details but the emotions behind those facts that really matter. As much as I’d like to forget at times, I really, really want to remember, too.
I think I’ll be a little kinder to myself today. I think I’ve earned it.
That wasn’t such a fun game as I’d hoped.