On Keeping a Journal


I have been journaling off and on for most of my life. When I can remember to do so, I record five good things that happen to me everyday. (I just reminded myself to do it now!)

I have many good reasons for doing this and I want to share them with you.

Journaling provided a good way for me to release my pent-up emotions and feelings. It cleared my mind, for a brief time, of the emotions that I felt, especially the anger. I could say what I wanted, how I wanted, and never had to worry about my words being heard or seen or felt by others. Once I learned of the Native American "Fire Ceremony," a practice of burning off negative energy, I used it to destroy these journals, to release the feelings, and to forgive. It must have been a sight when I had this huge bonfire going in my backyard. I did warn my neighbors ahead of time.

Journaling also reminded me to be grateful for all the things that were and are positive in my life. The gratitude lists that I keep include all sorts of things: people, food, events, famous people, emotions, and daily highlights. The lists keep me grounded and focused on positives in life. Some days are better than others and that is fine but there is always something everyday to be thankful for.  It sounds a bit “Pollyanna-ish,” but it is true in my life.


Journaling helps me celebrate my strengths. As a middle-aged divorced woman who often feels invisible in the world, my journal reminds me how much I really do have to offer. I was hired more than 30 years ago in my present position. When asked what was my greatest asset to the job, I replied that it was my sense of humor. The interviewing committee asked me to step outside and I was sure that I had blown the interview. A few minutes later, I was asked to return to the room. Before I could even sit down, I was asked, ”when can you start?” Humor got me my present position and is vital in my daily work and in my life, to say the least.  I celebrate that humor every day in my writing and in my life.

Keeping a journal has also helped me set new life goals. I took all those thoughts from my angry, bitter, “don’t get mad get even” journals and turned them into my book. Who knew that anger could really be so feisty and funny.  They offered me a venue to write daily affirmations to live my life. Words are powerful, even more so when written down. You can re-read them and re-affirm them as I do daily.

So feisty ladies, keep on journaling. Vent your feelings. Be grateful. Celebrate yourself and your strengths. Set new goals. Affirm what you need in your life.

You are your words. 

In time, the journals motivated to move on, to write my book.